The third-generation (TGM) was a complete departure from previous Mustangs. The only styling Q's reminiscent of previous Mustangs were the long nose and short deck. Ford went to great efforts to make the third-generation Mustang a design success and possibly one of the best Mustangs ever. It is true that the TGM shared the FOX platform with the Fairmont and Zephyr, but few realize that the Fairmont/Zephyr platforms were designed with the third-generation Mustang in mind.
This advanced planning is what made the TGM one of the best Mustangs ever, at least from a design standpoint. Throughout its 15 years of production, as Ford steadily improved the breed, the TGM became a success in more ways than one. (As a note, the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr were introduced as new models in 1978).
At the heart of any great pony car is a great engine. For 1979, the 5.0L engine was a carryover from the Mustang II, with the exception of a new V-rib serpentine or single belt accessory drive setup and a new aluminum water-pump.
The carburetor was a 2-Bbl. rated at 368.5 cfm (cubic feet per minute). A new, less restrictive exhaust system was used which featured cast iron exhaust manifolds and a single pipe outlet at 2.5" in diameter. The 5.0L V-8 of 1979 was by no means a great engine but, with time, this became one of the hardest charging 302s to ever grace the space between the shock towers of any Mustang! Courtesy of MustangRegistry.org.
- Last digit of model year F - Assembly plant (F-Dearborn,
- Body code (02-2dr
hatchback, 04-2dr Ghia, 05-3dr
- Engine Code 100001 - Consecutive unit number Example:
Location: Stamped on the plate which is riveted to the driver's side of the dash; the certification label is attached to the rear face of the driver's door.