Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ford Mustang-1964 To Present

The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the Ford Falcon, a compact car. Production began in Dearborn, Michigan on 9 March 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on 17 April 1964 at the New York World's Fair.

It was Ford's most successful launch since the Model A.

Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, suggested the name.

The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobile — sports car-like sedans with long hoods and short rear decks—and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Camaro, AMC's Javelin, and Chrysler's revamped Barracuda. It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were exported to America.

Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971-1973 models, fans of the original 1964 design wrote to Ford urging a return to its size and concept.

Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car that has remained in production without interruption after four decades of development and revision.

First generation (1964–1973)

1964 Mustang

Conceived by Ford product manager Donald N. Frey and championed by Ford Division general manager Lee Iacocca, the Mustang prototype was a two-seat, front-mounted engine roadster. This would later be remodeled as a four-seat car penned by David Ash and John Oros in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca. To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components. Much of the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from the Ford Falcon and Ford Fairlane (North American). Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie.

Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year, but in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built.

Second generation (1974–1978)

1975 Ford Mustang Cobra II

The 1970s brought about more stringent pollution laws and the OPEC oil embargo. As a result, large, fuel-inefficient cars fell into disfavor, and the Pony Cars were no exception. Lee Iacocca, who became president of the Ford Motor Company in 1964 and was the driving force behind the original Mustang, ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974. Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.

The new model was introduced two months before the first "Energy Crisis" in October 1973, and its reduced size allowed it to compete more effectively against smaller imported sports coupés such as the Japanese Toyota Celica and the European Ford Capri (then Ford-built in Germany and Britain, sold in U.S. by Mercury as a captive import car). First-year sales were 385,993 cars, compared with the original Mustang's twelve-month sales record of 418,812.

Lee Iacocca wanted the new car, which returned the Mustang to more than a semblance of its 1964 predecessor in size, shape, and overall styling, to be finished to a high standard, saying it should be "a little jewel." However not only was it smaller than the original car, but it was also heavier, owing to the addition of equipment needed to meet new U.S. emission and safety regulations. Performance was reduced, and despite the car's new handling and engineering features the galloping mustang emblem "became a less muscular steed that seemed to be cantering."

The car was available in coupé and hatchback versions. Changes introduced in 1975 included reinstatement of the 302 CID V8 option (called the "5.0 L" although its capacity was 4.94 L) and availability of an economy option called the "MPG Stallion". Other changes in appearance and performance came with a "Cobra II" version in 1976 and a "King Cobra" in 1978.

Third generation (1979–1993)

1979 Ford Mustang

The 1979 Mustang was based on the larger Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr). The interior was restyled to accommodate four people in comfort despite a smaller rear seat. The trunk was larger, as was the engine bay, for easier service access.

Body styles included a coupé (notchback) and hatchback; a convertible was offered in 1983. Available trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT, SVO (1984-86), and Cobra and Cobra R (1993).

In response to slumping sales and escalating fuel prices during the early 1980s, a new Mustang was in developement. It was to be a variant of the Mazda MX-6 assembled at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enthusiasts wrote to Ford objecting to the proposed change to a front-wheel drive, Japanese-designed Mustang without a V8 option. The result was a major facelift of the existing Mustang in 1987, while the MX-6 variant became the 1989 Ford Probe.

Fourth generation (1994–2004)

1996 Mustang GT

In 1994 the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. Code named "SN-95" by Ford, it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel drive Fox platform called "Fox-4." The new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporated several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time a notchback coupe model was unavailable.

The base model came with a 3.8 L OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at 145 hp (108kW; 1994-1995) or 150 hp (112 kW; 1996-1998) and was mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Though initially used in the 1994 and 1995 Mustang GT, Ford retired the 302 cu in (4.9 L) overhead-valve small-block V8 after nearly 40 years of use, replacing it with the newer Modular 4.6 L (281 cid) SOHC V8 in the 1996 Mustang GT. The 4.6 L V8 was initially rated at 215 hp (160 kW; 1996-1997) but was later increased to 225 hp (168 kW; 1998).

For 1999, the Mustang received Ford's New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork, but its basic proportions, interior design, and chassis remained the same as the previous model. The Mustang's powertrains were carried over for 1999 but benefitted from new improvements. The standard 3.8 L V6, thanks to a new split-port induction system, now produced 190 hp (142 kW; 1999-2004) while the Mustang GT's 4.6 L V8 saw an increase in output to 260 hp (194 kW; 1999-2004), thanks to a new head design and other enhancements.

Fifth generation (2005–present)

2008 GT convertible

At the 2004 North American International Auto Show, Ford introduced a completely redesigned Mustang, codenamed "S-197," that was based on an all-new D2C platform for the 2005 model year. Developed under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer Sid Ramnarace, the fifth-generation Mustang's styling echoes the fastback Mustangs of the late 1960s. Ford's senior vice president of design, J Mays, called it "retro-futurism."

