Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
'68 Production Extremes - In Search Of Mustangs
Marti Auto Works Returns With '68 Mustang Production Extremes
Many months back, we shared with you '67 Mustang production extremes, thanks to valuable data from Marti Auto Works. Marti Auto Works, owing to the graciousness of Ford Motor Company, has the entire Ford vehicle production database from 1967 to 1973. Given the serial number, proof of ownership, and a modest fee, Marti Auto Works can tell you all about your '67-'73 Mustang. Over the past two years, owner Kevin Marti has been kind enough to share with us some fascinating facts from his database.
Marti has compiled Mustang extremes for 1968. The most Mustangs sold by any one dealer that model year was 1,376 units, by Ralph Williams Ford (now Vista Ford) in Encino, California. Ralph Williams Ford was the No. 1 seller of '67 Mustangs as well. Did you know over 650 Ford dealers in the U.S. and Canada didn't sell Mustangs in 1968? As in 1967, the most popular color was Lime Gold, which sold 42,726 units. That makes Lime Gold a common '68 color, making up one in eight Mustangs sold that year. The color least sold in 1968 was Pebble Beige.
As you might have guessed, the most popular engine/transmission combo was the 289-2V with a C4 Select-Shift automatic-139,814 units sold. That's over 44 percent of production. Kevin also has some head-scratching data on engines we're not convinced were built. For example, a '68 Mustang order with 240ci taxi-cab six and a C4 transmission. How about a 390-4V engine with a C4 transmission? Another order for a 428 Cobra Jet with a C4 transmission. It is unlikely these orders were ever filled because they are physically impossible. We tend to think of them as key-punching errors.
There is but one order for a 289-2V V-8 with a close-ratio four-speed. Anyone out there got this one? Just seven '68 Mustangs were ordered and exported with low-compression 200ci sixes with C4 transmissions. Why low compression? Because fuel quality in some countries is poor, mandating a lower compression ratio to prevent pinging and engine damage.
The earliest date a '68 Mustang was sold was August 31, 1967, against the rules. The embargo date was September 22, 1967-the on-sale date for '68 Fords. Roughly 190 Mustangs were sold before September 22. The latest date a new '68 Mustang was sold was December 29, 1976. In fact, Kevin tells us some 21 leftover '68 Mustangs were sold by Ford dealers in 1976. Most of these late sellers were assembled around the time the UAW waged a nasty strike against Ford in the fall of 1967, shutting down most of its plants. We're convinced that due to these units' poor quality, they sat on dealer lots for years-sold at deep discounts.
The most common option for 1968 was the humble AM radio, at 276,997 units sold. That's roughly 87 percent of production. Least sold option-the Exterior Dcor Group. Why? Because this option was dropped almost immediately. Just a handful of Mustang units were equipped with it on the first day of production at the San Jose plant only.
What was the cheapest '68 Mustang built? Believe it or not, some 3,113 Mustang hardtops were ordered with the base engine, 200ci six, with three on the floor and no radio-talk about a quiet drive. The sticker price was $2,601.78. Most expensive was the '68 Shelby GT500KR convertible with 428CJ, C6 Select-Shift, air conditioning, and the AM eight-track stereo. The sticker price was a mind-numbing $5,485. At the time, a $5,500 car was darn expensive. Wouldn't you love to find a GT500KR drop-top at this price today?
Marti Auto Works also brings us a handsome lineup of exacting reproduction parts and accessories for classic Mustangs. For more information, contact Marti Auto Works, Dept. MM, 12007 W. Peoria, El Mirage, AZ 85335; 623/935-2558.
One more question for our readers: How many of you own a '68 Mustang with an F engine code? We invite your letters and e-mails. Write to In Search of Mustangs, Dept. MM, P.O. Box 883, Annandale, VA 22003. Or, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.