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1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993
(For more production number details, go to our Production Numbers Summary page.)
175 HP @ 4200 RPM
245 ft/lb @ 2400 RPM
Turbo GT 4 cylinder
145 HP @ 4600 RPM
180 ft/lb @ 3600 RPM
Not only did the ‘83 GT get subtle cosmetic changes which set it apart from its 1982 predecessor - it got faster as well! On the outside, whereas the 1982 GT was covered in a monochromatic paint scheme from nose to tail, the ‘83 was decked out in blacked-out trim and featured a reversed (non-functional) hood scoop in a broad matte-black stripe that started at the lower edge of the grill and ran back to the base of the windshield. Although the ‘83 kept a rear spoiler, the front air dam and fog lights on the ‘82 GT were not included on ‘83 models (these were back as standard items on ‘84 GT’s). The taillamps were also revised for 1983.
Of course, the big news for ‘83 was more horsepower - due primarily to the addition of a healthy Holley 4180C four-barrel carb. With the Holley 600 cfm four-barrel, dual snorkel “460” air cleaner, enlarged exhaust passages, an aluminum intake and a less restrictive single-exhaust system (“Y” pipe w/ inline catalyst), the 302 snorted out 18 more horses and five more foot pounds of torque than the ‘82 GT’s 2 barrel 302. Mid-year 1983, the crankshaft and block were also modified to accept a one-piece neoprene rear main seal, eliminating the leaky old-style rope-type seal.
To handle the additional horsepower, a major change was also made in the transmission department part-way through the model year. At the beginning of the ‘83 model year, the Ford 4-speed SROD was standard in the ‘83 (a carry-over from 1982 GT’s), however in early December 1982 (December 6 is believed to be the changeover date), the standard transmission became the all-new, stronger Borg Warner T-5 5-speed transmission. Interestingly, the 5-speed was made the standard transmission with the SROD 4-speed available as an optional transmission. Those who ordered the optional 4-speed received a credit of $124 on the window sticker.
Other small but important mechanical upgrades are worth noting on 1983 GT’s. Slotted cast aluminum wheels were a handsome new wheel alternative and tires were upgraded to a TRX 220/55R390 series from the previous year’s optional TRX 190/65R390. Standard tires were also enlarged to a P205/70VR14 Goodyear from the prior year’s P185/75R 14 standard size. To help the ‘83’s cornering abilities, the suspension was beefed up with a larger 0.67-inch diameter front anti-roll bar increased from a 0.55-inch bar in the 1982 GT. Complementing all these upgrades were the special handling suspension system, power front disc brakes, power steering and Traction-Lok axle, all standard equipment.
Of course, Mustang fans did have one other thing to get excited about in 1983 - 1983 saw the reintroduction of the Mustang convertible for the first time in ten years! 1983 Mustang convertibles were made available in only the GLX and GT series. These convertibles were not actually produced until very late in the model year - May, June, July & August only. Only 1001 1983 GT convertibles were produced (993 for USA and 8 for Canada) according to the “1983 Mustang GT Convertible Registry” thus making them a rare find!
A very little-known and even less-often seen version of the 1983 GT was the 4-cylinder “Turbo GT” available in the hatchback model only. This engine was not available until very late in the ‘83 model year and was a newly re-engineered version of the 2.3-liter 'Lima'' four developed for the ‘83 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. This engine featured a “blow-through” turbocharger with electronic fuel injection governed by the EEC-IV electronic control system, forged-aluminum pistons, valves made of a special temperature-resistant alloy, lighter flywheel, die-cast aluminum rocker cover and an engine-mounted oil cooler. All of this resulted in 145 bhp at 4600 rpm and 180 lbs/ft torque peaking at a relatively low 3600 rpm. Although the GT suspension was tuned to match each engine, the Turbo GT carried the same blackout trim, wheels, tires, interior and transmission as the 5.0L GT. You could not get this model with the automatic transmission.
Available as a 3-door hatchback or a 2-door convertible, the ‘83 GT was restricted to only six exterior colors (Black, Polar White, Silver Metallic, Medium Charcoal Metallic, Red and Bright Red) with a medium red or black interior only. To set it apart from the rest of the Mustang line-up, it was decked out in unique GT blackout trim not only outside, but inside as well (including the entire dash and all knobs and controls, all exterior moldings, trim, door handles, mirrors and antenna). Notable standard interior equipment in the GT included a console housing an electronic digital clock with day/date/elapsed time/stopwatch functions, plus the graphic warning display module that indicated low level conditions in the fuel tank and washer system, and signaled when a headlamp low beam or taillamp/brake lamp needed replacing. Low-back vinyl bucket seats were also standard.
Options for ‘83 GT’s included bigger TRX wheels and tires, sunroof, T-tops, air conditioner, power windows and locks, rear defrost, interval wipers, light group, tilt wheel, speed control, Sport Performance bucket seats, leather seats and a whole variety of radios.
After two successful years, the late-model GT galloped into 1984 with minimal changes.
Sources: Photo of black Turbo GT - The Complete Book of Mustang. All other photos - Ford Mustang brochures.