The fifth-generation Mustang is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. The base model is powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC V6, which replaces the 3.8 L pushrod V6 used previously. The Mustang GT features an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft timing (VCT) that produces 300 hp (224 kW). The 2005 Mustang GT has an approximate weight to power ratio of 11.5 lb/bhp. The base Mustang comes with a standard Tremec T-5 5-speed manual transmission while Ford's own 5R55S 5-speed automatic, a Mustang first, is optional. Though the Mustang GT features the same automatic transmission as the V6 model, the Tremec T-5 manual is substituted with the heavier duty Tremec TR-3650 5-speed manual transmission to better handle the GT's extra power.

A revised 2010 model year Mustang, due to be launched in early 2009, was unveiled on the internet ahead of the 2008 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Special editions and modified Mustangs

Ford and other third party companies offered their own modified versions of popular Mustang in order to cater to the performance-centric enthusiast who wants more power, sharper handling and better styling. Although most of the Mustang variants were aimed at enthusiasts, a notable exception was the Special Service Package (or SSP), which was designed for law enforcement.

Third party modifications

Shelby Mustangs

The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang, built by Ford from 1968 through 1970. The 1965, 1966 and 1967 Shelbys were a series of Ford Mustangs which were specially modified by Carroll Shelby's company and sold with the marque "Shelby Cobra". The program was factory-sponsored by Ford to compete with the Corvette, also factory-sponsored by Chevrolet, neither of which could be built for the sales price charged. In 2007, following the introduction of the Fifth-generation Ford Mustang the Shelby nameplate was revived for new high performance models.

1965-1970 GT350 and GT500

1965-1966 GT350


The 1966 was differentiated in body color (non-white versions were introduced - colors included blue, red, green and black, as well as the original white) and trim. The "Le Mans" stripes were continued as an option, as in 1965. It featured special quarter-panel windows and rear air scoops on each side and an optional automatic transmission. A fold-down rear seat was now standard as well. Where early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had the 289 engine painted blue.** The first 252 GT-350s for 1966 were "carry-over" cars. They had the 1965 Ford Mustang Bodies and 1965 Ford Mustang serial numbers under their Shelby serial numbers. They had mostly 1965 features including standard Koni shock and Engines painted black. Blue engines did not occur in 1966 until after these 252 "carry-over" models were produced. 1966 production was 1373 fastbacks including (2) prototypes and (4) drag cars and (252) "carry-over" models with Ford Mustang 1965 bodies. 1001 Hertz fastbacks were produced including (2) prototypes. 4 convertibles were also produced for a total of 2378 units for 1966. The original colours of the GT500 were metallic grey with some twin black racing stripes.

Shelby struck a deal with the Hertz Corporation to produce a special line of GT350s for rent which were subsequently sold to the public after their rental-car lives were finished. These 'GT350H' cars are quite rare and sought-after today, with some examples selling for more than $120,000. Shelby produced 1000 of these cars: 800 in Raven Black, and 50 each in Candy Apple Red, Wimbledon White, Sapphire Blue and Ivy Green. All Hertz cars featured gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripes. Early "Hertz" cars were available with 4 speed manual transmissions until so many cars were returned from rental with burned and broken clutch assemblies that all of the later cars shipped to Hertz were equipped with an automatic transmission.[citation needed] Many were rented to use as production class cars at SCCA events, some were returned with different engines, holes where roll bars had been welded in, and other modifications to legally run on the track.

Production numbers: GT350 - 2,380 units (4 were special order convertibles for Carroll Shelby, the rumor is that 6 were made, but only 4 VINs have been discovered). The brakes were enlarged because of the extra power. New components such as under-hood suspension bracing were used. Staggered rear shocks prevented wheel hop and axle wind-up. Functional air-intake scoops were added to force air to the rear brake pads which aided in keeping them cool. On the factory drag cars, the air scoop on the hood also met all postal regulations for a mailbox. There were only a couple of these models made and now they are collectors' items.

1967-1968 GT350 & GT500


The new 1967 Mustang was followed with a new Shelby. It featured a 1967 Mercury Cougar tail light panel minus the chrome trim, a flip-up spoiler, and two sets of air scoops on each side. This was also the first American car to feature a factory roll bar. The GT350 still featured a 289 Cubic-Inch V8.

This year also saw the introduction of the GT500 alongside the continued GT350. The new GT500 featured a 428-CID (7 L) big-block V8. This is also one of the most famous Shelby Cobras.

A convertible prototype of the GT500 was made in 1967, which was designated to be scrapped. Before Ford Motor Co. could destroy the prototype, it was stolen. The car was eventually recovered by Ford and sold as '68 with the marque Shelby Mustang.

Production: GT350 1,175 units, GT500 2,048 units.


1968 introduced the Shelby Mustang, a high performance Ford Mustang version of the Shelby Cobra. Power steering, a single carburetor and hydraulic camshaft made this a musclecar for the masses. The Shelby GT350 Mustang sported a 302 cubic-inch V8 while the GT500 came equipped with the 428 cubic-inch Police Interceptor engine. In February 1968, the GT500KR "King of the Road" debuted; under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 which was rated at 335 horsepower. Due to a production strike, some early 68 GT500's had a 390 cubic-inch V8. Also in 1968, production of Shelby Mustangs switched from Shelby's shop in California to A.O. Smith Company in Michigan.

