A few months back I was headed home from my regular haircutting joint when I spotted this lovely sky blue pony parked in front of one of my other old regular haunts- a quaint little Thai restaurant in Gardena, Ca. just up the street from my old alma mater, El Camino College. With both an itchy CC camera finger and an empty stomach, I just had to stop.
The lunch special was delicious, but spotting this cool blue beauty was definitely a superb dessert. This is how I personally feel early notchback Mustangs look best- clean, simple, and unadorned, without the usual muscle-era boy racer gimmickry. While its fastback sibling is a natural for being all tarted up with scoops, spoilers, racing stripes, fat tires and whatnot, the humble base coupe looks far better “naked” in my opinion.
The only deviations from stock on this one are the ugly aftermarket rub strips ( they do prevent door dings, but unfortunately they also look like ca-ca ) and the wire basket wheel covers. Those hubcaps aren’t stock, but I do believe they are genuine Ford items- most likely from a Fox-body Fairmont / Zephyr / Futura, or possibly an early shoebox Panther if memory serves me correctly.
The only indication that this docile-looking steed may have some extra oats under the hood are the large megaphone exhaust tips poking out from under the rear valence. Or maybe they’re just there for looks. Who knows? The fender badges indicate that this is already a factory V-8 car, so giving this horse a bit more giddy up than it had in stock form wouldn’t be much of a stretch.
Had this been my car, I probably would have went with the factory GT-style exhaust treatment, with the pipes peeking through chromed openings cut out of the rear valence panel itself. The owner is probably happy with it just the way it is, though.
The various boxes and bags piled in the back seat, as well as the worn and faded aftermarket steering wheel cover, indicate that this old war horse is actually used and driven like a proper car, rather than some pampered garage queen. Check out the bulky and heavy factory add-on AC unit under the dash.
An early vintage V8 Mustang with its factory air conditioning still present and intact- that’s definitely something you don’t see every day. Back in the days when these were cheap and plentiful used cars, all that AC gear was usually the first thing to get chucked into the nearest dumpster when some lead-footed kid got his hands on one of these. Seeing a clean survivor with AC still present is a breath of fresh air ( no pun intended… ok maybe just a little ).
As clean and well-preserved as this little stallion is, its proud owner clearly isn’t just horsing around.