1984 Ford Mustang GT350
20th Anniversary Limited Edition
The 80s was a decade of transition for the automotive industry. Muscle car era was over, and performance-oriented enthusiasts had to settle with ‘emission friendly’ production cars with laughable power outputs. That was the situation in 1984 when Ford suddenly contributed to change things and start a new era.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the iconic Mustang, Ford decided to build a limited version of the beloved pony car, the 1984 Mustang GT350. The ‘GT350’ moniker was a clear message to the public. Ford wanted to bring back high-performance American cars.
1984 Ford Mustang GT350 Performance
The automotive industry was facing a transition. Carburetors faced problems to comply with the harsh emission controls of that time and carmakers had to do something about it.
The solution was the broad adoption of fuel-injected systems.
Now if you were born after 1980 there is something you must understand. Neither Ford nor General Motors nor Chrysler introduced Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) vehicles willingly. In the 80s personal computers were still a ‘novelty’ for many, so you can imagine the profound impact of introducing ‘computer-controlled’ engines. Fuel injection was -literally- a nightmare for dealerships and auto repair shops. The technology was not mature for mass production yet. For your reference, each American automaker had its own version of the ‘fuel injection’ technology. It was not until 1995 that the first standard known as OBD2 was created.
Back to our 1984 Mustang GT350, one of its available powertrains was precisely a fuel-injected version of Ford’s reliable 5.0L (302 cid) engine. Ford fitted the 1984 Mustang GT350 with the precursor of one of the best EFI engines ever produced.
Before diving into the reasons making the EFI version so special, take into account what we commented in the previous section, we are in 1984, at the beginning of many changes in the automotive industry.
When purchasing the ‘20th Anniversary Mustang GT350’ you had three engine options to choose from:
- A 2.3L Turbocharged I4 producing 145hp
- A Carbureted 5.0L HO V8 engine producing 175hp
- A 5.0L EFI HO V8 engine producing 165hp
The 5.0L EFI HO V8 wasn’t even the most powerful version, however, was the first fuel-injected Mustang. And that set a huge milestone. Ford engineers were working on a revolutionary EFI system for the Mustang but there was a problem. They knew the public would be reluctant to adopt fuel injection technology. So what they did was installing the simplest version possible, a Central Fuel Injection (CFI) system, which at first glance, closely resembles a carburetor.
The strategy was a success. Ford broke the physiological barrier against fuel-injected Mustangs and only two years later, in 1986, introduced the 5.0L SEFI version we all know and love.
The rest is history.
You can think of the 1984 Mustang GT350 as one of the precursors of a new American muscle cars era. Street legal Mustangs exceeding 300 HP were not a dream anymore. Nowadays you can find a Ford 5.0L SEFI V8 in almost any vehicle you can think of. There are literally thousands of aftermarket parts readily available for all kinds of applications.
The Mustang GT350 was available with either a 5-speed Borg-Warner T5 manual gearbox or a 4-speed OD automatic. All carbureted engines were coupled with the 5-speed manual transmission, while the AOD transmission was only installed on the EFI version like the one we have here at Fatman's Garage.
The combination of the 5.0L EFI HO engine with an automatic overdrive transmission was an immediate success. The precision offered by Ford’s engine computer over fuel delivery and spark advance was something never seen before. Overall, the driving experience offered by the first EFI Mustang was outstanding.
In that sense, Mustang’s 20 Anniversary edition contribution to Ford’s automatic transmissions was also notable. The perception of automatic transmissions changed positively, paving the way to modern powertrains.
20th Anniversary Ford Mustang GT350 Styling
While many may argue that Mustang’s 20th Anniversary edition performance was lackluster, one thing that nobody discusses is that the GT350 package was really ‘exclusive’. Only 5,260 units were built since Ford only destined 35 days to its production.
In Spring 1984 you could order the GT350 in two body versions, a sporty Convertible -like the one we have at Fatman's Garage- or a classic Hatchback. Both came with a beautiful ‘Oxford White’ paint job, Marchal fog lamps, dark red GT350 racing stripes, a non-functional air dam, Mustang’s classic running horse badges, and dark red body moldings. Additionally, beautiful three-spoke aluminum wheels were outfitted with P220 / 55R390 Michelin TRX sports tires to complete this incredible package.
Regardless of the body version, all GT350 Mustangs came with a striking Canyon Red interior. The racing-inspired high-back seats, as well as the rest of interior upholstery and moldings, shared the same color scheme giving to this Mustang a unique look. The GT350 also featured a useful center console with an embedded clock, power windows, power locks, power steering, and optional tinted windows. All in all, the 1984 Ford Mustang GT350 certainly sports a distinctive look that makes it stand out from the rest.
A Truly Exclusive Mustang
The 20th Anniversary Mustang is an exclusive edition that undoubtedly played an important role in Ford's history. At Fatman's Garage, we did a huge effort to bring you what we consider the most iconic variant of this car, the Convertible version fitted with the admirable 5.0L EFI HO engine which you can see here GT 350.
If you are a die-hard Mustang fan and followed us up to this point then you would understand why this particular model is so special. The 1984 Ford Mustang GT350 20th Anniversary edition started a new era for the pony car franchise.
At Fatman's Garage, we can now offer you one of these super exclusive Mustangs here, but even better, if you are currently restoring one, we can also assist you with those "hard to find" parts. Get in touch with us and we will gladly support you.