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1979 Ford Mustang Overview

The Ford Mustang received a breath of fresh air in 1979. After four years of a poor-performing Pinto-like Mustang wannabe, the future of the Mustang was in jeopardy. But then the 1979 Mustang arrived, and did it ever look sleek!

There were some great reasons it looked so good. It had a sloped-back front end, which was almost completely new for the American car market, and the hatchback had the totally amazing drag coefficient of 0.44. (That's less than a baseball's coefficient of drag.) This was the most aerodynamic car yet in Ford's history, and it held that honor until the Thunderbird took that honor some years later. It was 200 pounds lighter, while roomier and bigger overall than the Mustang II.
It had the first square headlights on a Mustang. The 302ci went metric that year with the new moniker 5.0, and the fan belt went to a serpentine style. The 5.0 was a powerhouse at 140hp in an emissions- and fuel-strangled economy, with 0-60 times of 8 to 9 seconds and 17 seconds at 85mph in the quarter mile. This was a sad sign of the times in a 55mph society. Other engine choices included the then pretty new V6, rated at 109hp with a 0-60 of 11 seconds, but due to shortages the old reliable but less powerful 85hp L6 came in most '79 Mustangs. Options included a four cylinder rated at 88hp and the radical Turbo-4 at 132hp. In my experience I recall that you could only get a V8 with the automatic and the Cobra package only came with the Turbo-4. This body style, known as the Fox body, would be the backbone of Mustangs for the next 14 years before tooling changes would extend it another 11 years.


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Ford Mustang Questions

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