1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 and GT350


Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969. The GT350 and GT500 for the 1969–70 model years received extensive facelifts, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches. Ford was heavily involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having very little input. The GT350 was now equpiped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Production of Shelby Mustangs ceased with the 1970 model year. The 1970 models were in fact left over 1969 models.

1969-1970 GT350 & GT500

2006-2007 Shelby GT-H and 2007-2008 Shelby GT

Ford introduced the Shelby GT-H version of the Mustang at the 2006 New York Auto Show. Like the original GT350H from 1966, the GT-H featured gold-on-black paint and was only available at the Hertz car rental agency. A modest power bump over the regular Mustang GT resulted in a claimed 325 hp (242 kW) and 330 ft·lbf (447 N·m). Features included a 5-speed automatic transmission, and a package from Ford Racing including a 90 mm cold air intake kit, X-pipe, special performance suspension, and Ford Racing "GTA" axle-back mufflers. Only 500 cars were built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Shelby GT350H. For 2007, a convertible version of the GT-H was offered for rental at Hertz.

The 4.6 liter, 281-cubic-inch, 319 hp Ford Shelby GT slots between the 300 hp Mustang GT and the 500 hp Ford Shelby GT500. It is essentially a retail sale version of the Hertz rental-only Ford Shelby GT-H, except a manual transmission is available. Other differences include the deletion of the rear spoiler, a retro Shelby hood scoop in place of the CS6/8 Shelby hood, and silver versus the gold stripes, with the car available in either white or black in 2007 and Grabber Orange or Vista Blue for 2008. A very limited number (100) Barrett Jackson Shelby GTs were built in 2008 that were black with red stripes. The Hertz Shelby GT-H attracted so much attention that Ford dealers and customers asked for a version of their own. Like the GT-H, the Shelby GT is modified at Shelby Automotive's factory in Las Vegas, which distinguishes the GT-H and Shelby GT models from the GT500 in that the GT500's are produced entirely in Flint, MI.

Production of the Shelby GT began in December 2006 and the car went on sale in January 2007. It was originally planned that up to 6000 cars would be built with final numbers as of this date still not in but are expected to be slightly less than this amount. As of this date the following appoximate number of 2007 Shelby GT's is known;

2007 Shelby GT Production Numbers

Total Cars - 5,632

White Auto: 491 White Man: 1,768 Total White: 2,259

Black Auto: 508 Black Man: 2,865 Total Black: 3,373

As of this date the production numbers for the 2008 cars has not been announced. A Shelby Registry is being prepared and finalized by Shelby Automobiles, Inc. which will post the official numbers.

At the request of owners a number of Shelby GTs are being modified in various ways by Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas. One of these modifications results in a model known as the Shelby GT/SC (Supercharged). A large number of add-ons can be had including the "Super Snake" brakes and larger wheels and tires which are necessary to accommodate these brakes. Additionally there are three different available superchargers, again installed by Shelby Automobiles or authorized Shelby Mod Shop, that can increase rated horsepower to 500 or more. Only modifications completed by Shelby Mod Shops will be recognized by the official Shelby Registry.

2007 Shelby GT

2007 Shelby GT engine

2007-present Ford Shelby GT500

Second Generation

Shelby and Ford returned for the 2007 model year with the Shelby GT500. Introduced at the 2003 New York International Auto Show, the GT500 uses a 5.4 L (330 CID) Modular 500-hp supercharged V8. Features include the Tremec TR-6060 6-speed manual transmission, suspension tuning, a body kit, and 18 inch wheels.

Deliveries of the Shelby GT500 began in May 2006.

A collaboration of Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and Carroll Shelby, the GT500 will be produced in limited quantity for three years (approximately 10,000 units per year) on the line at Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan (AutoAlliance) assembly facility.

2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR

2009 Shelby GT500KR

The Ford Shelby GT500KR, revealed at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, was released in the spring of 2008. The car is powered by a 540 horsepower 5.4-liter (330CID) supercharged V-8 variation with a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack. SVT and Shelby announced that 1,000 40th Anniversary Editions will be built for the U.S. in 2008, with another 571 units in 2009. This 1,571 production run matches that of the original 1968 GT500KR. In total, 1,746 units will be produced, with the extra 175 units going to other markets.

The Shelby GT500KR features a carbon composite hood with scoops and hood pins, a lowered front air dam, and 14-inch Brembo brand front brakes with functional cooling ducts. The suspension has been modified and tuned by Shelby Automobiles and Ford Racing including unique spring rates, dampers, stabilizer bars, and strut tower brace, all designed specifically for the KR.

The GT500KR draws on styling features from the classic 1968 "King of the Road" GT500KR model, and the 2008 model includes "40th Anniversary" badging; both years will have silver paint with blue "LeMans" stripes, and Carroll Shelby signature embroidered seats. The GT500KR's price will be $79,995.

The GT500KR is featured prominently in the new Knight Rider television series on NBC. One of the main characters of the show is KITT, an advanced Artificial Intelligence housed in a GT500KR.


