Some excerpts from a book about our cars

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Mar 10, 2011
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My Car
1971 Boss 351
1971 Mustang Sportsroof
1972 Q Code 4-speed conv.
Some excerpts from a book about our cars:

See if you can spot the incorrect statements and pictures!

I have identified a couple using red text.  But there are MANY! 

1971 Mustang - The Biggest of the Breed![/img]




The front end was opened up into one wide section for the first time in Mustang history – a 

styling cue seen first on the 1969 Shelby. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.)





When restyled for 1971, the 

Mustang reached its largest 

proportions ever. The 

Mustang would live large for 

two more years before gas 

shortages and emissions 

controls took their toll.






The 1971 Mustang grew to the largest proportions ever, and it, along with its ‘72 and ‘73 

successors hold the size and weight records of the marquee. In actuality, the Ford Mustang was simply

following the same path most automotive models did at the time: every time there was a 

restyle, the car got bigger. While this was the modus operandi among the industry (and was generally

accepted by the buying public), this was one time in automotive history the trend would prove

disastrous. The 1971 Mustang, now some 250 pounds heavier and three inches wider, was 

designed to easily accept the larger 429-ci big block (which was physically larger than the 428) 

without a shoehorn. Unfortunately, government emissions standards would cause Ford to totally eliminate

the venerable 429 ci engine the very next year, negating much of the company’s efforts in the

‘71 redesign, which had been nailed down in early 1968.


The 1971 Mustang was unquestionably an attractive automobile, especially in fastback form. It can be

said that this was the first Mustang that bore very little resemblance to the original car. The previously

successful Boss and Mach 1 fastback models were carried over, as was the Grandé in coupe

form. There would, however, be no Shelby version of the car to give it that added “bounce” 

in racing image the Mustang had enjoyed since 1965.



Sales for the 1971 Mustang (151,484 units) were down over 20 percent from the year before. 

These were tumultuous times in an automotive world destined for change. It was only a matter of 

time before the muscle car would take a backseat to more economical and fuel-efficient 

automobiles. For the Mustang, this would be the last of the glory years for quite some time.



Body and Trim:

The overall dimensions of the 1971 car are best appreciated when compared to the original 1964-

1/2 Mustang. The ‘71 model is approximately 500 pounds heavier, six inches wider, and eight inches

longer. Ironically, the wheelbase grew only one inch, to 109.


Aside from its obvious proportional growth, the most noticeable change to the body of the 1971 

Mustang can be seen in the front grill. Lifting a design cue straight from the 1970 Shelby GT500, 

the front grill was totally opened up for the first time. Although standard models had a mouth-like 

inset that mocked the separate grill opening seen on previous Mustangs, there was no mistaking the

fact that the front end of the car had radically changed.



The standard grill retained the corral surround, with side spears terminating on both sides of the grill

inset. The Boss and Mach 1 models received a different grill treatment that will be covered in separate

sections under Mustang Variants below. Jutting chrome-plated front bumpers were notched

into the front fenders and joined a chrome trim ensemble that encircled the perimeter of the

grill. Turn signals were tucked into the sides of an open roll pan located underneath the front bumpers





The rear end of the Mustang took on a new look as well. Kidney-shaped taillights and an 

inset coupe roof serve to separate the Mustang from its progenitors. (Photo courtesy of 

Ford Motor Company.)





These flush door handles were a nice styling 

touch for the ‘71 Mustang. They, along with 

other features such as hidden windshield 

wipers, gave the Mustang a cleaner overall 



The backlight of the SportsRoof model was 

slanted at a near-flat 14 degrees, making for 

extremely low visibility out the rearview mirror. 

But it sure looks great!






1971 Mustang at a Glance

Body Styles: Coupe, convertible, and fastback

Construction: Unibody

Engine Options: 250-ci inline six @ 145 hp, 302-ci V-8 @ 210 hp, 351-ci V-8 2V @ 240 hp, 351-ci 

4V V-8 @ 280 hp (CJ), 351-ci 4V V-8 @ 330 hp (Boss), 429-ci V-8 @ 370 hp (CJ), 429-ci V-8 @ 

375 hp (CJ-R)

Suspension: Independent w/coil springs and shocks on front; semi-elliptic leaf springs w/shocks in 


Units Sold: 149,678 total, 83,102 coupes, 6,121 convertibles, 60,455 fastbacks

Retail Price: $2,911 coupe, $3,227 convertible, $2,973 fastback

1972 Mustang - Hitting the Brakes![/img]




The 1972 Mustang changed very little 

from the previous year. The big news 

for the year was the Olympic Sprint 

models that were built to commemorate 

the Olympics that year. Note the dual 

hood stripes and use of the Mach 1 

grill on this hardtop version of the 







1972 would prove to be the most tumultuous, if not disheartening, year in Mustang history to the date.  

