Ford Authority

This Unseen Documentary Tells The Story Of The 1983 Ford Mustang GTP: Video

In the annals of Mustang history, the 1983-’84 Ford Mustang GTP is quite the obscure car. Built for racing in the IMSA GTP series, the four-cylinder car was unusual (for a race car) in that it utilized a front-engine layout, mating its turbocharged Ford-Cosworth I4 with a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. The shell was made up of carbon fiber and Nomex with Kevlar reinforcements, contributing to a 1,770-pound curb weight.

If all that sounds intriguing, you’re in luck; an old documentary on the Ford Mustang GTP race car has surfaced after sitting disused in VHS form at the bottom of a drawer. Bill Riley, the son of Mustang GTP designer Bob Riley, only found the tape cassette over the summer, according to Racer.

“Other than a few people back in the day, I don’t think anyone has seen this,” he says. “It’s a cool snapshot in time of this project my dad was a big part of.”

The Mustang GTP didn’t quite light the world on fire when it premiered, but it managed to win its inaugural race: the 15th round of the 1983 IMSA GTP series, at Road America. That’s especially notable as, while the car moved to a 600-horsepower, 2.1-liter engine for 1984, that engine wasn’t ready in 1983, forcing the team to run a┬ámore humble 1.7-liter unit.

If you have half-an-hour to spare, we highly recommend watching the old Ford Mustang GTP documentary above. It’s well worth the time investment.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. bob

    I seen this car race and seen it up close in the pits. It was at sonoma raceway. 80’s but dont remember exactly the yr. I remember being impressed by it and the all carbon fiber chassis and body. I was listening to the crew talk about the carbon fiber chassis, it was interesting. I got some pics somewhere.


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