Ford Mustangs are nearly synonymous with power, but there was a time when the pony car had as much strength as a Twizzler sitting in the sun. The third-generation was produced from 1978 through 1993, and like every other car that suffered from strict emissions regulations during that time, it had more wimper than bark. YouTube channel Late Model Restoration (LMR) recently tested a 1979 Mustang Ghia, and its power numbers were even lower than the already-low factory claims.
The Mustang Ghia in this video, titled “The Lowest Horsepower Fox Body Mustang To Hit Our Dyno,” is as clean as a whistle and has only 9,266 miles on the clock. Under the hood, it has a naturally aspirated 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 9:1 compression. That mill pairs with a C4 three-speed automatic transmission and came out of the factory rated at 88 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque.
This Mustang has a 3.08 rear axle gear ratio and sits on 16-inch 5.0Resto TRX wheels. As shown by Motor1, the guys at LMR threw it on a dynamometer (dyno) with 93-octane gas in the tank to test the accuracy of those numbers.
Although most dyno videos are hyped-up displays of brute performance, this one plays more like a comedy skit. The host, Landan Durham, jokes that the car wouldn’t even be able to run the rollers, and when they do start moving, he lets out a slightly shocked cackle.
The final results are 64 horsepower at 4,830 rpm and 82 lb-ft of torque at 3,670 rpm at the wheels. For comparison, we’ve also added a different LMR video of a 1986 Ford Mustang SVO.
It seems that the Ghia’s owner is all about keeping the car in its original form, but we have a proposal that might introduce some excitement to the Mustang’s life: It’s time to engine-swap in a 7.3-liter V8.