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Restoration of the Mustang's performance image continued in 1985 with both a facelift and higher output. The 5-liter engine received a revised camshaft, hydraulic lifters, true dual exhaust and stainless tubular headers. These improvements bumped the V8's power level to 210 flywheel HP. This was the last year for carburetted engines. The "L" model was no longer available and the LX became the baseline Pony.
As part of their performance image, Ford wanted victories in the IMSA road racing series. A Roush-prepared Mustang had taken GTO class in the series season finale at Daytona in 1984. In February, 1985, the Roush Mustang won the GTO class at the 24 Hours of Daytona - a tradition they would continue for another two years.
Motorcraft-sponsored Mustangs took the International Hot Rod Association Pro Stock championship, with Rickie Smith hitting the semis or better in all events on the IHRA schedule.