Front engine, RWD, 4 passenger, 2 door coupe
Supercharged DOHC 32 valve V8 engine
330 CID (5408 cc) displacement
Power: 540 hp (410 kW) (550 CV)
Torque: 510 ft.-lbs.
6 Speed Manual Transmission
3.73 differential ratio
18 x 9.5" Alcoa wheels on Goodyear F1 tires (front: P255/45ZR18 rear: 285/40/ZR18)
Tuned suspension by Shelby and Ford Racing
3,800 lb (1,700 kg) curb weight
107.1 in (2,720 mm) wheelbase
188×73.9×54.5 in (4.78×1.88×1.38 m)


0-60 mph (0-97 km/h): 4.1s
1/4 mile: 11.92s @ 120 mph (11.58 @ 122 mph on drag radials)

Super Snake

A 2007 Super Snake

Starting in 2008, previous 2007 Shelby GT500 Mustangs could be sent to Carroll Shelby's Special Performance Plant in Las Vegas to be rebuilt into a Super Snake, which resembles the 1968 GT500KR, for an additional cost of $27,995. The Super Snake will offer a 605 hp 5.4L Eaton roots type supercharged version with warranty. A Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharged version with "over 725 hp" will also be available, without warranty and a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds. The Super Snake is inspired by the 1967 GT500 Super Snake, a car made by Carroll Shelby for Goodyear Tires.

The Super Snake also comes with a variety of other performance, handling and cosmetic changes including badging, gauge pod, stripes, 20" Alcoa wheels, fibreglass ram-air Super Snake hood, stripes, carbon fibre front splitter and skirts, larger 6-piston Baer brakes, front and rear brake cooling ducts, complete track setup suspension, aluminum driveshaft, 3.73 differential gears and cat-back exhaust system.

Need for Speed Shelby Terlingua

Recently, due to the release of the videogame Need For Speed:Undercover, Shelby and EA produced a one-off GT500 with special features for street racing and some distinctive details like Need for Speed badges. The Shelby Terlingua can be unlocked by taping the code "NeedForSpeedShelbyTerlingua".

Unique Performance

In 2002, Carroll Shelby sold a license to a company called Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, to produce the GT500E, a Shelby based on the "Eleanor" 1967 GT500 featured prominently in the 2000 movie Gone in Sixty Seconds, starring Nicolas Cage. Other new Shelbys followed, including the GT350SR and GT500SR. Each of these new Shelbys is given a Shelby VIN number and all are eligible for inclusion in the Shelby American World Registry.

On October 5, 2007 Shelby's licensing branch announced it has taken steps to sever the relationship with Unique Performance after numerous complaints and several lawsuits filed by customers who had paid money for "Continuation" Shelby GT-350SRs and GT-500Es (Eleanors) but not received cars.

On November 1, 2007, Unique Performance was raided by the Farmers Branch Police Department due to VIN irregularities and subsequently declared bankruptcy, which effectively ended the Shelby continuation "Eleanor" production.

Sean Hyland Motorsport

October 2008 - Shelby Automobiles, Inc. named Sean Hyland Motorsport as the first authorized Shelby mod shop outside of the U.S. to build high performance versions of current generation Shelby and Ford Mustangs. SHM will began building factory authorized post-title Shelby Mustangs at their facility in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada in late November. SHM will also enhance Mustangs with authentic Shelby Performance Parts. Individual components will include upgraded brakes, superchargers, suspension components and cosmetic pieces such as hoods and fascias exclusively designed at Shelby Automobiles.

Shelby and SHM are also working together to create a powerful line of 4.6 and 5.4L modular engines. Branded with the Shelby logo, there will be five engine options including a 4.6L 3-valve cast aluminum block that will crank out 600hp for '05 - '09 Mustang GTs, as well as a Shelby GT500 5.4 liter high output long block capable of 950hp. In addition to the engines, Shelby and SHM will also offer Shelby branded front and rear suspensions as well as a Shelby GT500 Power Pack. The engines, suspensions and power packs will be available soon from Shelby Automobiles.

Automobile racer Carroll Shelby transformed a conventional Mustang into a serious track racer designated as the "GT-350". The fastbacks were shipped from the San Jose, California assembly plant and fitted with a "Hi-Po" 289, 4-speed manual transmission, and included front disc brakes and heavy duty rear drum brakes. Additionally, shortened hoods and deleted rear seats with identifying trim were among the visual variations. These select Mustangs were converted to street, road racing, and drag cars in Shelby's plant at Los Angeles International Airport.

Shelby GT-H

The 2006 GT-H was built as a 40th anniversary Hertz rental model as a tribute to the GT350-H in 1966. The GT-H was an exclusive Shelby styled GT that was also used as a concept for the planned Shelby GT's, released in the summer of 2007. After the success of the 2006 Shelby GT-H coupe, a 2007 GT-H convertible was released, 500 were produced.

Shelby GT500KR

In 1968, Ford offered a special edition of the Shelby Mustang, called the GT500KR, which stood for King of the Road. It had the 428 c.i. Cobra Jet engine introduced the same year. In early 2007, Shelby had announced that they will release an all new GT500KR based on S-197 Mustangs for the 2009 model year. The package will only be available through Shelby for all 05+ S-197 based GT500's. The K.I.T.T. in the Knight Rider 2008 television pilot movie is a Mustang GT modified to look like a black Shelby GT500KR Mustang.

