You can't blame the dealer for advertising this oddball convertible as a "Ford Mustang McLaren." The name certainly rolls off the tongue better than "Ford Mustang ASC McLaren," and it makes the car sound a whole lot more appealing. However, without the 'ASC' in there, you don't get the full picture. And when it comes to the world of strange automotive collaborations—particularly those of the 80s—you most definitely want the full picture.

ASC McLaren Mustangs were the result of fortuitous timing, and a project that was already underway between the American Sunroof Company and McLaren (no, not that McLaren). Detroit custom car builder Peter Muscat brought the idea of a Mustang with a tonneau cover to ASC after chopping the top off a Fox body on his own, and in turn ASC founder Heinz Pretcher brought the concept to Ford. Big blue was already in the midst of relaunching a Mustang convertible, which had been absent from the lineup for 10 years, so initially it was the Mercury Capri that got the ASC/McLaren treatment. The result was a car that was more expensive than a Mustang GT, and coupled with declining sales of the Capri overall, the car was discontinued in 1986, paving the way for the ASC McLaren Mustang you see here on eBay.

With the change over to the Mustang as their platform for modification in 1987, ASC McLaren were given the opportunity to create something notable. Customizing the Capri was one thing, but the Mustang name carries with it iconic status. So what did ASC McLaren do with their chance to leave their mark on automotive history?

They gave the car some visual modifications, both inside and out, but like the Capri, left the powertrain untouched. Also like the Capri, the cars still ended up costing more than $20,000. Between the high price, the economic woes of the late 80s, and disputes between Muscat and Pretcher, the ASC McLaren Mustangs were no more by 1990.


During the three year run, 1,806 ASC McLaren conversions were completed, making them quite rare, especially low mileage examples like this one. The 5.0 V8s are known for being stout engines, capable of handling serious modification, and logging lots of miles, so there are no concerns there. The 5-speed Borg-Warner transmission that came in all Mustang GTs is also known for being a durable unit, the '87-'90 versions especially so.

The main concern here would be the life the car has lived, and more importantly where it has lived. There is some visible rust underneath, so it would behoove any party seriously interested in this car—or any ASC McLaren Mustang for that matter—to get a professional inspection done. The conversion work made rear quarter panels and the area around the trunk prone to rust, so special attention should be paid to those areas.

Overall this example presents well, although, it definitely needs some exterior touch up work, what with the damage around the drivers side mirror, and some visible dings in other areas. There is no "Buy It Now" price, and all trades are accepted, so there's a real opportunity to pick this unique piece of 80s automotive history up at a bargain. On top of everything else, it comes with a period correct Cobra CB radio, perfect for talking to truckers about where pesky smokies might be hiding down the road.

This article by Andrew T. Maness originally appeared on

Share This Photo X