Since 2014 is the golden anniversary of the Mustang, what better way to celebrate than looking at some rare and special edition cars? Many of these were offered regionally and were available in very limited numbers. That’s why many of these are so rare today and are hardly seen except at shows featuring the Mustang. It’s hard to believe this iconic car has been around for 50 years. Of all the pony cars, it is the only one with a consistent production run for the last half century. It goes without saying that few cars have made an impact quite like the Mustang. Here are some of our favorite special and limited editions.
When is a Mustang not a Mustang? When it was sold in Germany and dubbed the 1964-1979 T5. Seems that truck maker Krupp had trademarked the Mustang name so Ford renamed its pony car T5 after the internal project code used during development. The cars were identical to their U.S. counterparts with the exception of badging and suspension. After Krupp lost the rights to the Mustang name in 1978, Ford got rid of the T5 moniker and began using the Mustang name after 1979.
Another rare Mustang was the 1966 Sprint 200. With sales of V6 Mustangs lagging behind their V8 counterparts, Ford came up with a plan to boost sales. They created this special edition with features such as chrome air cleaner, painted side accent stripe, and deluxe wire wheel covers. Customers had the option of dressing up the interior in Standard or Deluxe Pony trim. The Sprint 200 could be ordered as a coupe, convertible, or fastback.
The 1966-1968 High Country Special was a regional package for sale by Denver area Ford dealers. The 1966-1967 models were available as a coupe, convertible, or hatchback. They were painted in Aspen Gold, Columbine Blue, or Timberline Green with special fender-mounted High Country badges. For 1968, the HCS was available in any Mustang color, came only as a hardtop, and featured foglamps, side scoops, and Shelby-style taillamps.
The 1970 Grabber Special Value Package was designed to help bring traffic into Ford dealerships and to take attention away from Chevy’s new Camaro. This special edition could be had in colors such as Grabber Blue, Grabber Orange, Grabber Green, Vermilion, and Bright Yellow. Features of the package include “C” stripes, dual racing mirrors, and white sidewall tires. Power was supplied by a 302 cubic-inch V8 engine. In order to grab (no pun intended) customer’s attention, Ford promoted the Grabber through newspaper, national magazine, outdoor advertising, and television spots.
Ford created the 1972 Sprint 200 Limited Edition to commemorate the 1972 USA Olympic team. All cars were painted in white, featured blue panels with red pinstriping on the hood, and a red, white, and blue USA insignia on the rear quarter. The interior sported vinyl bucket seats with color keyed bolsters and blue cloth inserts separated with red piping. For those wanting an even sportier Sprint, an upgraded suspension, 15-inch Magnum wheels, and white letter tires were available as an option package. Ford also supplied 50 Sprints for use in the 1972 Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.
The Malaise Era 1982-1983 Mustang GLX was a sporty new coupe that replaced the Ghia. It featured blacked-out window trim and door handles. Other features of the GLX include dual color-keyed accent stripe inserts in the bodyside molding and bumpers, dual remote control mirrors, and bright rocker panel moldings. Interiors were decked out with reclining bucket seats, luxury door trim panels, and deep cut-pile carpet. Optional features include a 5.0-liter V8, cast aluminum wheels, and floor console.
The 1984-1986 Mustang SVO was Ford’s attempt to create a fuel efficient turbocharged performance car. Powered by a 175 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, this coupe could sprint from 0-60 in under 8 seconds. Not bad for the times for a car weighing in at just under 3,000 pounds. The SVO sported standard features such as a 5-speed manual transmission, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and 4-wheel power disc brakes. However, one detriment for the SVO was its $16,000 sticker price. This is probably one of the reasons why fewer than 10,000 were sold during its 3 year life span.
The 1990 Limited Edition 5.0L LX convertible came about in an unusual way. The 7-Up Bottling Company commissioned Ford to build a special Mustang for a marketing campaign during the 1990 NCAA basketball finals. If a contestant could sink a ball from center court, they would win one of these special edition Mustangs. Sadly, the contest never materialized so Ford took the opportunity to create this limited edition convertible. Features of the car include Deep Emerald Green paint, white leather interiors, and 15-inch aluminum wheels.
The 2009 ½ Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition was a coachbuilt fastback built by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters. Named after the father of the Mustang, this Mustang was limited to 45 units and sold exclusively through Galpin Ford in California. When new, this pony would set you back somewhere around $90,000. Power was courtesy of a 4.6-liter V8 cranking out 300 horsepower with optional aftermarket upgrades to bump that number up to 400. The interior features leather seating with embroidered stitching, dash plaque with serial number, and IACOCCA aluminum door sill plates.
The 2011-2014 V6 Mustang Club of America package is a special edition available for the V6 Premium. The package includes dark stainless steel billet grille, fog lamps, and unique side tape stripes. Ford also decks out this special edition with a decklid spoiler, 18-inch Sterling Gray Metallic aluminum wheels, and embroidered Mustang Club of America floor mats. The price for all these goodies will only set you back about $1,000. This appearance package is available for the coupe as well as the convertible.
These Mustangs are just a small sample of the special editions that have been produced in the last 50 years. Some of these were created to increase sales or to sway customers away from the Camaro and Firebird. There will never be another car quite like the Mustang. Let’s hope this iconic car sticks around for another 50 years.