1971 Ford Mustang

1971 Mustang Mach 1


1971 marked the biggest styling change for the first generation Mustangs. It was now longer, wider, and heavier. While the regular 302 and 351 engines lost some power this year, the 429s remained strong with the same rated output as in 1970.

The 1971 Mustang was available in three body styles, the coupe or notch-back, the sportsroof (fastback), and the convertible.

The Mach 1 continued, while the Boss 351, rated at 330 hp and 370 ft-lbs, replaced the Boss 302 and 429 models.

1971 Mustangs had chrome trim on the front edges of the front fenders and hood which surrounded the grill, and large, horizontal signal lights were set into the grill.

On regular Mustangs, the Mustang horse emblem in the center of the grill was surrounded by a rectangular "corral" and had horizontal bars extending to the headlights. On Mach 1 Mustangs, there was a smaller horse emblem mounted on three vertical colored bars.

A honeycomb grill and a honeycomb rear panel insert were unique to the Mach 1 Mustangs. 1971 Mach 1 Mustangs are supposed to have a body-colored urethane front bumper, however many are now seen with chrome bumpers.

The tail lights, while retaining the traditional Mustang three-lens style, were of a new design. "Mustang" is spelled out in separate chrome letters across the trunk lid on regular Mustangs, while Mach Ones have a "Mach 1" decal instead.

1971 Mustang Key Differences

1971 and 1972 Mustangs both had horizontal front signal lights mounted in the grill. 1971 regular Mustangs had "Mustang" spelled out across the trunk lid in separate chrome letters, which was unique for this year. Mach 1 Mustangs had a pop-open gas cap for 1971 only, but owners often install this style cap on '72 or '73 Mustangs.

Similar Years

1971 to 1973 Mustangs all shared the same body design. 1973 Mustangs had different front bumpers and grills, but 1971 and 1972 cars are more difficult to tell apart.

How to Identify a 1971 Mustang


  • Fourth version (1971 - 1973) of the First Generation Mustang (1965-1973)
  • SportsRoof body style shown
  • The 1971 Mustang was again available in coupe, convertible, and SportsRoof (fastback) variations (1965 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Grill

  • For 1971 the Mustang had single headlights and large horizontal signal lights (1971 - 1972)

1971 Mustang Grill Emblem

  • The Mach 1 had a small running horse emblem set on three colored bars (1971 - 1973)
  • The grill of the Mach 1 had a honeycomb mesh design (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Signal Light

  • Large horizontal signal lights were mounted in the grill (1971 - 1972)

1971 Mustang Fender Name Plate

  • On the lower front fenders, regular Mustangs had a chrome "Mustang" name plate written in script letters (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Mach 1 Decal

  • Mach 1 Mustangs had a "Mach 1" decal on the front fenders instead of the "Mustang" script (1971 - 1972)

1971 Mustang Rear Panel

  • The rear panel was flat (1971 - 1973)
  • The panel had a honeycomb design on Mach Ones (1971 - 1973)
  • Mach Ones had a "Mach 1" decal on the trunk lid (1971 - 1973), while other Mustangs had "Mustang" spelled out in separate chrome letters (1971)

1971 Mustang Mach 1 Fuel Cap

  • The fuel cap on Mach Ones was a pop-open design (1971)

1971 Mustang Mach 1 Hood

  • The Mach 1 hood had dual NACA style intake vents and had either a black or silver stripe (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mach 1 Side Stripe

  • The Mach 1 side stripe came in silver or black and ran from the front to the rear of the car (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Tail light

  • The tail lights were a completely new design, but retained the classic Mustang three-light format (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Front Spoiler

  • The front chin spoiler was optional (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Rear Wing

  • The rear wing spoiler continued to be an option (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Rear Window Louvers

  • Rear window louvers were also optional on SportsRoof Mustangs (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Seats

  • High-backed bucket seats were standard (1971 - 1970)

1971 Mustang Dash

  • The dash was completely new and included an integral console (1971 - 1973)

1971 Mustang Magnum 500 Wheel

  • The optional Magnum 500 wheels were still available

More 1971 Mustang Pictures

For more photos of vintage 1971 Mustangs, visit the First Generation Mustang Gallery at the Muscle Car Jungle.

If you have any comments, or would like to report any errors or omissions, contact us at feedback@oldcarsguide.com

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