Horse of a different color

Collector cars come in all shapes and sizes, and this 1990 Special Edition Mustang convertible is proof they don’t have to cost big bucks.


Joe Glazenski never thought of himself as a party animal, but for him cars seem magically to appear at parties. In the mid-1990s, he was at a New Jersey shindig with college friends when he heard about a 1966 Mustang down the street; he’s owned it ever since.

In 2003, Glazenski—32 at the time—wanted a fun convertible with room for his wife and young son. As he explained, “People collect what they remember, and I remember seeing teachers with the 1988 and 1989 Fox-platform Mustangs and that 5.0 badge on the fender. When it was time for a second fun car, it had to be something I remembered and grew up with.”

The Pennsylvania physical therapist wasn’t making much headway in finding a Mustang GT convertible, when he and his wife took their son to a family party in Allentown. He picked up a local newspaper and spotted an ad for a 1990 Mustang LX convertible with only 29,000 miles. Within minutes, he was on his way to see the retired police officer who had bought the car new.

Gorgeous in Deep Emerald Jewel Green Metallic with white top and interior, it featured the high-output 5.0-liter engine and automatic transmission. Glazenski loved the pristine unrestored car, but was curious about the GT alloy wheels, which the owner insisted were original. Smitten, he headed to the bank and then a notary public to transfer the car’s paperwork. By the time Glazenski returned to the party, the Mustang was his for a mere $7,200.

The green beauty turned out to be one of 4,102 special editions for the 1990 model year (the wheels were the giveaway) intended for a stillborn 7UP®-sponsored college basketball promotion. The company channeled cars to 30 lucky employees and the rest were sold to the public—all finished in that rich metallic green.

there may have been tens of thousands of Mustang convertibles built in 1990, but as they go, this one is relatively unusual and still has but 38,000 miles on the odometer. With the exception of adding a cold-air box to boost horsepower, Glazenski has only replaced the battery and tires and changed the plugs and wires. What he loves best about it is how user-friendly it is: “thanks to fuel injection, you put in the key and it cranks the first time.”

Glazenski is convinced—and rightly so—that 5.0-liter Mustangs are virtually impossible to beat as first collector cars. They’re fast, good looking, have widely available parts and are incredibly affordable. He also thinks they’re significant because “this is the car that pulled the Mustang out of the Mustang II era.” But most importantly, he asserts, “I’d feel comfortable jumping into this car and driving to Florida—with the top down.”


To see this article in its original format, view the pdf version of the Winter 2011 issue of Hagerty magazine

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