1972 - Ford is "Exhausted"
1972 was a frustrating year for both Ford and musclecar fans. The government saw the need for regulating emissions. Vehicles were getting bigger and bigger putting a strain on the environment and the oil crises was forming. These were all concerns on the world scene at the time and Ford willingly complied with the new tougher laws. Unfortunately for Ford and musclecar enthusiasts, this meant higher costs for less power. Mustang fans were disappointed with the change of events and 1972 Mustangs were not received as well as the previous Mustangs. Nearly all efforts in the 1972 models were geared towards compliance rather than the annual restyling that previous Mustangs had undergone. Fans could upgrade the Mustangs on their own, but this meant more money, more time, and more skill. Some customers put the work into it but many were not willing to at the time and sales slumped. Though the 72 Mustang was a high quality model, Mustang fans had grown accustomed to the yearly hype that followed the introduction of the new model and 1972 did not follow this pattern, leading to disappointment.
CHANGES FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
During the 1972 Mustang year, Ford was largely focused on meeting the current government emissions regulations. Since this was the focal point of 1972, the 1972 Mustang models were largely unchanged cosmetically from the previous 1971 model. One of the only differences between the 1971 and 1972 models is the Mustang script located on the rear passenger side. In 1971 the writing was in block. They also came with a few new color, interior and hubcap options. Ford went with an upbeat color scheme, introducing colors such as Lime Metallic, Bright Blue and Bright Red. Ford was obliged to cut engine options and refine the remaining engines in order to comply with the new laws.
Special Edition 1972 Mustangs
1972 MUSTANG MACH I
As a result of new emissions laws, the Mach I lost a degree of power in 1971 and by 1972 it had lost a significant amount of popularity as well. The Mach I standard 302 engine had to be modified and the horsepower dropped from 210hp to 140hp. Government regulations required that the measurement system be changed, so while the actual amount of power that was lost on Mach I was very little, it appeared to be more. This resulted in a sharp decline of Mach I enthusiasm. 1972 was the last year that the Mach I was made.
1972 MUSTANG GRANDE'
The Grande' continued to appeal to upscale buyers, offering high quality interior, vinyl tops, chrome trim, and a large list of upgrade options including the wood grain interior and lighted ash tray. The 1971 and 1972 Mustang Grande' is one of the least changed Mustang models in the Mustang's history. The only noticeable difference is the script letters on the back of the passenger side that replaced the block of the previous year. They also produced a new set of hubcaps which were an option for the Grande' starting in 1972.
1972 MUSTANG SPRINT
The Mustang Sprint was created to honor the 1972 Olympics. Sprint models were no different than the other Mustang models though they came in a paint scheme of the patriotic colors red, white and blue. They were mostly white, but had blue stripes and a USA shield decal placed on the rear fenders. Fifty convertible versions of these models were sold in Washington DC and Virginia and approximately 800 fastback models were produced.