1989 Ford Mustang ascMcLaren convertible 5.0L v8 automatic #76 of 247 RARE for sale
Current customer rating:(2.05) based on 31 votes
I am the original owner.Vehicle:1989 ascMcLaren convertible. Silver with black top.Mileage: 177,000 miles.Serial #: 0761989 total ascMcLaren production: 247 vehicles.1989 silver with black top ascMcLaren production: 6 vehicles. (Source: Paradise Automotive.)Dealer: Walnut Creek Ford, Walnut Creek, CA. I purchased the vehicle new off the round turntable in the showroom. (This was my first new vehicle purchase.)Price: I believe the car retailed for $28,000. My brother helped talk them down some. This car cost a lot, and those were 1989 dollars.California vehicle: Vehicle has lived its whole life in the San Francisco California Bay Area, no other states. I have driven it on trips to Los Angeles, CA & Las Vegas, Nevada. Never in humid states or flood areas.History (What IS This Thing???):asc (American Sunroof Corporation) originally did aftermarket sunroofs. They also would install sunroofs in new vehicles, when the manufacturer didn't offer them but a dealer wanted to. When I went to their shop in Emeryville, CA to have my vehicle serviced, I'd see many vehicles, new & old, getting sunroofs installed & lots of literature on sunroofs. Today, asc does a variety of sunroof installation & exterior / interior vehicle customization. Google American Sunroof Corporation for more info. Note the asc logo is what you see on my car.The story goes that Peter Muscat came up with the idea for this car when his wife, a Ford employee, was not allowed to park her Mercedes in the Ford parking lot. He converted a 1980 coupe into a 2-seater convertible, with a canvas top that folded underneath a hard cover. He showed the car to Ford. Ford was already planning a Mustang convertible, but Ford's upscale Lincoln-Mercury division didn't have a convertible. Muscat made a new version based on the Mercury Capri. Mercury decided to sell it.Peter Muscat contracted with asc to build the car. McLaren (of racing fame) had previously made a very low production customized model of the Mustang for Ford. asc contracted with McLaren to build suspension components & wheels for the new Mercury Capri-based ascMcLaren, because turning the Capri into a convertible seriously altered road handling characteristics of that car. Both companies' names were used to create the new brand, ascMcLaren.When Mercury stopped selling the Capri in 1986, Ford invited Peter Muscat & asc to try their hand at modifying the Ford Mustang starting with the 1987 model year. The 1988 ascMcLaren saw it's greatest production year of 1015 cars. But in 1989, there was a disagreement between Peter Muscat & asc over licensing & royalty issues; only 247 cars were built. In 1990, only 65 cars were made. There was to be a 1991 model year, but with the disagreements between asc & Muscat, asc ended production in 1990.(A more detailed history is available at ascmclaren DOT org. Also, search the Internet for ascMcLaren, you'll find lots of info.)asc would purchase new Ford vehicles, do their conversion, then sell the vehicles on consignment in Ford dealerships. For my car, asc sawed the top off a black 1989 Ford Mustang LX coupe w/the 5.0 liter V8 engine option, automatic transmission. They raked the windshield back about 20 degrees to give the vehicle a sleeker look. asc ripped out the back seats, & put storage compartments in their place. They also installed a tonneau cover, a metal door that slides down over the convertible top to hide the convertible top mechanism, giving the car a very sleek appearance when the top is down. asc replaced the center console with a custom one that I think looks much better. asc removed virtually every Ford or Mustang logo, & replaced them with ascMcLaren. You'll find this logo on the front & rear bumpers, the lug nut cover on the wheels, the seats, the doors, and even the horn pad on the steering wheel. asc installed a Limited Edition badge with the vehicle's serial number on the passenger side dash, and a “Design by Peter Muscat” plaque on the passenger side. asc installed a variety of custom exterior fascia to give the vehicle a very unique look. Yet, underneath all this customization lies a relatively standard Ford Mustang. Many shops who work on older Mustangs already know what this car is, and most vehicle servicing is the same as it would be for a 1989 V8 Mustang (other than for asc-specific parts).In 1989, there were 247 ascMcLaren's built. Over the 30 years I've owned this car, I've seen a few 1987 & 1988 ascMcLarens driving around. I've never seen another 1989 on the road anywhere. Immediate visual cues are the wheels: 1988 had honeycomb mesh (BBS) style wheels, vs 1989 had a more unique, windswept directional 5 slot design from Enkei out of Japan. Also on the exterior, the ascMcLaren logo on the rear bumper is centered in a raised rectangle for 1988. On my 1989, the