THE CAR AND ITS OWNER1986 Ford Mustang GT owned by Louis Pena

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTINGThe knife-edged styling and solid performance of the third-generation Mustangs excited buyers enough to warrant production for 15 years, beginning in 1979. These Fords ended a dark automotive era, when federal emission regulations and oil shortages blunted the impact of the best-known muscle cars. They also became a refreshing alternative to the previous much-maligned Mustang II, with its stubby econocar looks. Pena’s GT boasts the five-liter V-8 engine, using its new-for-the-year fuel injection and other performance parts to pump out 200 horsepower.   

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HOW LONG HE’S OWNED ITSince 2008

WHERE HE FOUND ITIt was advertised online.

CONDITION“My ‘stang is mostly original, except for a few bolt-ons and some gears,” says Pena. “Everything works, from the air conditioning to the Marchal fog lights.  This car is in its original color, ‘Regatta Blue’ with gray interior. I think only 2,500 were made in this color.” His upgrades include a Saleen wing and rear valance, SVO sail panel (from Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations performance arm), and 17-inch Roh wheels.

TIPS FOR OWNERS“Buy a car you absolutely love,” he advises. “It will always justify the time and money spent, and those who see you and your car will know how much you put in.”

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VALUEPena estimates the value at $6,000 to $7,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE“It's a solid daily driver,” he says, “that, at some point, will become an overhaul into a ‘restomod’ (original on the outside with major modifications under the skin).  I can’t wait, but the car runs so good in original shape that I don’t have the heart to gut her open in her prime.”