Not only would the proud 429-ci engine (for which the larger Mustang had been designed) not appear

on the 1972 options list, but the total number of powerplant options would be reduced to a 

paltry five. Other changes to the 1972 lineup would be minimal at best, as the higher-ups at Ford recognized

the fact that this was the beginning of the end for the larger pony car.


Several factors beyond Ford’s control were forcing all of the domestic manufacturers to rethink their definition

of the American automobile. The Clean Air Act, passed under the Richard Nixon 

administration, was putting heavy pressure on the automakers to clean up their act, mandating a 90 

percent decrease in harmful exhaust emissions over a six-year period. This alone was enough to punch

the life out of muscle cars that thrived on free-flowing powertrains. The second problem the manufacturers

faced was the dramatic upswing in gas prices inflicted by an obstinate group of oil barons

from the Middle East known as OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). By controlling

the production and subsequent export of their oil, the consortium was able to raise the price

of a barrel of crude more than tenfold over its original price. By doing so, the oil consortium virtually

single-handedly changed the course of the American automobile from a gas-guzzler to petrol miser




In addition to axing the big-block engine, Ford also cut the Boss Mustang program in 1972. The 

Mach 1 program continued, but with less fanfare due to restricted engine choices and the fact that 

all powerplants in the Ford stable had been demoted in horsepower by burdensome emission 

controls. On the bright side, Ford announced that it was able to eliminate more than 85 percent of 

hydrocarbon and 70 percent of carbon monoxide emissions for the year — quite a feat in itself.


Of all Mustangs to receive accolades, the 1972 Mustang, ironically, did. In early March of 1972, 

Popular Hot Rodding magazine named the Mustang the Car of the Decade, citing the car’s long-

term ability to capture and excite the attention of the automotive-buying public. Such praise, 

however, did little good. The results of all the turmoil in the industry can be seen in Mustang sales 

figures for the year. Despite the fact that the federal government had lifted the excise tax to help 

boost car sales, Mustang sales for the year were 125,093 units, approximately 25,000 fewer than 

the previous year’s sales, which were already in a slump. The bright spot for the year? Chevrolet 

only sold about 45,000 Camaros, making the Mustang’s sales numbers look awesome in 




1972 Mustang at a Glance

Body Styles: Coupe, convertible, and fastback

Construction: Unibody

Engine Options: 250-ci inline six @ 98 hp, 302-ci V-8 @ 140 hp, 351-ci 2V V-8 @ 177 hp, 351-ci 4V 

V-8 @ 266 hp (CJ), 351-ci V-8 @ 275 hp

Suspension: Independent w/coil springs and shockson front; semi-elliptic leaf springs w/shocks in 


Units Sold: 125,093 total, 75,395 coupes, 6,401 convertibles, 43,297 fastbacks

Retail Price: $2,679 coupe, $2,965 convertible, $2,736 fastback



Body and Trim

After having made major changes to the Mustang the year before, Ford saw fit to simply tweak the cosmetics

of the 1972 Mustang. In fact, the modifications to the 1972 Mustang were almost imperceptible

compared to yearly updates past. By now, execs at Ford had seen the handwriting on the

wall and were no doubt pouring most of their design efforts into a notably smaller Mustang that would

represent the next generation.


The front grill with corral surround and side spears was carried over from the year before and was standard

on all coupe and convertible models. SportsRoof models all got the racier Mach 1 grill 

(with integrated fog lamps) introduced on the 1971 model, and the body-color urethane bumper was

also standard. Coupe and Convertible models could upgrade to the Mach 1 honeycomb grill with

the Exterior Décor Group option. Also included in this package were a lower body panel paint treatment,

body-color hood and fender caps, and hub cap/trim ring wheel styling — all derived from 

the Mach 1. The bumper on the rear was chrome, as before.[/img]




The front grill on the ‘72 model was a 

direct carryover from the previous year 

– a first in Mustang history. The 

company had always provided some 

type of revision to the grill, even in 

years when there wasn’t a restyle.




The easiest way to tell a 1972 Mustang from its sibling from the previous year is by looking at the 

rear deck. A “Mustang” script was placed on the right side panel in place of the “MUSTANG” block 

lettering used the year before. On the side flanks, all 1972 Mustangs received chrome rocker panel 

and wheel lip moldings, and as before, a “Mustang” script graced the front quarter panels. The 

NACA dual-ducted non-functional Ram-Air hood was standard on the Mach 1 but could be ordered 

separate with the 351-ci 4-barrel engine option and was a no-cost option on cars with the 302 

The functional Ram-Air hood was available for 351-ci 4-barrel engines only. A double-

striped Tu-tone hood option (similar to that on the Sprint) was available for all models without the 

dual ram induction.