Shelby CS6/8

Shelby along with Paxton also designed a new variant based on the V6 Mustang. Modifications include a supercharged motor producing 350 horsepower (260 kW). 20" Wheels bearing the Shelby name and the Cobra moniker on each side and the decklid. The 2" drop in suspension, Baer/Shelby 14" front and rear brakes and aggressive front fascia along with a dual exhaust. Shelby also created the CS8, a 4.6 liter V8 variant of the CS6. The Shelby CS6/8 is not available as a factory release, however Shelby has made the CS6/8 kit available for purchase online from,, and

Shelby GT500E

The GT500E was designed by Shelby Autos for the movie "Gone in Sixty Seconds", starring Nicolas Cage. Although the actual car was not mass-produced like many other Shelby GT variants, due to an overwhelming amount of requests, the car can now be purchased through Unique Performance in Texas. Unique Performance is currently being investigated for fraud. All 61 vehicles they were "restoring" have been confiscated by order of a Texas court.

Shelby GT500 "Super Snake"

Starting in 2008, previous 2007 Shelby GT500 Mustangs could be sent to Carroll Shelby's Special Performance Plant in Las Vegas to be rebuilt into a Super Snake, which resembles the 1968 GT500KR, for an additional cost of $27,995. The Super Snake will offer a 605 hp 2.3L Eaton roots type supercharged version with warranty. A Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharged version with "over 725 hp" will also be available, without warranty and a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds. The Super Snake is inspired by the 1967 GT500 Super Snake, a car made by Carroll Shelby for Goodyear Tires.


Ronaele Is a company that specializes in converting Mustangs into All electric Mustangs. the word ronaele IS "Eleanor," spelled backwards. It is a pun from the Movie Gone in Sixty Seconds. Ronaele was first premiered in the annual EVS23(battery electric vehicle auto show), held on December 2-4 2007, and it was the Ronaele 300E's first auto show. The Ronaele Company, takes mustangs that people bring them, and converts them into all electric mustangs. These conversions were projected to cost around $80,000. Production of the Ronaele mustangs was supposed to start as of June 2008. Notably there have been no updates on the Ronaele Project and it appears to no longer exist.


Roush Performance, established by former Ford engineer Jack Roush in 1988, had been known for providing performance parts, vehicles and engines. The company introduced three packages for the Mustang. Stage 1 came with 17-inch wheels, a lowered suspension and a side-mounted exhaust system. In addition, it came with an air dam, side skirts and a rear spoiler. Stage 2 was an upgraded Stage 1 with 18-inch alloy wheels and BFGoodrich Comp T/A Tires. The suspension was extensively modified with Bilstein shocks, High-rate springs, stiffer anti-roll bars and new control arms. Roush claimed it achieved 1.0g lateral acceleration and was on par with the Porsche 911 Turbo. Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 came with V6 or V8 engine options. The top of the line was the Stage 3, with 360 hp (268 kW) and 375 ft·lbf (508 Nm) of torque. The Stage 3 platform was essentially a heavily modified Mustang GT. The Ford 4.6 L V8was upgraded with an Eaton supercharger, a new intake manifold, high performing fuel injectors, an air-to-water intercooler and a lighter flywheel (on the manual transmission only). The Stage 3 was available in three packages: Sport, Rally and Premium.

In 2004, Roush released a limited edition mustang known as the 440A. This was a Stage 3 Roush with the addition of custom 440A interior, Roush braking system, and a rear exhaust system instead of the side-mounted exhaust system. The 440A model was released in 2004 to commemorate the 40 years of Ford Mustang production. Only 40 Roush 440A Mustangs were produced and all were sold at a dealership in Florida, USA. Roush also claimed that this model produced 400 hp (300 kW), a claim that has been argued by some who claim that the engine was dyno tested at 360 hp (268 kW).

In 2007, now based on an S-197 Mustang, Roush introduced the Sport and 427R editions. The Sport package became the Roush base model, and comes with body kits and high performance exhaust systems. The Stage 1 comes with 18-inch chrome wheels and aggressive tires, a high performance exhaust system, body kits and a vast option menu of visual upgrades. The Stage 2 enhances the Stage 1, by upgrading the stock suspension with high performance front struts, rear shocks, front and rear springs, front and rear sway bars, and Pinion snubbers. The Stage 3 comes with 18-inch, forged chrome wheels and high performance tires, and 14-inch rotors with four-piston calipers. The 4.6 L V8 now has the output of 415 hp (268.4 kW) and 385 ft·lb (521 Nm) with a Roush supercharger and an air-to-water intercooler. The new top of the line is the 427R, which is based on the Stage 3 Mustang. It produces an additional 20horsepower (14.91 kW) and 15 ft·lb of torque over the Stage 3 Mustang, due to an upgraded ECM (Electronic Control Module). In addition, it is equipped with an upgraded appearance package.


