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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Decades before the Mach-E, there was the Mustang...

Pick of the Day: Decades before the Mach-E, there was the Mustang E

1969 Mustang E was a very limited-edition model designed for the Mobilgas Economy Run

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The new and electrified Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t the first Mustang E model. The Pick of the Day is a restored 1969 Ford Mustang E being advertised for sale by its private seller in Springfield, Illinois.

Not familiar with the Mustang E? No surprise. Reportedly only 96 examples of the E as in Economy model were produced. As the seller explains, this was a special edition produced for the Mustang to compete in the final Mobilgas Economy Run.

Not familiar with the Mobilgas Economy Run? As Dave Hermanson notes in his book, The Mobilgas Economy Run, A History of the Long Distance Fuel Efficiency Competition, 1936-1968, the event, a cross-country rally, was staged for decades “to provide the general public with an impartial and practical road test to determine the mileage potential of American passenger cars under driving conditions experienced in a year’s time by the average motorist.”

Note the word “impartial,” because, as Hermanson chronicles, automakers did all sorts of things to enhance the fuel economy of the cars they entered in the event. 

Mustang, Pick of the Day: Decades before the Mach-E, there was the Mustang E, ClassicCars.com Journal
Mustang, Pick of the Day: Decades before the Mach-E, there was the Mustang E, ClassicCars.com Journal

To qualify the Mustang for the compact 6-cylinder class, Ford produced the Mustang E. The car featured the aerodynamic sport roof fastback body, a 250cid (rather than the standard 200cid) inline-6, a C-4 automatic transmission with high-stall torque converter and a 2.33 rear gear. The only visible difference between these and other 6-cylinder Mustangs was an E badge on the rear quarter panel.

The cars were so rare that neither the E model nor the 250cid 6 are mentioned in the 1969 Mustang section of The Standard Catalog of American Cars. However, the Catalog does note that the 250 was a Mustang option for 1970.

The car’s seller notes that car companies employed professional drivers “such as Mickey Thompson” to drive their cars in the fuel-economy rally.

“Being the ’60s and most were hungry for drag racing, this edition was not very popular,” the seller reports. “Only 50 sold.”

Nonetheless, the seller notes, the car was featured in a Ford Performance video among the “top 23 vehicles since Ford has started building cars.”

Mustang, Pick of the Day: Decades before the Mach-E, there was the Mustang E, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Pick of the Day Mustang E had been “sitting for over 20 years,” but has been restored, disassembled and rebuilt “with NOS or OEM parts where needed and could find.”

The seller reports the restoration was done to Mustang Club of America concours standards, and in the text of the advertisement notes a few “minor flaws,” including a small crack in the paint, a few stretched seams in the seat covering, heater/defroster not working because a proper resistor is not available.

The rare pony — the seller says Mustang Times reported that this may be the last E surviving — is being offered for $250,000. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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