1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1
8-cyl. 302cid/141hp 2bbl
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With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The 1972 Ford Mustangs changed very little from the 1971 models, except the Boss 351 did not return for a second year. Outside of red/white and blue color schemes, the only obvious difference was the Mustang name on the rear was now smaller and on the right side, instead of across the center.
Sales dropped again to 125,093 units as the combination of emissions requirements and high horsepower insurance penalties hit home. The Hardtop Coupe was still the big seller with 57,370 buyers, followed by the Mustang Mach 1 at 27,675, Mustang Grande Hardtop at 18,045, Fastback at 15,622 and Convertible at 6,401. Prices dropped slightly with the Hardtop listing from $2,729, the Fastback at $2,786, Convertible at $3,015, Grande Hardtop at 2915 and Mach 1 at $3,053.
Horsepower was now calculated in a SAE “net” form, rather than at the crank, and so figures plunged. The base engine was now 98 bhp from the 250 cid six, followed by the 140 bhp 2-barrel 302, the 168 bhp four-barrel 351, the 200 bhp Cobra Jet 351 and the 275 bhp 351 HO V-8. The last engine could cost an extra $870.
It was a sign of the times that San Jose plant stopped building Mustangs in 1971. The New Jersey plant converted to Pintos in 1972, leaving only Dearborn producing what had been Ford’s biggest seller.
The Mach 1 was now an available Exterior Decor group, with the honeycomb grille, sports lights, color keyed front bumper hood and fender molding lower bodyside treatment and sports wheels. If the Mach 1 decals were bought as well, the sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing package was complete. Once again the Grande was the deluxe version with the most creature comforts and brightwork.
The 351 HO motor was only available for a brief period of time and about 1,000 cars were built. All came with a 4-speed manual transmission, 3.91 posi-traction axle, competition suspension and front disc brakes. Two Sprint packages were sold for Hardtop and Fastback models, to coincide with Pinto and Maverick packages. Package A included white paint with blue and red hood stripes, blue and red lower bodywork and rear tail light panel with a commemorative USA decal. Seats were white with blue cloth inserts. Package B was the same but with competition suspension and chrome Magnum 500 wheels.
Sixteen colors were available with some new shades. Here are the new codes: Wimbledon White (9A); Bright Red (2B); Medium Yellow Gold (6C); Bright Lime (4E); Grabber Blue (3F); Medium Brown Metallic (5H0; Bright Blue Metallic (3J); Medium Green Metallic (4P); Dark Green Metallic (4Q); Maroon (2J); Light Blue (3B); Medium Lime Metallic (4F); Light Pewter Metallic (5A); Medium Bright Yellow (6E); Gold Glow (6F) and Ivy Glow (4C). As before 29 interior combinations were available and vinyl tops were black or white.