Home History Mustangs By Year: A Variety Of Specs That Spoils For Choice

Mustangs By Year: A Variety Of Specs That Spoils For Choice

by Kelvin Yates

The Ford Mustang is a cycle of an American automobile that is manufactured by Ford. Mustang nameplates and badges reflect throughout automobile history ever since the 1960s when their first model appeared. The Ford Mustang was unlike any car we had seen before. It has evolved from there over years and that is why our main focus in this article are many Ford Mustangs vehicles by model year.

In the 1960s, Lee Iacocca, who was the vice president and a general manager of Ford proposed a sporty youth-market car based on the compact Falcon. It has been an iconic sight on American highways. From the classic muscle cars of the 1960s to the sporty speed machines of today. The Ford Mustang has gone through several distinct styles in its fifty years on the road.

The Ford Mustang is recently the longest-produced Ford car nameplate. It is now on its sixth generation and the fifth-best selling Ford car nameplate. It was developed as a highly-styled line of sports coupes and convertibles acquired from existing model lines. In 1962, during the development phase of the new model, Ford designer Phil Clark developed the Mustang logo whose vertical bars are red and blue showing the American’s car design.

It was originally predicted to sell 100,000 vehicles yearly. The 1965 Ford Mustang became the most successful vehicle launch since the 1927 Model A.

The first concept for the Mustang looked distinguishable from the eventual production cars. The first Mustang by years was the Mustang 1 which was a mid-engine two-seater that resembled the European race car of that time. This vehicle was first disclosed at the 1962 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

Contents of this article entail:

Mustangs By Years: First Generation (1965-1973)

When the first Ford Mustang was introduced to the roads in the mid-1960, it was an immediate better seller. It sold over 400,000 models in its first year alone. More than a million of these vehicles were modeled over the next decapod.

Unveiled by Henry Ford at the World’s Fair in New York, the Mustang was priced at $2,368. The new Mustang was featured at James Bond Goldfinger. This vehicle used the Fastback body style which was later changed in 1967.

In 1969, Ford transformed the Mustang’s body shape making it bigger than its antecedent. In 1969 and 1970, they also launched new trims and performance combinations such as the Mach 1 and the Boss. Some of the most desired models to collectors are the 1969 and the 1970 Mustangs by years. They are known as “pony cars”.

The Mustang released another new generation of vehicles with many replicas. However, by 1971, the redesigns of the Mustang were heavier and reasonably dissimilar from the first edition. This forced Ford to reconsider its saleable cars. Because of the early launch of the 1965 model, aficionados refer to it as 1964 ½.

1964 Ford Mustangs

The first year of the Ford Mustang came on March 9, 1964. It comes in three engine sizes. The engine line-up comprised a 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder, the 4.3-liter V-8 engine, and a 4.7-liter V-8 engine that produces up to 271 horsepower. This year’s vehicle was a pony car.

These vehicles were identified with a badge on the front fender that spelled out the engine’s cubic inch displacement. This model was introduced in 1964 but advertised in early 1965, this is the reason why it is often referred to as the 1964 ½ Mustang model. The first Mustang was available in two models, the coupe and the convertible of which featured long hoods and shorter rear decks.

It featured a generator charging system for the battery and the generator charge light. It also comes with either the U-Code, F-Code, or D-Code engine. The 1964 ½ Mustang comes in many different colors including the Cascade Green, Caspian Blue, Poppy Red, and more. Many collectors highly desired this original Mustang model.

1965 For Mustang

Mustangs built after August 17, 1964, were identified as late 1965 Mustangs. The 1965 Mustangs brought some changes for the mustangs. One of the biggest changes was the availability of a new fastback model.

This was supposed to be the basis for Carroll Shelby’s G.T. 350. The 200 cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower replaced the 170 cubic-inch 6-cylinder, the 289 V-2 that produces 200 horsepower V-8 replaced the 260-2V, and the 289-4 remained unchanged.

The deluxe interior also known as the pony interior featured special seat covers with running horses across the back. It also had beautiful interior door panes with structural armrest and pistol door handles, a wood grain steering wheel, a five gauge instrument panel, and the wood grain appliques on the instrument cluster.

In April 1965, another option was introduced. This was the GT equipment group. It was available with only one of the two four-barrel engines. This group consisted of the five-dial instrumentation, disc brakes, and other performance mods such as the fiberglass hood for weight reduction.

1966 Mach 1

In 1966, Ford manufacturers prepared a Mustang Concept to display some of the design updates coming for the 1969 model. The Mustang Mach 1 was a two-seat fastback with a very aggressive chopped roof profile. Mach 1 concept drawing describes a two-stage power tailgate.

