1983 is an eventful year. The Mustang can be purchased as a convertible for the first time since 1973 and four trim packages are available. The 5.0 L V8 is one step closer to redefining the modern Pony Car while an EFI turbo option elicits praise from the media and pause from the public.
The convertible returns as a GLX or GT, while the L, GL, GLX were available as a 2-door coupe or 3-door hatch. The convertibles were not finished at the factory – actually, the cars left Dearborne as coupes. They were shipped to Cars & Concepts in neighboring Brighton Michigan for removal of the hard-tops, and installation of the convertible components.
GLX was the first trim package available as a convertible. Engine choices were between a 3.8 liter V6 or 5.0 liter V8. The GT convertible was available later in the year in very limited quantities. There were fewer than 1,000 cars available for sale in the U.S. (16 for Canada.)
The GT enjoyed refinements. A new Borg-Warner T-5 transmission and 3.27:1 ratio replaced the 3.08:1 rear gear mated with the old SROD 4-speed transmission. The rear stabilizer bar grew to .67” diameter. The most notable handling improvement came from the increase to a wider 205/70HR-14 tire size (220/55R390 for the Michelins.)
|2.3L 4 Cyl||88 @ 4,800 rpm||118 @ 2,800 rpm||n/a||n/a|
|2.3L 4 Cyl Turbo||145 @ 4,600 rpm||180 @ 3,600 rpm||n/a||n/a|
|3.8L V6||112 hp @4,000 rpm||175 @ 2,600 rpm||n/a||n/a|
|5.0L HO V-8||175 @ 4,000 rpm||245 @ 2,400 rpm||8.2*||15.40 @ 90mph|
|* Car and Driver (June, 1983) 8.1 0-60, 16.2 @ 86mph|
|Production Numbers||Retail Prices|
|Available Exterior Colors||Interior Trim Colors|
|Black||A||Black / Charcoal|
|Bright Bittersweet||2G||Medium Blue|
|Bright Red||27||Medium Red|
|Dark Blue Metallic||3D||Walnut|
|Desert Tan Metallic||9N||Opal / Blue|
|Light Desert Tan||9Q||Opal / Black|
|Medium Charcoal Metallic||1B||Opal / Red|
|Medium Light Cadet Blue||38||Opal / Walnut|
|Midnight Blue Metallic||3L|
|1983 Mustang VIN Decoder|
|Example: 1FA|B|P|27|F|6|D|F|100001 – Ford Motor Company
B – Restraint System
P – Passenger Car
12 – Body Code (See below)
D – Engine Code (See below)
6 – Check Code
C – Year (C=1982)
F – Plant (Dearborn)
100001 – Consecutive unit number
A – 2.3L 2V 4cyl 88hp
T – 2.3L EFI 4cyl Turbo 145hp
3 – 3.8 2V 6cyl 112hp
F – 5.0L 4V 8cyl 174hp HO
10 – 2dr L/GL Coupe
16 – 3dr GL/GT Hatchback
12 – 2dr GLX Coupe
13 – 3dr GLX Hatchback
|Location: Stamped on the plate which is riveted to the driver’s side of the dash, visible through windshield; the certification label is located on the rear face of the driver’s door.|
SSP MUSTANGS :
In 1982 the California Highway Patrol took delivery of 406 pursuit Mustangs. The GL coupes were equipped with the revised 5.0 HO rated at 157 hp., a 4-speed manual transmission, and a 3.08:1 final gear ration. That may not sound like a lot of power these days, but in 1982 there weren’t many cars that could outrun the Mustang on the highway.
“Over the past eighteen years, Ford Mustang has earned the reputation as one of America’s favorite sports cars.
This year, when California’s Highway Patrol needed a fleet of 400 high-performance special pursuit vehicles to help keep their highways safe, 1983 Mustangs got the job. This pursuit Mustang, powered by a 5.0 liter, high-output engine accelerates from zero to 60 in 6.3 seconds.
Mustang’s rack and pinion steering, MacPherson struts, coil springs and anti-sway bar provide the kind of responsive, precise and safe road handling needed in pursuit operation.
In short, Ford Mustang means total driving performance.
There could be a Mustang in your future too. Even if you don’t chase Porsches for a living. There’s a Ford in America’s Future.” — Ford Advertisment 1982
One of the most credible sources for learning about CHP options and SSP Pursuit Mustangs is collector Mike Riley. Not only does he own the “First” SSP Mustang, he has an interesting story about the first test mule Ford used to develop the platform. His write-up at SSPmustang.org details some of the changes Ford introduced throughout the SSP Mustang’s service.
Wikipedia Ford Mustang
Ford Sales Brochure
The Official Mustang 5.0 1979 through 1993 Technical Reference & Performance Handbook, Kirshenbaum – Bentley Publishers
Fox-Body Mustang Recognition Guide 1979-1993, Shreiner & Sessler – T-5 Design