This beautiful convertible is optioned to the 

nines – including a fully functional 351 Ram-Air 

powerplant under the hood – yet it still doesn’t 

carry the Mach 1 label.


The two-tone hood option could be had on all 

hoods with the ram-air scoops, whether 

non-functional or functional (like the one shown 

here). A dual striped hood option, similar to that 

on Sprint models, was available on plain hoods.





Like the front grill, the taillights did not change 

in 1972. The same kidney-shaped three-lens 

units were simply carried over.


Twist-open hood locks were part of the Ram-Air 

hood option. This style first appeared in 1970, 

replacing the cotter-pin type used before.[/img]




Here’s a wider view of the 

rear deck lid with the telltale 

Mustang script. A rear deck 

optional on all ‘72 

, has been added.  INCORRECT






Paint options changed to a new alphanumeric code system in 1972. The options (with Ford code 

numbers in parentheses) for the 1972 Mustang were as follows: Wimbledon White (9A), Bright Red 

(2B), Maroon (2J) Grabber Blue (3A), Light Blue (3B), Bright Blue Metallic (3J), Ivy Glow (4C), Bright 

Lime (4E), Medium Lime Metallic (4F), Medium Green Metallic (4P), Dark Green Metallic (4Q), Light 

Pewter Metallic (5A), Medium Brown Metallic (5H), Medium Yellow Gold (6C), Medium Bright Yellow 

(6E), and Gold Glow (6F).

1973 Mustang - The End of an Era[/img]




The ‘73 Mustang brought the 

first chapter of the Mustang to 

a close. It was the end of a 

a colorful era in which one car, 

the Ford Mustang, made an 

entire populace rethink its 

definition of the term “sports 







In a bit of a surprise, and contrary to the previous year, the 1973 Mustang took on noticeable 

exterior changes. This was an intriguing move made, most likely, to increase the flagging sales from 

the year before, which were down 25,000 units from 1971. For 1973, the Mustang did see a slight 

increase in sales of approximately 10,000 units. This may, however, have come from the fear of 

what was to come. By now, word was out that a newer, smaller Mustang would be revealed the 

following year, and not all Mustang enthusiasts were looking forward to the downsizing.


These were strange times in the automotive industry. The 1973 Mustang represents the end of the 

pony car era as it had originally been defined. What would follow would be a radical change in the 

way the car was made and perceived. This was the end of the first-generation Mustang and, to 

many, the end of a legend.



1973 Mustang at a Glance

Body Styles: Coupe, convertible, and fastback

Construction: Unibody

Engine Options: 250-ci inline six @ 99 hp, 302-ci V-8 @ 141 hp, 351-ci 2V V-8 @ 177 hp, 351-ci 4V 

V-8 @ 266 hp (CJ)

Suspension: Independent w/coil springs and shocks in front; semi-elliptic leaf springs w/shocks in 


Units Sold: 134,867 total, 76,754 coupes, 11,853 convertibles, 46,260 fastbacks

Retail Price: $2,760 coupe, $3,102 convertible, $2,820 fastback



Body and Trim

The most noticeable changes to the ‘73 exterior were in the front grill. The corral surround was 

retained but had vertical bars emanating from it (as opposed to horizontal the year before), this 

over a large rectangular mesh field. The “mouth” of the grill had a chrome perimeter, and a vertical 

turn signal was housed just inside each end. The headlights now had a rectangular chromed bezel. 

The body-color urethane front bumper, now standard on all models, jutted out a full inch longer 

than that of the ‘72 model to meet new federal safety standards. The depth of the chrome rear 

bumpers was increased for the same reason. A “Mustang” script continued to grace n the front 

fenders. Bumper guards were available as a single option or part of the Deluxe Bumper Group, 

which included the pair of rear guards with rubber bumper faces.[/img]




After getting no changes 

the previous year, the ‘73 

Mustang received cosmetic 

changes. Vertical turn 

signals, a wide mesh grill, 

and protruding bumpers 

were key modifications







The Mach 1 grill got a mild revamp in 1973. 

Vertical turn signals and an expanded honeycomb

mesh grill were used inside a black fascia

with chrome trim accenting the opening. 

The headlight bezels were changed to a 

rectangular shape and were all bright metal as you

can see here. You can also see the fascia surround

the grill.


