The Ford Mustang is among the first iconic cars that come to mind when you think of American cars. Launched in April 1964, it spawned all kinds of designs and finishes over its six generations. The Ford The Mustang made its debut as an affordable yet sporty pony car, and over time it has grown into a powerful muscle car that has dominated racing competitions around the world.
This was made possible with the help of chicken farmer-turned-mechanic, Carroll Shelby. The Ford Motor Company expected to sell around 100,000 units, but topped 400,000 units in the first year. This indicated that the Ford Mustang was on track to become America’s favorite sports car.
Here are some of the coolest Ford Mustangs the brand has offered over the years.
1965 Shelby GT350
Arguably one of the most iconic cars of the ’60s, the 1965 GT350 is an absolute beauty designed to be a legal beast on the streets. The Mustang has a fiberglass hood that makes it lighter than its steel counterparts. Although its exterior is not much different from that of the regular Ford Mustang, the special stripes set it apart.
Depicted as a Fastback, the 1965 Shelby GT350 is from the first set of cars with a different name brand, tuned by an outside company. Shelby boosted power from the standard 271 hp to a monstrous 306 hp with a 4.7-liter V8 engine.
1967 Shelby GT500 “Eleanor”
The 1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor custom from the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds remake is one of the few iconic vehicles in modern cinema. Steve Stanford, a hot rod designer, came up with the design of the Eleanor, which Chip Foose then refined. With only 2,048 GT500 models released in 1967, the Eleanor is one of the rarest classics.
Chrome cars are, for some reason, parting ways with this established Eleanor. With its replicas already selling at around six figures, it is likely to fetch sky-high prices.
1967 Shelby GT500
The recipe that created the 760bhp monster we see today came from this 1967 Ford Shelby GT500. Under this beast’s hood is a 7.0-liter V8 engine that produced a whopping 355bhp. . This GT500 instantly became a big brother to the GT350 with its 420 lb-ft torque boost.
The Shelby GT500 came with a lot of comfort features compared to the GT350, which was more of a track-ready vehicle. While the GT500 lived through 1969, it resurfaced in the modern era on fifth and sixth generation models.
1969 Boss 429
One of the most respected and important variations of the Mustang is the 1969 Mustang Boss 429. Built to meet Trans-Am rules, Ford Motor Company introduced the Boss 302 in the late 1960s. The Boss 429 , meanwhile, was deployed to homologate a new engine used in the NASCAR variant.
The 1969 Boss 429 featured more aggressive styling than the Shelby GT500. It came with vents in the rear fenders, a huge scoop in the hood, and a large splitter under its front bumper.
2000 SVT Cobra R
It was the fastest factory Mustang ever produced by the automaker when this vehicle was launched in 2000. The name “SVT” should tell the whole story. Ford made sure to remove any “expendable” gear inside to ensure the 2000 SVT Cobra R was as light as possible for full track performance.
With just 300 units produced, the Cobra R was beefed up with a 5.4-liter V8, an impressive 385 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque and a more aerodynamic body with research fenders.
2011 Shelby GT500 Super Serpent
This monstrous tire-ripping machine produced 800 hp and was the most powerful GT500 Super Snake ever released by Ford Motor Company. With all that horsepower, Ford still trusted the rear propulsion system, so the rear spotted a final gear ratio of 3.73 and the transmission was still a six-speed manual.
The 2011 Shelby GT500 Super Snake was the track-oriented version of the GT500. It featured a Ford racing kit with aero shocks, lowering springs, front strut brace, and tuned anti-roll bars.
2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca
The fifth generation Mustang brought the Boss 302 badge back to life in 2002. It was equipped with a more powerful V8 engine and various upgrades for better performance.
Ford then added Recaro seats, a stiffer suspension, a limited-slip differential and a large rear spoiler. All of these parts made the 302 Laguna Seca even closer to a racing car. The removal of the rear seats also resulted in the creation of an X-brace to increase structural rigidity.
2013 Shelby GT500
Under the hood of the 2013 Shelby GT500 is a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine. These drastic advances in power taken by the GT500 were good for a monstrous 662bhp.
This beast can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph, a milestone few people thought the Ford Mustang would ever reach. The optional performance package offers a Torsen limited-slip rear and adds adjustable shocks.
2018 Roush GT Jackhammer
Jack Roush, the founder of the company, took a regular Ford Mustang GT and installed a supercharger on the 5.0-liter V8 engine that came with the standard GT. This monstrous beast was the only Roush Mustang to sport shiny black wheels. And that makes it not only a unique build, but an aggressive build as well.
From a block that delivered just 460 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of original torque, the 2018 Ford Mustang Roush GT Jackhammer claims 710 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. This made the Roush GT a rather special car from Ford Mustang’s two decades of modding activity.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 replaced the retired Shelby GT350. The Mach 1 boasts of a 5.0-liter cross-crank V8 engine with a total of 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. However, with a 0-60mph time of 4.2 seconds, this model isn’t actually faster than a regular GT.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is an exceptional choice for track enthusiasts, especially if your track car needs to be a daily driver as well.
Roush makes a nasty Mustang, but this Camaro has a few surprises in store. It’s anyone’s race.
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