Each of its rear pillars featured a flip-open racing-style gas cap. While larger than the usual air scoops controlled the flanks. Its sloped rear end included a hatchback, a feature that would not crop up on a production model until the 1974 Mustang II.

1969 Boss 302

The 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was designed by Ford on its own. Ford followed the Kar Kraft concept to build the Boss 302. This vehicle was considered the best handling Ford to ever come out of Dearborn. It is also regarded a delightfully sporting when driving hard.

The Boss 302 wore a deeper front spoiler than its big-block complement. It could be ordered with an adaptable rear wing spoiler. Despite the advertising figure of 290 horsepower, the 302 cubic-inch, small-blocks V-8 doubtlessly delivered more than expected.

Mustangs By Years: Second Generation (1974)

The second-generation Ford Mustang was put up for sale as the Ford Mustang II. It is a two- or three-door, four-passenger, front-engine, or the rear-drive pony car that was designed and marketed by Ford from 1973 to 1978. Ford executives decided to call the vehicle Mustang II because it was a new type of pony car that was designed for an era of high gas prices and fuel shortages.

This second-generation Ford Mustang was introduced in September 1973 for the model year 1974. It was 490 pounds lighter and 19 inches shorter than the 1973 Mustang, it was procured from the subcompact Pinto platform using a distinctive unibody with an isolated front suspension and engine mount sub-fame while sharing a few numbers of chassis and driveline parts.

Mustangs By Year

Its steering was improved from the previous generation by using a rack and pinion design. This vehicle was named Motor Trend’s Car Of The Year 1974. It was the first Ford Mustang to get the honor until 1994. The Mustang II was an excellent car with excellent fuel efficiency, sporty looks, and a low price tag. The car was a success because it was the right car at the right time.

Ford made 386,000 of the 1974 Mustangs with three body styles to choose from. Consumers could also choose between a four-cylinder and V6 engines.

1976 Cobra II

The Cobra II was produced for three years between 1976 and 1798. The first Mustang Cobra arrived in 1976 and was named the Cobra II. It offered a little substance over the stock pony cars. This vehicle exhibits a classic look similar to the Shelbys of the 1960s and early ‘70s. It has greatly benefited from the latest recovery of interest in this always-forsaken Mustang period.

It comes with the four-cylinder and V6 models besides the V8. The Mustang Cobra II also offered front and rear spoilers, a blacked-out grille, a non-functional hood scoop, and racing stripes. Some of the colors include white and blue stripes, blue with white stripes, and black with gold stripes. It was only available for fastback models.

1978 King Cobra

While some of the Ford Mustangs made history for their outstanding performance and looks, the 1978 Mustang made history for its short-lived production time. The Mustang King Cobra version wasn’t the same thing as the rest of the range.

King Cobra featured some specific design elements. It was available as a Targa body version which was regarded nicer than the regular rag-top versions. The Mustang King Cobra had a sloped rear end with a tailgate that opened the trunk. This caused a mixed feeling among its customers.

The car’s interior featured sport-bucket seats for the front passengers. It was designed to be a commuter car with a short wheelbase. Beneath the hood, there was a mounted four-port engine for the base model, a V6 in the middle, and at the top, there was the V8 engine.

Mustangs By Years: Third Generation (1979)

In 1979, Ford renovated the Mustang stable and redeveloped the design. But he still kept the idea of a small coupe. He designed the Mustang’s third generation as a vehicle that would appeal to a wide range of buyers, developing a niche category.

Ford evolved the Fox platform. This led to the Fox Body’s nickname for the third generation. The vehicle highlighted four square headlights and a raked grille in front of the radiator. It was available as a 2-door coupe and a 3-door hatchback. It also had a noticeable small window behind the thick C-pillar.

Because of the family-car design, its interior was not encouraging to customers. Ford then decided to install a full set of dials and gauges such as the amp-meter, tachometer, speedometer, and oil-pressure, coolant-temperature.

Under the hood of this well-maintained 1979, Ford Mustang is a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with a 9:1 compression. Power goes through a three-speed automatic gearbox and reaches the rear wheels.

Mustangs By Years: California Highway Patrol Car

The California Highway Patrol needed something a bit agile than the regular police cruisers to keep up with immediate performance cars. The Ford Mustang SSP is a lightweight police car that was based on Ford Mustangs. It was manufactured by Ford from 1982 to 1993.

It was designated to provide a hastier option for the police departments instead of the other full-sized sedans that were available by that time. The Special Service Package was a special Fox-body Mustang trim that was designed exclusively to be used for law enforcement.

