The 1970 High Performance Ford Mustang

The 1970 Ford Mustang featured in this article is a sleek looking car as well as a muscle car.Since the car’s introduction it’s performance was enhanced greatly especially with the engine work that Carroll Shelby did with his famous Cobras.

1970 Ford Mustang
1970 Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang was first introduced to the car buying public with what may have been the largest if not most glamorous advertising campaign of any automobile.

In April 1964 Ford Motor Company flooded the television airwaves with Mustang commercials on all three major networks at the same time. The Ford Mustang commercials aired at 9:30P reaching what was estimated to be 29 million viewers. Ford’s media blitz for it’s new Mustang continued throughout the weekend with ads in over 2,000 newspapers.

Ford Motor advertised two attributes for it’s new Mustang. The first was a new sporty design and the second was price. In 1964 a Ford Mustang hardtop could be purchased for around $2,300. Ford Motor hit it right when they tapped the market for lower priced, sporty performance cars that would be attractive to the average buyer. Many new Mustang buyers never owned a sporty looking car before.

1970 Mustang Coupe
1970 Mustang Coupe

Ford ushered in the era of the “Pony Car” with it’s Mustang. The name took hold because of the Mustang’s equestrian sound. The emblem of course was also a Mustang horse.

These were compact, sporty looking cars with performance. It wouldn’t be too long before GM and Chrysler joined their versions of the Pony Car. GM tried to position it’s Corvair against the Mustang but the Corvair itself disappeared. Advertising for all of these cars were generally targeted to a young audience.

1970 Mustang Styling

The Ford Mustang’s roots go back to the Ford Falcon platform although the body was certainly different. The 1970 Ford Mustang had very little design changes from the prior model year. One such change was going with the dual headlights once again. Quarter panel scoops were emitted and the taillights were recessed.

High back bucket seats became standard and the car’s steering wheel was shaped oval. Options for 1970 included chrome styled steel wheels and Magnum 500 chrome wheels.

Ford Mustang's long sleek hood with ornamentation
Ford Mustang’s long sleek hood with ornamentation

Plenty of Engines for the 1970 Mustang

In all, there were nine different engines built for the 1970 Ford Mustang. The smallest was the 200 cubic inch six cylinder delivering 120 horsepower. The largest engine available was the 429 cubic inch V-8 delivering a massive 375 horsepower. This was the Mustang Boss engine. The 390 cubic inch V-8 was dropped in 1970. The 351 cubic inch V-8 came in both two and four barrel carburetors. Ford offered something for everyone with it’s 1970 Mustang. There were plenty of options available for buyers to individualize their new Mustangs. This was a big selling point.

All during the 1960’s automakers were designing and selling plenty of  “performance cars“. In addition to the Mustang you had Pontiac GTO’s and Cobras. The Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda were another two models to go against the Mustang.

The year 1970 may have been the biggest year of all for performance car choices. In their favor was the lack of strict emission control laws which would come into play a few years later. Unleaded gas and a host of safety requirements would come along too. Without these laws in effect in 1970 the automakers had free rein with boosting power and performance.

1970 Mustang
1970 Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang Specifications

As mentioned above, depending on what kind of power you were looking for there were nine different engines available. The most common engine was a 302 cubic inch V-8 delivering 220 horsepower.

The two transmissions offered in 1970 were a four speed manual and a Cruise-O-Matic automatic.

The 1970 Mustang had a wheelbase of 109.0 inches, an overall length of 189.5 inches, a width of 74.1 inches and a height of 50.7 inches. Curb weight came in at about 3,200 lbs.

Front suspension were independent coil springs and shocks calibrated to match the model and weight. Rear suspension was longitudinal semi elliptic leaf springs.

Standard brakes were self adjusting four wheel drum. An option available were power front disc brakes.

Total Ford Mustang production for the 1970 model year was 190,700. Out of this figure 77,100 were two door hardtops which were the highest number produced. The hardtop was Mustang’s best selling model ever since the car was introduced. The next highest number built was the high performance Mach I Fastback at about 41,000 units.

New car prices for the 1970 Mustang ranged from about $2,700 to $3,700. The highest priced was the Mustang Boss 302. The second highest price was for the Mach I. Both the Mustang Mach I and the Boss 302 were cars for buyers that were looking for performance. A special Boss 429 was also put on the market with a price tag of around $5,000. Some Mustang enthusiasts say that while the Boss 429 had an official rated horsepower of 375 the actual horsepower was closer to 500.

Below are links to additional AutoMuseumOnline articles you may enjoy…

The 1970 Corvette Stingray

The Shelby GT 500 Super Snake

A Restored 1971 Datsun 240 Z


1970 Ford Mustang grille and headlight arrangement
1970 Ford Mustang grille and headlight arrangement

The 1970 Ford Mustang Collector Car

The Mustang featured in this article is a great looking car and is a popular collector car for Pony Car enthusiasts. The 1970 Ford Mustang is a muscle car in the true sense of the word.

1970 Ford Mustang prices vary widely dependent on the exact model and engine. The highest asking prices will obviously be the Boss 329 and Mach I models. If you find a rare Boss 429 you’re looking at six figures. A 1970 Mach I may have an asking price in the $40,000 to $50,000 plus range. For other 1970 Mustangs you’ll see prices in the high teens to the $50,000 range depending on condition and originality. A non restored 1970 Mustang Coupe in average condition might have an asking price in the $11,000 to $13,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)