Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The California Highway Patrol once famously rolled in cars like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mustang. This civilian model has super-low miles, but could its not-so-low price still prove to be a ticket to ride?

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There’s an interesting comparison to be had between the V8 engine in today’s ‘Stang and the one powering last Friday’s 1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2. It’s sort of like Ford vs. Ferrari all over again!

Both engines hail from the same general era, with just two production years separating them. Both, of course, run eight pots configured in two banks of four at a 90° angle. From there things diverge significantly, though. It’s not that one is necessarily better than the other, but it should be noted that you do get a good deal higher output from the smaller Italian mill, That comes, however, at the price of complexity, expense, and maintainability.

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Of course, being finicky is a hallmark of the Ferrari mystique. Being cheap isn’t. At just $29,990, last Friday’s Mondial 3.2 didn’t look too finicky and it was reasonably cheap. For that, it won a narrow 51 percent Nice Price win. Okay, now back to the Ford.

During the later part of WWII, the P-51 Mustang became one of the most potent weapons the Allies had at their disposal. It also was one of the most bad-ass looking planes of the era, and hence, became the handsome hero we all know and love.

As with the Supermarine Spitfire, which lent its name to a small Triumph sports car, it’s not surprising that the Mustang name also found its way onto an automobile.

The Ford Motor Company didn’t just benefit from the association between their car and the plane, they created a whole new category named for the model— the “Pony Car.”

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This 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 is a version of the “Foxstang” Mustang—the edition that ran with Fox platform underpinnings from 1979 through 1993. That makes it the longest-running of the model’s iterations. It’s also one of the most readily and easily modded.

Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?
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This one, in Deep Shadow Blue over a light blue interior is not modded. In fact it presents as laudably stock with even its original cheap-ass owner’s guide plastic bag in attendance. The car comes with a modest 27,000 miles on the clock, a clear title, and, according to the ad, a Carfax report so clean you could eat off of it.

The bodywork appears straight, and the phone dial wheels seem free of curb rash. Those carry decent looking tires and denote the car as a civilian ‘Stang and not one of the heavy-duty SSP police Interceptors. Dual pipes terminate in chromed extenders, which I don’t think are original.

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Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?

The interior looks tidy and this being an ’89 features the vastly improved dashboard and chunkier and oddly textured steering wheel. The shifter for the T5 gearbox sits in front of the factory AM/FM/Cassette stereo and the rotary HVAC controls above that. Even the nasty rubber shift knob is the factory unit.

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Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?

The only noticeable issue in here is a Phillips head screw holding the window/lock switchplate down on the driver’s door. That seems an expedient solution to the panel coming loose, but not a particularly elegant one.

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Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?

Power is provided by the ubiquitous 302 Windsor V8. In ’89 the H.O. or “High Output” edition pumped out a factory claimed 220 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. That may not seem like much in today’s world of 700-horse Mustangs but back then it was like being given the keys to Disneyland and being told to “go nuts.”

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Illustration for article titled At $25,000, Could This 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Notch Up A Win?

The ad claims that the car “runs great” and has passed its California smog test for its current registration. When new, this car would have likely set you back around $11,500. That was for what was basically a stripper with a V8, just how you’d probably like it.

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You’d be hard-pressed to find that same experience today, seeing as most old Foxstangs—even the 5.0s—have long gone the modded route or have gotten pancaked by the wrecking yard. This one comes as close as you could want, but that comes at a price more than twice what it did when new.

The asking is $25,00 and that’s nostalgia pricing, not jump in it and start beating on it pricing. The question for you lot is whether that pricing is a good deal or not. What do you think, is this 5.0 worth that $25K? Or, is that just too much to pony up?

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You decide!

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Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don H. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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