Based in Pompano Beach, Florida, Dario Orlando founded Steeda Autosports in 1988 using his years of experience repairing and racing cars. Steeda is one of the largest manufacturers of Ford aftermarket performance parts. In 2003 Steeda introduced the Q400, based on the Mustang GT with an advertised 400 hp (298 kW). The 4.6L V8 in the Q400 was modified with Vortec centrifugal supercharger, K&N Filter, and Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) 80 mm Mass Air Meter with 70 mm throttle body. Fuel is supplied via twin Bosch pumps, and Steeda-spec Borla 2.5-inch stainless pipes and mufflers. Motor Trend magazine did a dynamometer test on the Q400. Their Q400 had produced 425 hp (317 kW) from the rear wheels, and 450 hp (335 kW) from the flywheel.

In 2006, Steeda introduced Q525. It comes equipped with a 5.0L modular V8, producing 500 hp (373 kW) and 530 ft·lbf (719 Nm) of torque, thanks to a Steeda/MagnaCharger supercharger system with an intercooler, a 62 mm twin-bore throttle body, a Steeda/SCT air meter, 60 lb electronic fuel injectors and a Steeda Intake Kit.


Saleen was founded by racer Steve Saleen in 1983, with the first model being a 1984 Saleen Mustang. The first Saleens were mainly focused on looks, and used stock Ford engines. As the years grew, so did the performance. Saleen has won many races with his Mustangs, including the famous 24 hours of Le Mans, 24 hours of Daytona, and many SCCA championships. Saleen has many different versions of the Mustangs, all called the "S281", such as the S281 SC with a supercharged 4.6 Liter V8, making 465 hp (347 kW); and the S281-E Extreme, in which they have replaced the factory 4.6 liter with a Saleen-built V8 engine, increasing the power to almost 550 hp (410 kW).

In 2007, Saleen and American Racing Legend, Parnelli Jones, created a limited-edition version of the Mustang. Though often called the Saleen/Parnelli Jones S302, it was designed to pay homage to the legendary Boss 302 that Parnelli Jones had raced in back in the 70's. Equipped with a Saleen MOD 302 cid 3-valve V8, the S302 makes 400 hp (300 kW) and 390 lb·ft (529 N·m) of torque. On the outside, the S302 features a new front fascia, Saleen "Shaker" hood, window louvers, and custom Saleen/Parnelli Jones edition wheels. Production of this car was limited to only 500 cars.

Ford in-house variants

Ford T-5

In addition to selling the Mustang in North America, Ford saw the importance of marketing the sporty car overseas as well, especially to American military personnel. However, the name "Mustang" was copyrighted by small truck manufacturer Krupp in Germany, which prevented Ford from using the name there. Therefore, Ford re-badged Mustangs bound for export to Germany with the T-5 name. All references to the Mustang name, including the steering wheel hub, side nameplates, and rear fuel filler, were blanked out, replaced by the words "FORD" only. An attractive "T-5" emblem graced the front fender behind the wheel well, where the "Mustang" namplate (and horse emblem) were located on other Mustangs.

Other than this, they were exactly the same as Mustangs elsewhere, and even had the horse emblems in the grille and steering wheel hub. Virtually all models and packages for the Mustang were available for the T-5 including the GT. After 1978 Krupp's copyright on the Mustang name expired, so all Mustangs imported to Germany after 1979 kept the name Mustang.

High Country Special

The High Country Mustangs were manufactured from 1966 (333), 1967 (400) and 1968 (251), as a special promotion vehicle for Colorado-area Ford dealers, the first two years of High Country Specials were little more than special exterior colors and a triangular HCS emblem for all body styles. For '68, the HCS became a hardtop only and borrowed the front foglights, sidescoops, and Shelby rearend treatment from the California Special.

Ski Country Special

The Ski Country Special was a region specific, dealer promotional package available in the winter of 1967 and was not limited to the Mustang line. The combination of features identifying a Ski Country Special were: a ski rack, "coffee bar" (luggage rack), a limited slip axle, a unique emblem and two snow tires. The SCS package also included five new colors: "Vail Blue", "Aspen Red", "Winter Park Turquoise", "Loveland Green" and "Breckenridge Yellow". 1967 Ski Country Special,, retrieved on 27 July 2008

California Special

In mid-February 1968, the California Ford Dealers (Ford Dealer Advertising Fund) began to market a factory-built, limited-edition Mustang, called the GT/CS, or "California Special". The hope was for a targeted production run of 5,000, but actually, 4118 were made, which included 251 units that were remarketed in Denver, Colorado, as "High Country Special '68". Production ran for only 5.5 months from mid-February 1968 to early August 1968. A 2007 variant exists as well based on the GT Mustang.


Miller Cup Mustang

The Mustang made its first public appearance on a racetrack little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500.

The same year, Mustangs achieved the first of many notable competition successes, winning first and second in class in the Tour de France international rally. The car’s American competition debut, also in 1964, was in drag racing, where private individuals and dealer-sponsored teams campaigned Mustangs powered by 427 cu. in. V8s

In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs made their competition debut at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the class.

A decade later Bob Glidden won the Mustang’s first NHRA Pro Stock title.

Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) six divisions in 1965. Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-Production national championship. GT 350s won the B-Production title again in 1966 and 1967. They also won the 1966 manufacturers’ championship in the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am series, and repeated the win the following year.

