Best Muscle Cars
1988 Ford Mustang ASC McLaren GT Roadster
1 Of 1000
‘During the four-year span, just 1,806 Mustangs were converted, 1,015 of which were done in 1988, making them bona-fide rarities in the muscle car community. Today, ASC/McLarens are supported by a well-organized club and parts network. In addition, the ASC/McLaren Mustang is a comparatively affordable muscle car, although performance cars from the Eighties have seen a recent upswing in collect ability among enthusiasts.
BODY & INTERIOR
Contrary to what one may think, Ford did not send incomplete, body-in-white LX coupes to ASC/McLaren. Each was complete, including the aforementioned 5.0 engine and GT underpinnings. Henry Huisman, who worked at ASC and is now the owner of Paradise Automotive–supplier of NOS, reconditioned and used ASC/McLaren parts in Odessa, Florida (www.ascmclaren.com)–tells us they were also fitted with the GT front fascia from the factory.
“Once they took delivery of the car, they cut the top off and removed the interior in order to fit their own manually-folded top and power metal tonneau cover. Like the Capri, they pulled the windshield back about 20 degrees, which necessitated the installation of side windows unique to these cars. They also added side skirts, taillamp covers and a rear spoiler, and removed the stock emblems,” explains Henry.
Once the exterior modifications were completed, the cars were then painted a variety of special colors, which varied from one year to the next. “Ford shipped the cars, usually finished in silver or black, so in most cases the door sticker–which would have the paint code–will not match what ASC/McLaren ultimately applied. The underside of the hood should still exhibit the original Ford color,” cautions Henry.
Interiors were also extensively modified. With the rear seat removed, additional storage was made available, à la Corvette, below the stowed top and corresponding cover. The front seats were given extra padding and re-covered in embroidered leather; door panels and the armrests were also redesigned. Standard Mustang GT instrumentation remained, however.
Standard features included power steering, tinted windows and even air conditioning later in the series; however, options such as a Whistler radar detector and Recaro bucket seats were few. The Recaros were dropped after 1988, mostly due to the fact few buyers selected the $1,500 option.’
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