Muscle Mondays – 1972 Ford Mustang Convertible
For almost four decades, Ford’s Mustang has captured the hearts of American drivers. The car has undergone great changes through the years. Due to tight emission regulations, 1972 marked the end of the special Ford muscle car performance engine era. Here is a look at the 1972 Mustang convertible.
1972 Mustang Convertible Styling
The majority of 1972 Mustangs were hardtop versions, but there was also a convertible option. A few things were added this year, including a color-keyed front bumper and re-designed deck latch panel nameplate. Standard equipment included concealed wipers, color-keyed racing mirrors, rocker panel, and wheel up moldings. The convertible body offered a five-ply power-operated top, tinted windshield glass, knitted vinyl seat trim, and black instrument panel appliques.
Under the Hood of the 1972 Ford Mustang Convertible
Since emission regulations were being tightened by the government, big block engines were dropped after 1971. The largest available engines for 1972 were 351 cubic-inch variants. However, at mid-year, Ford introduced a slightly de-tuned Boss 351. Changes to net horsepower ratings and lower compressor ratios were a bit disappointing. The 250 cubic-six produced 98 horsepower, and the 302 produced 140 horsepower. Even the biggest 351 only offered 266 horsepower.
Carrying Over the Mustang
As power disappeared, so did the Mustang’s sales. 1972 and 1973 saw a great slump for the Mustang. This led to a redesigned second generation that fit the changing pony car market. With emission regulations and the fact that many baby boomers were choosing smaller imports, it made sense for Ford to create a smaller Mustang with enhanced fuel efficiency. Although many car enthusiasts panned the idea, the car sold incredibly well.
The 1972 Mustang convertible represented the end of the true muscle car era. Strict emission standards limited the engine options Ford could offer. However, the car design was a starting point for an overhaul that rescued the Mustang from obscurity.