1969 Ford Mustang Grande
8-cyl. 302cid/220hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The year 1969 saw the second remake of the Ford Mustang design. Thanks in part of the hiring of Bunkie Knudsen and designer Larry Shinoda from General Motors, the Mustang lineup exploded and the company probably never offered such a range of options and models again.
Visually, the 1969 Mustang roof was lowered 1.5 inches and the windshield tilted back. Most obviously, four 5-inch headlights were used: two inset in the front fender and two and the extreme edged of the grille. The fastback body style had simulated side coops and a spoiler tail. Coupes and convertibles had a simulated rear fender vent.
The dash was deeply indented with two separate arrangements available, depending on if one ordered a tachometer. The Deluxe Interior Group (standard on Mach 1 Boss 429 and Grande had simulated woodgrain appliques on the dash, console and doors, while an Interior Décor Group added comfort weave seats and a troublesome rimblow steering wheel. The GT package remained about the same as 1968, but only with 351 cubic-inch or larger engines. Only 5,396 buyers stepped up.
Despite all this, sales skidded again to 299,824 units, divided into 127,954 hardtop coupes, 22,182 deluxe or Grande coupes, 61,980 fastbacks and 72,458 Mach 1 fastbacks, and only 14,746 convertibles. Prices started at $2,618 for the six-cylinder hardtop, $2,723 for the V-8. The six-cylinder Grande hardtop started at $2,849 and the V-8 at $2,954. Base fastback prices were the same as the hardtop coupe, while the Mach 1 fastback began at $3,122. The six-cylinder convertible started at $2,832 and the V-8 and $2,937.
The ’69 Mustang Mach 1 took the place of the GT and proved very popular, combining racy looks with luxury trimmings. As usual, the high-performance models were more expensive and correspondingly rare. Only 1,934 buyers ponied up $3,450 for a Boss 302 and 857 buyers paid $4,798 for a Mustang Boss 429. The Boss 429 motor was a heavily modified racing motor that Ford wanted to homologate for NASCAR racing, and all were built at Kar Kraft in Brighton, Michigan.
You could add big motors to other models if you wanted, but prices divided the men from the boys pretty quickly. For example, a 335 bhp, 428 V-8 would cost an extra $287.53 and a Ram Air 428 added $420.96 unless you bought a Mach 1. Stepping up to a Boss 302 or Boss 429 engine would buy you a decent used car. The Boss 302 V-8 cost $676.15, while a Boss 429 Cobra Jet HO would set you back a whopping $1,208.35. Fitting a Boss 429 into a Mustang took quite a bit of modification, with significant changes to steering and suspension.
With so many engine options, it’s important to decode the VINs to see what you should be getting. Here are the clues: T-Code is a 115 bhp, 200 cubic-inch, 1-barrel six; L-Code is a 155 bhp, 250 cubic-inch, 1-barrel six; F-Code is a 220 bhp, 302 cubic-inch, 2-barrel V-8; G-Code is a 290 bhp Boss 302-cubic-inch, 4-barrel V-8; H-Code is a 250 bhp, 351 cubic-inch 2-barrel V-8; M-Code is a 290 bhp, 351 cubic-inch 4-barrel V-8; S-Code is a 320 bhp, 390 cubic-inch 4-barrel V-8; Q-Code is a 336 bhp, 428 cubic-inch, 4-barrel Cobra Jet V8; R-Code is a 335 bhp, 428 cubic-inch, 4-barrel Super Cobra Jet V-8 engine and Z-Code is a 375 bhp Boss 429, 4-barrel V-8.
Body codes are equally illuminating: 63A is base fastback; 63B is luxury fastback and 63C is Mach 1 fastback. 65A is hardtop coupe; 65B is luxury hardtop coupe and 65C is bench seat hardtop couple (last year for bench seat option). 65D is luxury bench seat hardtop, 65E is Grande hardtop coupe; 76A is convertible and 76B is luxury convertible.
A total of 19 colors were offered for 1969, along 33 interior combinations. Convertible tops were black or white. Here are the color codes, though again without numbers: Raven Black (Code A); Royal Maroon (B); Black Jade (C); Acapulco Blue (D); Aztec Aqua (E); Gulfstream Aqua (F); Lime Gold (I); Wimbledon White (M); Winter Blue (P); Champagne Gold (S); Candyapple red (T); Meadowlark Yellow (W); Indian Fire Red (Y); New Lime (2); Calypso Coral (3); Silver Jade (4); Pastel Gray (6).
Boss 302 colors were theoretically limited to Wimbledon White, Bright Yellow, Calypso Coral and Acapulco Blue. Boss 429s were available in Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Royal Maroon, Black Jade and Candyapple Red. Other colors appear to have been selected as well, so the picture is hazy. What is certain is that the palette was expanded to at least 14 colors for 1970.