Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ford Mustang turns 53

1963 Mustang II concept
The Ford Mustang was formally introduced on April 17th, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair.

The Mustang’s first day sales were 22,000 units. Over the next 12 months, Ford sold 417,000 examples of the 1964.5 and 1965 Mustang, leading to a monthly average of 34,750 new cars sold each month. The Mustang’s 52 straight years of production makes it the longest running sports car. (There were no 1983 Corvettes)
The best year for the Ford Mustang came in 1966, when 607,568 units sold. Overall Ford Motor Company has sold 9,660,193 Mustangs.

Though it was based on the economy-minded Ford Falcon, Ford wasted no time in building performance models.

1965 GTX-350
The muscle car of Mustang was the 1968 Cobra Jet with the 428-cubic inch Cobra Jet engine.

The 1969 Mustang Boss 429 is rarer than the Boss 302.

1984 Mustang SVO
The 1970s weren’t kind to the Ford Mustang. Federal safety and emissions regulations put a stranglehold on performance and the once mighty Mustang migrated to the same platform as the lowly Ford Pinto economy car.

It wasn't until the mid-80s that it could once again be considered a performance machine.

2000 Mustang Cobra R
The 2012 Boss 302 featured a 5.0-liter V-8 of 444-horsepower. All had performance brakes, adjustable shocks, stiffer suspension settings, and quicker, adjustable steering.

The 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 featured a new dual-overhead cam 5.8-liter V-8, increasing output to 662-horses.
At the L.A. auto show in November, Ford unveiled the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. The GT350R is powered by a naturally aspirated flat-crank 5.2-liter V-8 and packs Ford’s first adaptive magnetorheological suspension.

Transmission is a six-speed manual, and the car is fitted with dedicated coolers for the engine oil, the gearbox, and the 3.73:1 Torsen limited-slip differential. The GT350R rolls on carbon-fiber wheels, a first for any major automaker and a rarity even among exotic supercars.
The Shelby GT350R is about as stripped-down as a street-legal car can get. The GT350R buyer gets no air conditioning, no stereo, no rear seats, and no trunk upholstery or cargo floor. Base MSRP is $48,695.

If that doesn't work for you, you must need the supercharged "Shelby Super Snake" with a host of Ford Performance components, including a Roush-sourced 2.3-liter supercharger, which boosts the GT's 5.0-liter V-8 from 435 hp to 627 hp.

There's also an exhaust, a handling kit, 3.73:1 rear-axle gears, half-shafts, and a short-throw shifter. Shelby fits cooling upgrades, 20-inch Weld Racing wheels, and six-piston Wilwood front brakes too.
The "Shelby Super Snake" claims a 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 200mph. Base MSRP is $ 87,000.
How about the Shelby Terlingua V8, with 750-horsepower, upgraded brakes and suspension tweaks?

No? Well then Saleen has the 730-horsepower S302 Black Label.
Need an eight-second quarter-mile run? No problem, try the new Cobra Jet.

Only 50 will be made, with each starting at $99,990. The Cobra Jet is a factory-fresh way to run in National Hot Rod Association Stock and Super Stock races, as well as the International Hot Rod Association, National Mustang Racers Association, and National Muscle Car Association. Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 with a Whipple supercharger. New coilover shocks and springs, lighter brakes, a roll cage, new fuel system, new seats with racing harnesses, and a race-prepped automatic transmission are included, naturally.