1972 Ford Mustang Grande

“I married into a family of Fords,” Michael Luczak says. After owning a long list of Fords, Luczak and his wife came to the conclusion that a vintage Mustang would be a perfect car for them.

Locating an old Ford Mustang in good condition was not an easy task, nor a high priority item, but one that the couple kept on the front burner.

In 2006, Luczak, a long-time race fan, was at the Talladega racetrack in Alabama. While he was at the racetrack his wife telephoned to ask, “How close are you to North Carolina?” The answer was, “too far.”

When he returned to his Tombull, Texas, home his wife explained that in his absence she had searched on the Internet and found the Mustang they had been looking for. Following a few long distance negotiations with the Ford owner, a deal was agreed upon in May 2006. The 1972 Mustang Grande hardtop coupe that Luczak had purchased had been driven only 59,800 miles.

Luczak hired a truck to bring his newly purchased Mustang from Rutherford, N.C. to Texas. He recalls the truck delivering the car arrived at midnight. With morning daylight, Luczak discovered that the 351-cubic-inch Cleveland V-8 engine cranked “just barely,” but drove very rough.

“I took it to my father-in-law’s shop where he found that two pistons had froze up, which had to be oil soaked, along with replacing a couple of push rods,” Luczak says. The brakes were locked up as well. Otherwise the light green 1972 Mustang with a darker green vinyl covered top was in great condition.

“After a quick tune-up and replacing the dry-rotted tires, which refused to hold air,” Luczak says, “she purrs like a kitten.”Mustang _ rear

Papers with the car gave Luczak some insight into the history of his Mustang. He says, “The car was purchased in December 1971.”

According to annual North Carolina state inspection reports kept by the owner, she drove the Mustang Grande until retiring it to the garage. Prior to that it was regularly driven until the late 1970s.

During a bit of sleuthing, Luczak uncovered what he considers an unusual detail. “I thought it was neat,” he explains. Looking through the many years of service records on the car, Luczak noticed that after a few years the name of the original owner was changed on the records to the name of the mechanic who was inspecting the car all those years. “I assumed she married the mechanic,” Luczak says.

“It’s a cool car,” Luczak says. He reports that because it came from North Carolina there was virtually no rust on the car.

In the small trunk Luczak found the original spare tire. At the other end of the car, under the long engine hood is the V-8 that is fed by a two-barrel carburetor. Inside the passenger cabin is the original black headliner, dashboard, vinyl upholstery and carpeting. The 3,008-pound Mustang easily keeps up with traffic.

Records indicate that Ford manufactured 18,045 Mustangs like the pristine one Luczak has acquired. When his car had a base price of $2,915.

Luczak has had his Mustang thoroughly detailed, resulting in a classic car in such good condition that he is reluctant to go any further. The odometer is only now approaching 63,000 miles.

Despite his effort at keeping the 1972 Mustang in original condition Luczak has succumbed to modern conveniences. He has installed an aftermarket air conditioner. That addition necessitates an electric radiator fan to keep the engine as cool as the cabin. “We do live near Houston, after all,” he says. — Vern Parker, Motor Matters

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