ascMcLaren logo appears molded into the rear bumper. The center console design also changed greatly from the 1988 to 1989 models.I found out about this vehicle because a guy I knew who owned a body shop had one. I think his was a 1988. I'd been looking at Mustang convertibles, but the moment I saw an ascMcLaren, I knew that would be my first new car. I loved how sleek it looked with the top down. And with the top up, the ascMcLaren had a very different profile vs. a standard Mustang. It looked like an entirely different car. I immediately fell in love with the shape. Even today, I still think it's one of the most beautiful shapes for a convertible I've ever seen, top up or down.From the front, the square headlamps & circular fog lights give it away that it's a Mustang. But from the side & the back, people aren't sure what it is. Even today, people ask me about it. Some people think it's some kind of Mercedes; given the history, this makes sense.The day I drove my new ascMcLaren home in 1989, a highway patrol officer pulled me over. I asked the CHP, was I speeding? Did I do something wrong? He immediately said, “no, I just wanted to see your car! What is this thing?” I told him all about it. I did not receive a ticket.This particular color combination, silver w/black top, there were 6 cars built.Vehicle Description:Base vehicle: Black Mustang LX coupe w/5.0 liter V8 option, automatic transmission. (When your insurance company pulls the VIN on the vehicle, that's what will come up. I took my car to my local State Farm agent so he could see exactly what it was.) asc turned that car into a silver convertible with a black top.asc did no engine or suspension upgrades (like Saleen or McLaren); all asc work was body modification.When asc cut the top off the car, structural rigidity suffered. Every time I'd hit a bump on the road, there would be a noticeable shimmy: I would feel the car shake, and it would shake multiple times. I took the car to Roger Kraus Racing in Hayward. There, they installed support beams that tie the front end to the back end of the car. These beams restored some rigidity & strength to the frame of the car, that had been lost. They also installed different shocks & struts that lowered the car just a bit & improved handling. These two upgrades diminished the amount of shimmy & number of cycles of the vibration when I hit a bump, and greatly improved road handling of the car. These are the only two changes I made, and I made no engine modifications. This car is basically asc stock, it just handles better than most other ascMcLarens on the road.On the driver side by the tonneau cover, you'll notice some raised areas under the silver paint. These are weld lines from when asc did the tonneau cover conversion on the car. The day I bought the car new, these weld lines were visible, as they are visible today.There is some orange peeling where the clear coat was worn away. My detailer has done some clear coat restoration in a few spots around the car. The vehicle is 30 years old; some paint damage should be expected. I didn't want to repaint the car; the new clear coat seals the paint & stops any further paint damage. Close up it looks a bit odd, because the redistributed metallic particles reflect light differently; but 6' back you don't even notice it.I generally fill the car with premium unleaded (91 octane) gas. The car runs very well with Chevron, Union 76, BP, or even Safeway unleaded 91 octane. Early on, I noticed sometimes the car would ping with Shell gas, so I stopped using it.Over the past 30 years, I tried to do oil changes every 3000-4000 miles (generally at 4000, 7000, & 10000 mile increments, easy to remember). I also did major 30K/60K services. The engine starts quickly. Today, that big beefy V8 engine sounds like it did the day I bought it 30 years ago. The manual recommends 10/30 weight oil. I use 20/50 weight, generally Castrol. In my experience, oil that's too thin leaks out too easily. The thicker oil stays in the car better, and off your driveway.I've recently done a bunch of (fairly expensive) repairs to the car. My intention was not to do a full restore of the car. But I have handled many large repairs for you, so you can just enjoy the drive.The mileage for a 30 year old car is fairly low. I didn't buy it to keep it in a garage, I bought it to drive & enjoy. The engine note is soul-satisfyingly deep without being excessively loud or whiny. I've had wonderful summer days & warm summer nights with the top down in that car over the years, by myself & with friends. Getting a ride in the passenger seat with the top down on a warm, clear, starry night can be nothing short of magical. I hope you love driving this car as much as I have.This is a VERY RARE vehicle. Each is serial numbered. Drive a piece of automotive history!Recent work (latest items with asterisk * at top):o *New radiatoro *New batteryo *Full service, all fluids