THE CAR AND ITS OWNER: 1986 Ford Mustang GT owned by Louis Pena
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING: The 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.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT: Since 2008
WHERE HE FOUND IT: It 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.”
VALUE: Pena 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.”