Every once in a while a sweet car just plunks itself right in my lap!
I was at the shop one day watching Brooklyn pass by our big windows when a shady character pulled up across the street to El Diferente Auto in this sweet green beast:
Yes! This is a 1971 Ford Mustang Sportsroof in Anti Establish Mint Poly. Yes that is the name of this factory color and yes it's easily the coolest color name ever chosen for a Ford ever.
There is some question as to whether this is either a Mach-1 or Boss 351 special edition, or simply a Sportsroof Mustang that has had some of the cooler options checked off the list. Both the Mach-1 and Boss 351 came with the hockey stick stripe, rear wing, and blacked-out dual scoop hood. However each of those editions would also have its name emblazoned on the side just behind the front wheel (with the Mach-1 also announcing itself on the rear valance just below the wing).
Get a load of that rear window! This is the most extreme version of a fastback body style the world would ever see, with a mere 14 degree angle for the rear glass. Some of the press at the time renamed it the flat back body style. It is utterly ridiculous and totally awesome in my opinion, even though the whole car looks kind of like a sneaker.
Mustangs increased their size in every direction between 1970 and 1971, gaining 800 pounds in the process! Unfortunately for Ford this killed off the well-earned reputation of the Mustang being a sports car. Sales dropped across the board as the customers looking for athletic cars flocked to Camaro and Firebird.
The inboard set of amber lights in the grill are called Sportlamps (of course). In 1973 (the last year of this beefy body style) the Federally mandated safety bumpers arrived which were much larger than the one shown here. They were so large in fact that the turn signals were squeezed out from their location under the bumper to being integrated into the Sportlamps.
Like Mickey Rourke, this former pretty boy tough guy has a beat up mug and the surprised look of ill-advised plastic surgery. Chances are good this thing sat forgotten in some garage for decades before being dragged back into the sunlight as the body condition, though scratched and dented, is very good. Its been sitting at this mechanic for 2 weeks now with the hood up every day, and it was limping and coughing on its way in, so I'm sure it needs plenty to be a daily driver.
This is how the '70s should be done people; crazy color, big fat stripes going wherever they want to, Cragar SS rims, and a thirsty V8! Paint the bumper and hood black too, because we're tough. Grrr!
This is a rare and fantastic detail; the dual hood scoop hood! The fact that we can see the sky through those two rectangular openings tells us that this car (or the car that originally had this hood) was ordered with the Ram Air option. There was a fiberglass housing fitted to the top of the air cleaner that would fit snugly into that curved indentation when the hood was down, forcing air into the carb while driving. You could also get the fancy-looking hood with non-functioning scoops if you wanted to talk the talk and not walk the walk, but those openings would be sealed up and painted black.
There seems to be a decent amount of surgery happening on the motor right now so I can't tell if the Ram Air setup remains with the car.
The interior is in a matching green 2-tone with obligatory faux-wood panels on the doors. One thing I have to say is that Ford always had the wimpiest automatic gear shifts. That is exactly the same plastic T handle you'd get in your Pinto if you ordered it with a console and floor shift. Most muscle cars had some appropriately tough or gaudy shifter in '71, but the Mustang threw in the towel.
You've got to love those fat trapezoidal taillights with the honeycomb mesh between them.
This pop-off gas cap was discontinued after '71 when they went for a traditional screw on version. Since it was the early '70s though they added another stripe to the back panel, which is a decision I applaud.
Now lets head in another direction with a fraternal twin to the Anti Establish Mint example above.
Here we have what would be a plain-Jane version of the '71 Mustang except for the fact that it's a convertible. I absolutely love convertibles and grew up in them (my fathers first car was a 1940 Ford, and every car he had afterwards without exception was a convertible), so this is my kind of ride!
We're going basic here folks; black on black with tough black wheels sporting spinners. The tiny amount of chrome around the wheel wells, roof line, and along the rocker panels is just enough to be classy.
These pics were taken after a rainy night followed by pollen-filled breeze, so the car looks grubby. It is in spectacular shape though.
The options list for Ford in this era was colossal, so there's little point ruminating on what sort of engine might be under the hood. There were no less than 7 engine choices and 6 distinct body styles before you even get into special editions. The combinations were so numerous that Ford famously couldn't help people decode their VIN numbers and build sheets when they were attempting to restore their old cars! However there is a guy named Marti who bought some of the ancient IBM computers Ford used at the time and set about the business of deciphering the old computer punch cards that contained all the minute details of each particular car. Today if you buy a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury from 1967 or newer you can order a Marti report which will tell you everything short of the weather on the day your car was built.
Well there you have it, out 100th NYC Hoopties post in the books! Stay tuned as tomorrow I think we'll be heading back for some of that golden California sunshine.