In 1969, modified versions of the 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302 took 295 United States Auto Club-certified records at Bonneville Salt Flats. The outing included a 24-hour run on a 10-mile course at an average speed of 157 miles an hour. Drivers were Mickey Thompson, Danny Ongais, Ray Brock and Bob Ottum.

Boss 429 engines powered Ford Torinos in 1969 and 1970 NASCAR racing.

In 1970 the Mustang won the manufacturers’ championship in the Trans-Am series once again, with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer driving. Jones won the drivers’ title. Two years later Dick Trickle won 67 short-track feature races, a national record for wins in a single season.

In 1975 Ron Smaldone's Mustang became the first-ever American car to win the Showroom Stock national championship in SCCA road racing.

Mustangs also competed in the IMSA GTO class, with wins in 1984 and 1985. In 1985 John Jones also won the 1985 GTO drivers’ championship; Wally Dallenbach Jr., John Jones and Doc Bundy won the GTO class at the Daytona 24 Hours; and Ford won its first manufacturers’ championship in road racing since 1970. Three class wins went to Lynn St. James, the first woman to win in the series.

1986 brought eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers’ title. Scott Pruett won the drivers’ championship. The GT Endurance Championship also went to Ford.

In drag racing Rickie Smith’s Motorcraft Mustang won the International Hot Rod Association Pro Stock world championship.

In 1987 Saleen Autosport Mustangs driven by Steve Saleen and Rick Titus won the SCCA Escort Endurance SSGT championship, and in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing a Mustang again won the GTO class in the Daytona 24 hours. In 1989, its silver anniversary year, the Mustang won Ford its first Trans-Am manufacturers’ title since 1970, with Lynn St. James winning the drivers’ championship. In 1997, Tommy Kendall’s Roush-prepared Mustang won a record 11 consecutive races in Trans-Am to secure his third straight driver’s championship.

In 2002 John Force broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national championship in his Ford Mustang Funny Car.

Currently Mustangs compete in several racing series, including the Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup and the KONI Challenge, where it won the manufacturer's title in 2005 & 2008, and the Formula Drift and D1 Grand Prix series.


2005 Canadian Car of the Year

The 1965 Mustang won the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design, the first automobile ever to do so.

The Mustang was on the Car and Driver Ten Best list in 1983, 1987, 1988, 2005, and 2006. It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 1974 and 1994.

In 2005 it was runner-up to the Chrysler 300 for the North American Car of the Year award and was named Canadian Car of the Year.

Ford Mustang SSP

The Ford Mustang SSP was a lightweight police car package based on the Ford Mustang produced between 1982-1993. The car was meant to provide a speedier option for police departments in lieu of other full sized (and heavier) sedans on the market at the time. The SSP abbreviates the designation Special Service Package, a special Foxbody Mustang trim made exclusively for law enforcement use. One of the taglines used by Ford to help sell this car was This Ford chases Porsches for a living...

The units served a number of uses, and were often customized to suit each law enforcement agency's particular needs. Law enforcement agencies from municipal to government agencies bought nearly 15,000 examples of these units. Many still exist today, either still in some role of law enforcement, from display cars to DARE cars, or in the hands of collectors and racers.


In 1982, the California Highway Patrol asked the Ford Motor Company to produce a capable and lightweight police car due to the bulkiness of current police cars like the Ford Fairmont and LTD/Crown Victoria and the problems incurred with Chevrolet Camaros with their camshafts and engine problems at pursuit speeds. Taking the Fox 5.0 Mustangs in production at the time, Ford produced the Ford Mustang SSP (originally labeled Severe Service Package, renamed in 1983 to Special Service Package) and modified them to suit the needs of the police and law enforcement departments.

Nearly 15,000 of these special units were made from 1982 until their discontinuation in 1993 to over 60 law enforcement organizations and government agencies. Their roles ranged from general patrol to pursuit units, with some used in special duties like drug interdiction to academy training units. Several units were specially tasked to help land the Lockheed U2 Spyplane.


The Mustang SSP was essentially a more rugged version of the 5.0 Mustang, with added features not available to the general public. Available options included:

Engine, 5.0 L HO V8 with Sequential Multi-Port Injection
Forged pistons, roller cam (Hypereutectic pistons 1993)
Engine oil cooler
Aircraft-type silicone radiator hoses and clamps
5-speed manual or 4-speed AOD transmission
Auto transmission fluid cooler
Brakes, power disc front/drum rear with rotor shields
Stainless steel factory headers
Dual exhaust system w/stainless tips
Fuel tank capacity — 15.4 U.S. gallons (58 L)
Heavy duty stabilizer bars, front and rear
Full instrumentation with in-dash tachometer
130 and 135 amp internally and externally regulated heavy duty alternators
2 Piece VASCAR speedometer cable
Certified calibrated speedometer 0-140 and 0-160 mph
Non-operational courtesy lights (safety feature)
Relocated rear deck release
Single key locking doors/trunk
Reinforced floor pans
Full size spare tire
15" X 7" cast aluminum wheels
Depending on which agency bought them, extras like rollcages (installed by Oregon State Police) and power windows (requested by New York State Police) made each SSP unique to their respective departments. The original configuration of the civilian Mustang with its small rear seat and manual transmission were generally considered ill-suited for a law-enforcement vehicle. Many SSPs had automatic transmissions, to free an officers hand from using the manual transmission stick so that they could use the hand for other duties, such as speaking on a radio.