replaced.o *Smog check, passed with flying colors as it always does.o Convertible top replaced July 2017, installed by Armand's Upholstery in Walnut Creek. Top looks & feels pretty much like the original asc top when the car was new. Vehicle has been garaged since top installed so it's in very good condition, windows clear. I use a terry cloth towel between the folded plastic window surfaces when dropping the top to protect the windows from scratches. I wash the plastic foldable windows with Meguiar's Waterless Wash & Wax to keep the windows clean, slippery, clean of dust & protected from scratches. I vacuum the cloth top to keep it looking clean.o Tonneau cover new weather seal decal: On the tonneau cover, there is a decal applied to the tonneau cover that acts as a smooth surface for the top to sit against & keep some water out during rains. I have a replacement for this decal (uninstalled); I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to simply apply the new decal, or have a body shop repaint the tonneau cover & apply the decal to the new painted surface.o Plastic seat belt buckle supports, uninstalled. You can decide when you want to paint them & install them. They raise the seat belt buckle to make it easier to buckle your seat belt.o Rebuilt ascMcLaren top pull down motor (Paradise Automotive).o Rebuilt horn pad (Paradise Automotive).o Replaced driver side leather seat cover (Paradise Automotive furnished part; American Auto Upholstery & Glass, Oakland, installed).o Replaced bottom of passenger side leather seat cover (American Auto Upholstery & Glass, Oakland).o Fixed dash/defroster vent fans so air vent blows, defroster works.o Replace both catalytic converters & exhaust lines.o Replace starter.o Replace battery.o Replace fog lamps.o Replace passenger side headlamp: gaskets were violated, so humidity would form inside the light fixture & the bulbs kept going out. Replacing the fixture solved the problem.o Restore driver side headlamp, Top Shop Automotive. Headlamp glass looks clear.o Tires have balance & alignment, nitrogen fill.There are lots of smaller fixes I've done, but these are the big ones that stand out.What isn't done / isn't working:o A/C doesn't work.o Heater doesn't work: there was a coolant leak somewhere in the heater core, so Top Shop did a heater core bypass. To fix, your local shop will have to take the dash apart to get access to the heater core. This is probably ~$700 to fix, mostly labor to pull apart the dash, or you might decide to do this work yourself. You might also choose to fix the A/C at the same time when the dash is apart. I spent a lot of $ fixing the big things; those ate up the budget to do this one. I've spent enough. The dash fans will blow air, and the defroster can defrost the windshield using the on-dash controls.Useful Resources:Henry Huisman of Paradise Automotive in Odessa, FL was an asc employee. He bought much of asc's parts inventory when they stopped selling ascMcLaren's. Chances are if you need a part for your ascMcLaren, he has access to it. Henry is based out of Florida. He sells many parts. Some electrical parts are rare, so he will take yours, fix it, and return it to you.Top Shop Auto in Lafayette, CA handles everything on this car from oil changes & routine maintenance to major repairs.Armand's Upholstery in Walnut Creek, CA. They installed the new convertible top on the car. From what I understand, there are companies that have the patterns for convertible tops. They cut fabric & sell the whole thing as a kit that Armand's installed. This top is nearly identical to the original top that was on the car, in look, cloth feel, even the plastic windows.American Auto Upholstery & Glass in Oakland, CA. Joe Abraham was an asc employee back in the day. So he knows his way around the convertible top of this car. He removed & reinstalled the convertible top pull down motor. He also replaced the bottom of the passenger side leather seat cover.Included With Your Purchase:o ascMcLaren caro 2 door, 2 engine keys (4 keys total). Keys are original, including the Ford metal reorder tag on the 2nd set.o Ford manualo ascMcLaren manualo Tonneau cover decalI have thoroughly enjoyed owning this car for the past 30 years. But I have a newer car now, and the ascMcLaren is taking up my garage parking space. I just don't have the room for multiple vehicles. It's time to let someone new enjoy this car.I've recently done many expensive repairs on this car. Many repairs are not easily visible, but they're things that had to be fixed. I need to get some of those repair $ back out.I am looking for my original ascMcLaren folder with all my receipts in it from the past 30 years, but I can't currently find it. I have a bunch of more recent receipts for recent repairs. If I find my original folder I'll let you view it.This car is sold AS-IS.Good Luck and Happy Bidding!
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