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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking at a '72 convertible for sale locally and in the course of doing my homework about this car have seen several with a chrome front bumper.

This would be my first Mustang since the later 70's. I thought chrome bumpers went away after '71 but have seen too many recently to think they're just incorrect repairs or something. Was the '72 made both ways?
 

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I have a 73’ and personally I don’t like the plastic bumper. I’ve seen both 72 and 73 with chrome bumpers but the owners did the modification. If your looking for the original look then you may want to look into what is takes to put it back to original stock. (Does anyone have any info on what it takes to do this change?) Unless somebody knows if this is a situation where there was a running change on the assembly line.
 

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Ford did not put the rubber bumper on all 'stangs until '73. Only the Mach1's from 71/72 should have rubber bumpers. My 72 'vert has a chrome bumber, like it should.
 
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Interesting. This '72 convertible has the rubber bumper. Not that I really care all that much. I'm looking for something to drive and am not that concerned with 'correctness'. Thanks for the input!
 

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I like my plastic bumper on my 73. i hate the way the bumpers look like on the 71-72
 

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I'm glad you brought this up, because I thought all 71 and 72 Mustangs had chrome front bumpers (until a guy at a cruise-in told me different last week). He told me that 72 Mach I's had body colored front bumpers. I thought he was wrong, but apparently he knows his Mustangs.

From all the looking and reading that I have done, all 71 and 72 convertibles had chrome front bumpers. I prefer the chrome front bumpers and would like to change, but I think I have read that the front fenders would have to be changed, as well as other parts.
 
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Since I'm thinking about spending more than I paid for my first house on a 30 year old car, I've done a TON of research in the last couple weeks. It's not a scientific survey, but I'd guess 50% of the '72 convertibles I've seen have chrome bumpers and the other half have painted bumpers. Either can look good or crappy, I don't have a preference.
 

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Okay, lets get this whole situation straight.

The "rubber" bumper was referred to as an "airfoil" bumper, FWIW, and is actually urethane.

All 71-72's were available with EITHER bumper, with a few exceptions:

chrome was standard on all Mustangs EXCEPT the Mach 1 & 71 "Sports" coupe (more on that later) chrome was also standard on the 71 Boss 351 and the 72 351 HO sportsroofs.

rubber was available as an option on any non Mach1 Mustang (except possibly the Grande'), as an option, part of the "Exterior Decor Package", which included the Mach 1 style bright lower trim & Mach 1 grille with sportlamps IIRC.

rubber was standard ONLY on the 71-2 Mach 1, 71 Sports coupe, and IIRC, the 72 Sprint specials. chrome was NOT available, at all, period.

The sports coupe was a late '71 promotion, and included all of the Mach 1 exterior cues (Grille, NASA hood, lower body paint, tape stripes, hubcap/trim ring combo, minus the MACH 1 decals)

The 72 Sprint was similar, but was only available in white with blue and red accents, had the rubber bumper and Mach 1 grille, and had model specific qtr decals, and a specific RW&B interior. It was available in all three body styles. There were two packages, A&B, of which I cannot remeber the specifics right now, but they had to do with rims / wheel options and some other goodies.

One thing to remeber is that this was a time when parts of cars were mixed and matched at the factory AND at the dealer. If the factory was low on chrome bumpers, the urethane ones were installed as needed. If a potential buyer liked the look of the urethane over the chrome, the dealer would most likely swap them out to get the sale.

In short, anything was possible.


In '73, the Mustang was equipped with an impact absorbing urethane bumper, which had massive struts and rubber shock absorbers bolted to the front rails. The bumper was entirely different, and added several inches to the length of the nose. This also required a change to the grille, fenders and front valance. Swapping them out is an easy bolt-on, but practically the entire front clip, save the hood, has to be changed, including the the front wiring harness.

If you need more info, on this or any other Mustang optioning question, you should, and I repeat, SHOULD, buy the book "Mustang Recognition Guide". I consider it the "Bible" of the Mustang hobby, and it has all of the info on any pre 73 Stang. It is available from any Mustang vendor for @ $20.

I have a copy at home, it's 15 years old and I still refer to it quite often.
 

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There was an option package in 72 (and maybe in 71) where you could get the Mach I grill on a non-Mach I car. I think this was called the exterior decor group and probably included the rubber Mach I bumper.
 

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Just one note: there is a difference between the '73 bumper and the color-coded bumper on the '72. The '73 is larger and made of urethane, whereas the '72 is shaped more like the chrome bumpers of '71 and '72. Consequently, you may have some differences in the lower valence/fender "connection" points. The '73 bumper may not be interchangeable with the '72. Don't know for sure.

BTW, does anyone know whether the hood/fender trim was chrome or color-coded when you had a color-coded front bumper on the '72? Just curious. ::
 

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71 Grande; you are correct, the 73 bumper is very different and will not directly bolt to a 71-2. It is an impact absorbing bumper, designed for the new-for-73 Federal impact standards. It will not interchange to an earlier car without the entire front clip from a 73 as well.

The front trim was chrome on a 71-72 chrome bumper car, body color painted on the urethane bumper cars. The exception is the 71 Boss 351, which had painted trim and a chrome bumper.

For '73, the bumper and trim were all painted body color. I have owned a '73 Grande that had chrome hood and fender trims with the urethane impact bumper, but was never able to verify if it was stock or a PO modification.
 

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I owned a '73 coupe many years back, and bumper and trim were both body-color. Everything I've seen says that all '73s had body-color front trim. You must have had parts switched out by a PO. Having been used to body-color bumper and trim, I wasn't sure if I'd like the chrome, but the chrome has grown on me. To me, the chrome bumper follows the earlier model years style. I like it.
 

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Everything I ever read said the same thing, 73's were all body color trim and bumper. The 71-2 Fender extensions are different from a '73. and these parts all had D3 part #'s, so they were 73 parts. I can't remember the date code or the vin, but it was either a custom job, or Ford had a couple done in chrome either accidentally or in early production. Who knows, just another Mustang mystery....
 

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What color is the car? Does it have the "Mach1 grille"?
If it's white it could be a sprint. I may be buying a 72 sprint convertible soon. They came with the regular hood but with the mach1 grille and rubber bumper.
 
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