The car looks like the work of a pro shop. When we stumbled onto it at the Shelby American Auto-mobile Club Spring Fling in Nashville, Indiana, we were greatly impressed and not just a little excited. It's not every day that you come across a '72 convertible that is dressed to the nines and sporting the 351 4V and factory four-speed. What is especially enticing is that very few four-speed cars were cranked out by Ford in the next to the last year of big-body production.
Out of a total production run of 125,093 Mustangs, only 3,539 were equipped with four-speeds. Even the 302 2V with the three-speed manual shift was more prolific at 3,911. To put the numbers in perspective, the four-speed made up roughly 3 percent of production. That fact alone made us smile when we looked at the black Deluxe Comfortweave interior. A round-body Hurst shifter and the black ball knob poked out of the center console. These two items are limited to the '72-'73 models and add a distinctive flair to the cars that wear them. Other niceties are the Instrumentation Group, air conditioning, power disc brakes, and AM/eight-track. Interestingly, the car came with all these items and no power steering. Even so, the 351 4V and four-speed also gave the Pony something else: staggered rear shocks and full competition suspension that included the rear sway bar. David's car even came with Magnum 500 wheels.
The way David and Camille Lashlee of Stewart, Tennessee, came about owning the car is typical of many of us. "I bought the car from the original owner, who ran an ad in the Nashville Tennessean newspaper," said David. After the car was found, David pulled the garage-kept drop-top from its old home and transported it to its new residence in Stewart. "The car spent its entire life in a garage and had not been used in years. It had been badly neglected but not abused. It was in poor overall shape but still contained all the original parts, including some of the original plugs and plug wires."
Though spending the money for a top-flight restoration may be a smarter move for some of us, David had the motivation to tackle the entire restoration of his Dark Green Metallic beauty himself. From the paint to the engine assembly, he put in the hard time to make this once broken-down old horse a shining example of what Ford was doing in 1972. During the build, David decided that the car needed power steering, so he bought the variable-ratio SPA-T box and a pump to give himself a break from the strong-arm routine. After he finished the build, David's original plan for a daily driver fell apart. "For right now, the car is just too nice to drive every day," he said. "Maybe after a little more time visiting some shows, we'll put it on the street every day." For now, however, the car is only motored to the shows, and boy, what a way to motor!