The Mustang script, now well entrenched in 

Mustang design continued to be placed on the front

fenders of the car.
The silver paint on the lower

side panels was part of the Décor Group option

that included the hockey-stick side stripe. PARTIALLY INCORRECT





The “hockey stick” tape stripe continued as part of the Exterior Décor Group,  

look. See the section on the Mach 1 under 1973 Mustang variants below.


New for 1973 were fully chromed taillight bezels complementing those used on the headlights. On 

the rear inset panel, a black-grained appliqué was used on standard coupes, convertibles, and 

SportsRoof models, while Grandé and Mach 1 models got a honeycomb treatment.



The non-functional NASA Ram-Air hood was still available — standard equipment on the Mach 1 

with 351-ci 4-barrel powerplants, and as a no-cost option on those with the 302-ci 2-barrel engine. 

The fully functional Ram-Air hood was available with 4-barrel versions of the 351. A double-striped 

two-tone hood option was available for all models without the dual ram induction.[/img][/img]




The Ram-Air hood was available in both 

functional and non-functional (as seen here) 

form. The two-tone hood option was standard 

on Mach 1 but available as an option on other 



This is the underside of the non-functional 

Ram-Air hood. Note the blocked scoop intakes 

and U-shaped area. This is where the plenum 

on the functional Ram-Air unit goes.







Paint options (with Ford code numbers in 

parentheses) for the 1973 Mustang were as follows: 

Wimbledon White (9A), Bright Red (2B), Maroon 

(2J), Light Blue (3B), Medium Blue Metallic (3D), 

Blue Glow (3K), Ivy Glow (4C), Medium Aqua (4N), 

Medium Green Metallic (4P), Dark Green Metallic 

(4Q), Medium Brown Metallic (5H), Medium Copper 

Metallic (5M), Saddle Bronze Metallic (5T), Medium 

Yellow Gold (6C), Medium Bright Yellow (6E), and 

Gold Glow (6F).







The 1973 interior changed 

little for the year. This 

Mustang is optioned with 

extras like a console (a 

mini-console was standard on 

like models with automatics) 

and an electric clock.






The interior of the 1973 Mustang saw only minor revisions. The dash, gauges, door panels, and 

seat patterns were identical to the 1971 model. The two-spoke steering wheel (deluxe on the ‘71 

model, standard on the ‘72) with galloping Mustang center badge was standard. A leather-wrapped 

version of the two-spoke steering wheel was a new option for the year, and the three-spoke Rim-

Blow wheel was offered once again.


The Instrumentation Group was once again offered with the same package of gauge revisions seen 

on the ‘71 and ‘72 models. The Décor Group included the Instrumentation Group, special vinyl or 

cloth seat inserts, a deluxe two-spoke steering wheel, molded door panels, a black dash panel and 

instrument faces, a wood-grain center dash appliqué, a rear ashtray, an electric clock, color-keyed 

floor mats, bright trim foot pedals, and dual remote racing mirrors. The Mach 1 Sports Interior 

(which was available on other SportsRoof models) included the two-spoke deluxe steering wheel, 

knitted vinyl seats, the Instrumentation Group, molded door panels, black and wood-grain dash 

accents, an electric clock, a rear ashtray, bright foot pedal trim, and integrated color-keyed rubber 

mats in the front. A Hurst shifter was used on all four-speed models, but the ‘73 had a round shift 

knob instead of the T-shifter used in the previous two years.



The interior color lineup remained unchanged with the exception of the commemorative Sprint 

models, which got their own separate look. For more on this see the section below on 1973 

Mustang Sprint. Standard vinyl interior colors for 1973 were as follows: Medium Blue, Black, White, 

Avocado, and Medium Ginger. Knitted vinyl and combination cloth/vinyl inserts were available 

(Décor Group) to match each of the vinyl colors.

This has been some sample pages from

Ford Mustang 1964 1/2 to 1973 Ford Mustang 1964-1/2 - 1973

by Pat Covert


Geez, where do you start?

This is one of those writers that I'd like to give a bloody nose to. They were so smitten with the "original" that they sold the 71-73 down the tubes. He was completely hung up on how much larger it was than the 65, while completely ignoring the fact it was virtually the same size as the 70, all the while being a much more solid and capable chassis.

I just took a quick look at this and the first thing I noticed was some of the photos are just plain wrong. Look at the blue one with the incorrect hood tu-tone. It never came all the way to the front of the hood.

Agree - the article is a mess. I thought about trying to re-write it and note all the issues with corrections. I was kinda hoping some of you guys were more up to the challenge!