All of the 15,000 Mustang SSP's were of the coupe or "notchback" style cars.


Some of the known users of the Mustang SSP include:

United States Government

Drug Enforcement Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Immigration and Naturalization Service
United States Air Force - Used as a chase car for the U2 Spy Plane.
United States Border Patrol - Drug interdiction; resides at USBP Museum in Texas.
United States Customs Service
US Fish and Wildlife Service

State governments

Alabama State Troopers
Arizona Department of Public Safety
California Highway Patrol - Initial Purchaser of the Mustang SSP
Colorado State Patrol
Connecticut State Police
Delaware State Police
Florida Highway Patrol - Second biggest user of the Mustang SSP.
Georgia State Patrol
Idaho State Police
Indiana State Police
Kansas State Police
Kentucky State Police
Louisiana State Police
Massachusetts State Police
Michigan State Police
Minnesota State Patrol
Mississippi Highway Patrol
Missouri Highway Patrol
Nebraska State Patrol
Nevada Highway Patrol
New Mexico State Police
North Carolina Highway Patrol
Oklahoma Highway Patrol
Oregon State Police
Pennsylvania State Police
Rhode Island State Police
South Carolina Highway Patrol
Tennessee Highway Patrol
Texas Department of Public Safety - Third biggest user of the Mustang SSP
Utah Highway Patrol
Washington State Patrol
Wisconsin State Patrol
Wyoming Highway Patrol

Local/municipal governments

Arlington, TX Police Department
Atlanta, GA Police Department
Clearwater, FL Police Department
Fort Worth, TX Police Department
Jonesboro, AR Police Department
New York City Police Department - Highway Patrol Branch
Pensacola, FL Police Department
San Francisco Police Department
[Winter Park FL Police Department]


Royal Canadian Mounted Police


Many of the Mustang SSPs have been retired from service, with a few examples still on the rosters of police departments as display or DARE cars. A few law enforcement agencies still keep them on active duty. Most examples have found their way into either racing or restoration.

With its stiffened frame and beefed up suspension, many Mustang SSPs were modified for use in Drag Racing. The plentiful aftermarket of parts for the 5.0 Engine made the SSP platform a desirable frame to work on, but with the dwindling supply and rising prices of genuine Mustang SSPs, these factors have limited racers from converting SSPs for racing purposes.

Restoring Mustang SSPs have become a growing hobby as of late, with car clubs and websites devoted to the restoration of the law enforcement workhorse. Most enthusiasts strive for accuracy in their models, with many scouring for OEM parts, including police radios, shotgun holders, lights, sirens, and other related equipment. However, the hobby is limited, as many states have regulations on private citizens owning cars that could be mistaken for real cop cars. Some get around the regulations by using magnetic decals and removable lights.

Distinct models

CHP Hatchback

Out of the initial batch of 400 units for the CHP, five were of the "hatchback" variety. These were produced under a Fleet DSO and retained for use and evaluation by the CHP. They are not Special Service Mustangs. One exists in private hands.


Several Mustang SSPs were heavily modified and used as training units at CHP's EVOC facility.

USAF U2 chase car

Due to problems with landing the Lockheed U-2, a system was implemented where a second pilot would chase the U-2 (termed "mobile") and help guide the aircraft down to earth. The USAF usually utilized a performance car for this task.

In 1986, the USAF was looking for a replacement for the Chevrolet El Camino as a chase car for the U-2. Beale Air Force Base asked the local California Highway Patrol to provide a Mustang SSP for testing. The test proved the Mustang SSP superior to the El Camino and the USAF ordered 20 for work with the spyplanes.

Their career lasted until the late 1990s, when they were replaced by "Special Service" B4C Chevrolet Camaros.

One of three examples from RAF Alconbury is preserved: 1988 Mustang SSP 88B 9971 "Mobile 1", serving with the 17th Reconnaissance Wing and the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron until its disposal in 1999. It is currently in the hands of a private collector in the United States after being ferried from its last operation in Italy to England.

Saleen connections

Noted Mustang tuner Saleen contributed to the history of the Mustang SSP. The Oregon State Police had ordered 34 coupes in 1988, but cancelled the order at the last minute. The dealership that ordered the coupes scrambled to find a way to get rid of the order, and Saleen took custody of 13 of the cars. Saleen returned the cars, and also added vehicle ID, rear spoiler, ground effects and interior upgrades. The firm then resold them, tuned for private use.

While not considered a true SSP, Saleen modified another 5.0, a 1989 5.0 LX Hatchback, this time for the Seal Beach, California Police Department. Designated as an S442 model, this model served Seal Beach until its retirement in the late 1990s.

SSP in popular culture

One restored Mustang SSP appeared in the film Friday Night Lights. The usage of the SSP was to keep within a reasonable time period to set the atmosphere of the film.

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