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1985 Ford Mustang Overview

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd have a birthday, and some relative would miss your birthday, but would give you an even better gift than you had expected?

Ford did pretty much that with the 1985 Mustang GT 5.0-liter HO. They had originally promised it as a 20th Anniversary celebration car for 1984, but it was held over for an extra model year. In 1985, all GTs came standard with this engine, a monster capable of 210 horsepower with its four barrels rolling in the carburetor.

A Saleen trim was available in the 1985 line as an aftermarket fix, costing about $4000 over the base cost of the Mustang. For this price, the buyer could get an extra 45 horses, bumping total horsepower to a GT-like 210.

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Powertrain and Performance
The four barrel 5.0L V8 saw additional power once again in 1985. The Turbo GT was not included in the '85 power train lineup, however the additional power for the GT 5.0L was delivered as promised. In fact, Ford presented the 1985 Mustang GT with 210 horsepower which was 35 more horses than the previous year. The increase in horsepower was due to improvements with the 302 HO.

These improvements included exhaust manifolds made of stainless steel, a roller lifter camshaft, and forged 8.4:1 pistons that reduced friction thanks to light and thin rings. These changes did not come without a little work as the block and heads were revised in order for the taller roller lifters to fit. The exhaust pipe was split behind the catalytic converter and there were two mufflers and tailpipes which all worked together to reduce exhaust restriction.

The belt accessory drive system and revised roller cam helped the 5.0 engine achieve the 210 horsepower that so many muscle car lovers appreciated about the 1985 Mustang. The four speed automatic fuel injected HO boasted 180 horsepower. The SVO stayed on and saw a horsepower change mid year from 175 to 205. The turbocharged four took a hike from the option list for the GT.

Other changes were made in 1985 as well. These included the addition of rear quad shocks and variable rate springs. The gas struts seen in 1984 reappeared but slightly changed with an increased thickness of the front anti sway bar to 1.3 inches. It was previously 1.125 inches. The rear anti sway bar also saw an increase in thickness form .790 to .83 inches.

The unidirectional Gatorback tires with 15x7 inch wheels were perfect for the suspension and super power of an engine. The gear ratios in the transmission were also upgraded with a 3.35:1 first gear while gear selection was improved with a short throw shifter. The axle ratios were 2.73:1 on the standard with the 3.08:1 as an option on the '85 five speed mustangs. The AOD had no options and carried a standard 3.27:1.


The front fascia on the 1985 Mustang was different than the previous year's model. The two sets of headlights were set apart by a large slit and the fascia was clean and looked similar to the SVO nose.

The SVO saw new headlights mid model year that were no longer recessed but rather even with the corner lights. Changes occurred with the GT as well and consumers loved the P225/60VR15 Goodyear Eagle Gatorback tires mounted on the 15 inch aluminum wheels.

Other changes with the GT included a charcoal stripe instead of the black one from the year before. The GT was still available as a convertible and a hatchback but with a more aerodynamic front than the previous year. The side moldings were embossed with "GT" and blackout treatment was still available with these colors: medium canon red metallic, medium charcoal metallic, black, oxford white, black, silver metallic, light regatta blue metallic, and bright red.

The available exterior colors for the 1985 Mustang included black, silver, canyon red, sand beige, dark sable, pastel regatta blue, jalapeno red, oxford white, medium charcoal, oxford gray, and medium regatta blue.


The interior of the GT Mustang for 1985 was fabulous. The sports seats were standard and upholstered in good fabric. The colors were sand beige or charcoal accented with red piping, thigh support, and side bolsters that could be adjusted. AM/FM stereo radio was also standard along with all the necessary instruments, tilt steering wheel, controls mounted on steering column, fuel door with remote lock and a release on the trunk. The available options were varied but included the following: sunroof, power windows and locks, rear defrost, air conditioning, T tops, light group, various sound systems, and speed control.

The rest of the Mustangs also had some nice options. For example, the SVO could be upgraded to leather seat trim. Vinyl seat trim was also available as well as tinted glass. Power side windows and a premium sound system were also often chosen as upgrades for other Mustang models.

The interior colors for all 1985 Mustangs included charcoal, sand beige, regatta blue, and canyon red. Convertibles were available with white/red, white/charcoal, and white/blue.

Final Thoughts

The 1985 Mustang received rave reviews, especially the GT with the increased horsepower. Consumers had been waiting for some extra power and performance and 1985 delivered. Sales were pretty good overall and Mustang looked as if it was heading back up the ladder of success one more time.

Updated by Anonymous

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