The 1987 Mustang
The 1987 Mustang was the start of some better late than never styling and performance changes. The biggest news for engine options was that there were now only two. Suspension modifications at the front and rear improved handling and ride.
Ford started cleaning up and modernizing the 1987 Mustang body, extending the rear quarter panel glass and removing the dated looking side louvers.
A new cleaned up nose section was added to the LX and a large styled headlight/running light assembly updated the front end.
Smooth, molded ground effects panels were added to the GT giving it a purposeful look and giving you no thoughts that it was anything but a 1987 Mustang GT.
New alloy turbine styled rims were available on the GT.
Engine and Powertrain
The the list of available engine options was unusual for a Ford anything, much less a Mustang.
The standard 2.3 liter inline 4 cylinder with 88 horsepower was the base engine. Gone were the V6 and the SVO 2.3 liter turbo motor.
All performance came in one package and it was a good package. The new for 1987 engine was a hot rod 5.0 liter V8 that made 225 horse power and pushed the pony car into low 14 second quarter mile times. For the price, they were a performance bargain too. Compared to say, a 1987 Corvette which could only match the time and an Iroc Z, with a 14.9 quarter mile, these new Mustangs ruled the road!
Ford had dumped the emissions friendly high swirl heads for higher compression and better performing heads, increased the throttle body size for better breathing and reworked the exhaust system. All in all, the right combination for the right time.
Although overall sales were down, from 224,000 to just over 159,000, this was a better car in every way.
Along with the redone exterior and drastically changed engine and power train, the 87 Mustang received a complete interior face lift.
New for 87 were door panels, a new modernized but still Ford-like dash and revamped seats which freshened up both the standard and GT Mustangs. Seats got new bolsters and adjustments.
With the easy availability of aftermarket performance parts, including, super chips,shorty headers, freer flowing exhaust systems, cold air intakes and the like, it was a fairly easy process to make that little pony car leap into the 13 second quarter mile zone, a fact not lost to many challengers on the drag strip.
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