Mustang celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Damn, 50 years of production. No stops, no nothing – just delivery of pure joy and power. Also, it did (and still does) huge impact to American culture. My personal love for the Mustang gave birth to this muscle car blog (my first ever post was about 2010 Mustang and I finally got to own one too(!)). Don’t get me wrong – I do love all other muscle cars. And picking your favorite muscle car is a bit like picking one of your children as your favorite, but hey… The ‘Stang is THE CAR in this list.
Ok, here’s the deal. I got inspired by others to do my Top 10 Mustang list. So, here it comes:
#1. The Concept – 1962 Ford Mustang I
Let’s be honest here. If this concept would’t had happened, nobody knows what would we be driving today. It all started there and then. You can still see it at The Henry Ford Museum.
It is a small 4 cylinder two-seater in alluminium body. Lee Iacocca, Fords General Manager at that time, is known as a father of Mustang. They needed a rival to GM’s Corvair Monza, so they envisioned a low cost small sports car with lots of power as a good competition. They did right.
#2. 1965. The first production year
When Mustang finally reached production line it blew it all. Everybody’s got crazy about the car. It instantly got attention and sales. Instant recognition. The Mustang started the pony car history, provoked the horsepower, design and muscle car war. Competition didn’t took long – Chevy soon delivered their 1967 Camaro, Dodge – Charger and Challenger, Plymouth – Challenger’s sister Barracuda. Others joined the competition, but mostly there was a deal among these guys: Mustang, Camaro, Charger and Challenger.
#3. 1965 Shelby GT350
Well, Mr Carroll Shelby did his own history. He did a great impact for the Mustang brand too. This pony car wasn’t his first job for the Ford (remember the Shelby Cobra?), but it was soooo great – the Shelby Mustang GT350. This may be the greatest Mustang of all times.
I also love the idea of HERTZ “rent a racer” programme where all ordinary Joes could rent one of the 1001-unit GT350H.
#4. 1970 Mustang Boss 302
Oh boy. That name was and still is pefect for the badass muscle car – The Boss. The looks, the sound, the power screams “Boss”. The man behind the project is Larry Shinoda (former GM employee). The 302 was a composite engine using the “tunnel port” Windsor block and large Cleveland heads. This optional engine was available for the express purpose of meeting the homologation guidelines to compete in the Trans-Am series.
#5. 1981 SVO McLaren M81 Mustang
Most of enthusiasts do not like fox body. Me too. But there’s one rare first ever SVO pony that I think is very interesting. Only 10 units have been produced. It is 1980 McLaren M81 Mustang – it was the first Ford SVO. Special Vehicle Operations [SVO] division was ment to “develop a series of limited-production performance cars and develop their image through motorsport.” A heavily modified hatchback had grilleless front, low skirt spoiler, functional hood scoops, tweaked suspension, enormous fender flares and turbo powered 4-cylinder 2.3 liter engine that had an output of 175 HP.
More info: here
#6. The Bullitt.
Steve McQueen. The Bullitt. The legend of the legend. Massive popularity, massive thumbs ups. Probably this is the only unmodified movie Mustang ever. It has massive 325 HP, a real American muscle car’s heart under the hood – the aggressive 6.4 liter V8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission [which definitely looks hard to shift] and sporty rear wheel drive to have fun while cornering. The Bullitt reappeared as a special edition Mustang a few times more. Oh, that Bullitt green body color, those Rallye wheels, that power. Gotta love it too.
See our “Top10 Movie muscle cars“.
#7. 2011 Mustang GT – 5.0 liter Coyote
Ford had to design a V8, specifically for the Mustang GT. The idea was to compete with the GM’s 6.2 liter LS3 used in Camaro, and the all new Chrysler 6.4 liter HEMI used in Charger and Challenger. Originally, this engine was supposed to remain the same in size – 4.6 liter, but the result was the 5.0 Coyote. It made roughly the same amount of horsepower as its competitors but had smaller displacement.
#8. 2005 Mustang
I chose to list it here mostly because it brought the classics back. And, once again, Chevy and Dodge followed the idea in their Camaros, Chargers and Challengers. Sadly, we’ve lost some nameplates along the way, but.. may the strongest survive. I still think the tail lights from the concept should have made it to the production design. Well, at least for the Shelby or GT model. Anyway, cool car that brought the memories back and a fresh breeze from the sixties.
#10. 2015 Mustang. Going worldwide
Two words – independand suspenssion. It is also the first time Mustang is going global which means right-hand pony too. Ford claims 2015 Mustang GT is to be faster than 2012-2013 Boss 302. Production starts this motn, July 2014. Let’s wait and see the worth of all this and the all-new 2.3 ecoBoost’er.