The Mustang Grande was a more luxurious trim level, sold from 1969-1973. It was only available on hardtop models, and it offered a contrast to the sportier Mach 1 at the time. In the earliest model years of the Mustang, Ford was eager to experiment with different trims, even on a regional level. This uplevel package was the first of its kind for the Mustang line-up.
The Mustang Grande featured an upgraded interior with imitation wood trim, a smoother, more refined ride, and additional sound-deadening materials. There were no performance upgrades, but you could get the Grande package with any engine/transmission combo. In fact, though extremely rare, Grandes with the 428 Cobra Jet engine do exist.
Mustang Grande Price and Production Numbers
|Model Year||Price (Base Model + Grande Package)||Models Produced
1969-1970 Mustang Grande
Debuting in 1969, the original Grande package offered luxurious touches to the regular coupe. There was rich wood applique on the door panels, instrument panel, and glove box. The bucket seats were vinyl, with unique hopsack cloth inserts. There were also door panel courtesy lights and bright pedal pads.
On the exterior, an optional vinyl hardtop roof was available in black or parchment. It looked like leather, adding to the luxurious appearance. Wire-spoke wheel covers gave the Mustang Grande a less sporty, more refined touch. There were also two-tone narrow paint stripes and racing-style side mirrors.
Apart from visuals, the suspension set-up was changed to give the Grande a softer ride. 55 pounds of extra sound-deadening insulation was added to reduce NVH for a more pleasant driving experience.
When it became clear that customers were willing to pay for sophistication, the Grande became a mainstay throughout the first generation.
1971-1973 Mustang Grande
With the final iteration of the first-gen Mustang, the Grande package carried over many of the same upgrades as before. The distinct interior upgrades were mostly the same, but the hopsack seat inserts were replaced with "Lambeth cloth." The vinyl roof was now standard and available in five colors: black, white, green, blue, or brown. A lighted ashtray was added to the console.
On the outside, distinct Grande badges were added to the C-pillars. The rocker panels and wheel arch lips were chrome. Deluxe wheel covers were included, further separating the trim from the base models.
Making Way for the Ghia
The success of the Mustang Grande proved that buyers wanted stylish touches and would pay for them. This led to the Italian-designed Mustang Ghia, which would run from 1974-1981.
Although most Ghias were part of the maligned Mustang II generation, they were still successful. The ‘70s were a time for aesthetics and comfort, rather than thirsty V8 muscle cars.
Buying a Mustang Grande
Even though this is a special trim, it doesn’t offer many desirable features to the modern buyer. Enthusiasts care more about performance than luxury, so the added weight and luxury upgrades are, at best, superfluous. The larger Mustangs of the late first-gen are also less desirable in general.
However, this means that the prices for these beauties are often lower than other contemporary Mustangs. For someone looking to start a project, a Mustang Grande in good shape can be a great deal.
Sources: 1969 Mustang Brochure, Old Car Brochures | 1970 Ford Mustang Brochure, Stanbangers | 1971 Mustang Brochure, PaintRef | 1972 Mustang Brochure, Old Car Brochures
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