Mustang MonthlyFeatured Vehicles
1985 Ford Mustang GT Convertible - Dad’s Drop-Top
Ron D'Agostino honors his father by keeping his GT convertible in as-new condition.
Ask anyone who has purchased a brand new vehicle with a performance image to it, like the Mustang, how hard it was to NOT modify the car. Especially when it comes to the popularity of the Fox-era Mustangs, modifications usually were the rule, not the exception. So it is refreshing to come across a pristine and well-cared-for stock example such as the '85 Mustang GT convertible that you see on these pages here owned by Ron D'Agostino of Forrest Hill, Maryland.
The Medium Canyon Red Metallic GT was special ordered in late 1984 by Ron's father. However, the GT didn't show up at the dealer until May of 1985 due to a production hold (Ron seems to remember it possibly being an issue with the manual transmission). Ron was driving an '84 Mustang GT at the time and his father liked the performance of Ron's car, which is one of the reasons he placed his order in December of 1984 for the new '85 model.
The '85 was ordered in the striking and complimentary Medium Canyon Red Metallic exterior and gray interior with leather seating. Ron's father also checked the order boxes for air conditioning, Ford's Premium Sound system, power windows (but no power locks or mirrors—this is before Ford started packing options in groups), and the light convenience group. When we asked Ron about the lack of cruise control (a popular GT option), he commented, "My father didn't order cruise control because of the ‘ugly' steering wheel." OK, fair enough, the non-cruise wheel is a sharp design. The window sticker showed $14, 932.77 for the drop top as optioned.
Ron's father didn't order the new GT just to be another daily driver. No, Ron's father said at the time that Ron's '84 GT reminded him of the performance of his previous '69 Mach 1 that sported a 351W and automatic. That Mach 1 was sold to buy his wife a '76 Mercury Cougar that had air conditioning. Ron's father enjoyed car shows and Ron remembers going to a lot of shows with his dad too. "I remember my dad wished he had an old Mustang to show. Since finding one that met his standards was impossible, he decided to order the '85 and keep it in like-new condition," Ron explained.
At the time, neither Ron, nor his dad, k new the '85 model would have so many improvements over the '84, including more horsepower. The '85 model year was a year of firsts and lasts for the Mustang. The '85 was the first Mustang to wear tubular steel headers from the factory, not to mention the now-famous dual stainless steel polished tailpipes. Of course, the big to do was the new roller cam in the familiar 5.0L HO block and topped with the soon-to-be-missed Holley four-barrel carburetor ('86 would be the first year for Ford's EEC-IV based direct-port EFI).
Ron's father kept the car in show-ready status and limited the miles to car shows and the occasional cruise to keep the fluids circulating. Sadly, Ron's father passed away in 1999. Ron has been storing the car for the last decade and tries to take it to shows, just like his father did when new, as time allows. Ron is a self-employed hardwood floor installer, which anyone that owns their own business will know just how little time becomes available for hobbies. Toss in moving to a new home and raising two daughters and you can understand why this GT has maintained its show-ready looks. Showing only 8,781 miles on the odometer at the time of our photo shoot in May of 2012, and even still wearing its original Goodyear Gatorback VR60 rubber, Ron does his best to honor his father's memory of enjoying a car show now and then in the Mustang.
While Ron has faithfully kept the car in as-delivered condition, he's not sure what the future holds. "My oldest daughter thought I would throw her the keys when she turned 16, but that didn't happen," he stated. He further explained, "I do have other project cars and interests, but I do enjoy showing it once in a while." While the future may not be written yet, we applaud Ron for keeping his dad's drop top in such original shape, because we know it's all too easy to start modifying a Fox, and they're only original once.