The 1983 Mustang in many ways, brought the biggest change in years for the iconic pony car. It was not just a restyling, but a re-introduction.... of the ultimate summer car, the Mustang convertible!
U.S. safety laws had all but killed the convertible for almost a decade. But the question was...
Would a new Mustang convertible be a success? Would the public still buy a convertible?
The answer was a resounding YES ! Convertible enthusiasts voted with their wallets and a total of 23,479 shiny new 1983 Mustang convertibles rolled off the local Ford Mustang dealership's showroom floors.
They were so popular that in many areas, virtual bidding wars erupted and people traveled to other towns, hoping to get one of their own.
Buyers of these highly prized convertibles were pleased to find that sever versions were available, the Mustang GT for the purists, as well as the more luxurious GLX models for those craving nicer interiors and extra features.
You might have thought that the Ford engineers had a party the night before they decided on a hood scoop for the GT, or they were just running out of ideas, because the new for 1983 hood scoop looked suspiciously like the hood scoop gracing many of the 1980 cars, just facing backwards.
The new 1983 Mustang GT, with its (I think) better looking nose and color matched grille also received a smoother, more modern molded lower bumper which included a small integrated air dam.
As was typical for mid-model facelifts, the front nose and bumper were restyled. At the same time, the new Mustang's rear tail lights received a freshening up. And as part of an overall Ford brand recognition campaign, this was also the first year that the Ford Blue Oval logo took center stage on the front grille.
Engine and Power train
The four cylinder option for this model year was essentialla a carryover from the 1982 models, with the 2.3 liter inline 4 cylinder at an unchanged 88 horsepower.
After some additional engineering work on the little 2.3 liter inline 4 cylinder engine, gas mileage was even better than the 1982 models.
US EPA fuel economy improved to 26 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for all areas except California, where the numbers were 24 mpg city and 36 mph highway. The high performance option for the 1983 Mustang was a substantially improved 5.0 liter V8 thanks to some good old hot rod tricks, including the swapping of it's 310 cfm 2 barrel carburetor for a 700 cfm 4 barrel, adding an aluminum
intake manifold, along with a high rpm valve train and dropping in a marine grind camshaft, which pushed horsepower up to a solid 175 hp
Available transmissions included the automatic transmission and the 4 speed standard transmission. The big news came later in the model year, when the now, super popular Borg Warner T-5 was made available, adding not just another gear, but allowing the closer spacing of the first 4 gears to improve responsiveness and acceleration.
Minor trim changes were made for 1983 GL models. The Mustang GT option was given a distinctive monochromatic interior, removing all the bright work inside, while the upscale GLX interiors now offered the availability of optional leather seats in all but the convertible models.
A GLX convertible was a one year only option and a total of 5,368 were sold. And these cars are still a great bargain today, for the enthusiast looking for a convertible Mustang with that great 5.0 V8 engine.
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