The original cars were equipped with standard 5.0-liter V8 coming with either four-speed manual or automatic transmission, a certified speedometer, or a limited-slip differential, and other added features including the engine oil cooler, auto transmission fluid cooler, relocated rear deck release, single key locking doors, full-size spare tire.

A modern SSP Mustang also known as the 11-99 was designed by Jay Leno and Galpin Auto Sports. He was assisted by Ford and the CHP. This car is a full-fledged, Coyote-powered, 5.0-liter engine that produces 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It is completed with many alterations to make it more police interceptor than a daily driver.


In August 1986, the Mustang received a facelift for the 1987 Mustang model year on both the interior and exterior. The front end of this model was redesigned to look more like the SVO. This gave this vehicle more of an Aero look in keeping with Ford’s overall modern design.

It featured a massaged version of the 5.0-V-8 with 225 horsepower, and suspension upgrades as well as styling changes inside and out. Available in the factory amenities including the power-adjustable sports seats, power door locks, power mirrors, power windows, and cruise control. Even though this car has all this, it lacks air conditioning. This car costs around $50,000

Its interior is trimmed in medium grey cloth upholstery with plaid seat inserts. It also featured all-new instruments and dash panel, a center console, and revised seats and door trim. With the SVO discontinued, models were now pared down to LX and GT. The impression of a lower beltline is enhanced by the redesigned body side skirt and rub strip package. The air inlet vents on the lower leading edge of each of their fenders are well functional.

Looking at its performance, the ’87 Mustang GT sees many useful improvements. The present 200 horsepower engine that was introduced in ’82 with a 4bbl carburetor induction system is currently fuel-injected. The changes that were made seem to help the overall driveability of the car’s powerplant.

Ford made a huge effort for the 1987 Ford Mustang to improve the sound diminishing in the car’s platform. Creased firewall panels and sound-deadening adhesive give the 1987 Ford Mustang a rock-solid feel. The Mustang’s major weakness is its brakes. Ford manufacturers decided to enlarge the front vented discs. They, however, continued to use the remains of Pinto drums on the rear.

Mustangs By Years: Fourth Generation (1994 to 2004)

The fourth-generation Ford Mustang is a vehicle that was manufactured by Ford for the 1994 to 2004 model years. In 1994 the Ford Mustang undertake its first main redesign in fifteen years.

It was introduced in November 1993 and launched on December 9, ’93. The design code was named “SN-95” by Ford. It was based on an upgraded version of the Fox platform. The 1994 Ford Mustang was the last Ford vehicle reinforced with this platform.

Before the launching of the redesigned Mustang, a two-seater show car that was designed by Darrel Behmer and Bud Magali called the Mustang Mach III was shown at the 1993 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This vehicle insinuated what the new production Mustang would look like.

1994 To 1998

The base Mustang featured Ford’s 3.8L OHV Essex V6 mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. The V6 produced 145 horsepower at 4000rpm and 250 pound-feet of torque at 2500RPM.

For the 1996 Mustang, the base V6 gained five horsepower with a new powertrain control module. The AODE transmission was replaced with the 4R70W 4-speed automatic transmission for this year’s model.

A lot of effort was put to improve the 1994 Mustang’s handling and noise, vibration, and harshness conditions over the previous Mustang’s generations. Ford also allocated $700 million to improve the Fox platform for the 1994 Ford Mustang.

Mustangs By Year

The 1994 Mustang’s standard rear axle ratio was 2.73:1 which was later changed to 3.27:1. All Mustangs received standard four-wheel disc brakes. They also had optional anti-lock brakes. The 1994 Mustang featured new interior styling alongside its new exterior.

Its cabin featured a dual-cockpit layout that was furnished with contours and sweeping curves. The 1994 Mustang offered many options, some of which later became standard equipment. The preferred equipment package came with power windows, mirrors, and door locks, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, and cruise control.

In 1995, a one-year model that was referred to as the Mustang GTS was introduced. This car was considered to be a stripped-down version of the Mustang GT which included performance parts of the GT model.

In 1996, Ford dropped the 302 cubic-inch small-block V8 that was in production in 1968. It introduced the modular 4.6 liters SOHC V8. The engines were produced at two different plants.

1999 To 2004

A remodeled SN-95 Mustang came on December 26, 1998, for the 1999 model year. Its production started in November 1998, it was casually known as the SN-99 Mustang platform. The 1999 Ford Mustang got new wheels and hubcaps. It featured sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in the bodywork replacing some of the soft lines of the previous model.

All the 1999 Ford Mustangs except for the cobra received 35th Anniversary badges on the front fenders. They also received a change to its taillights, making them edgier, with sharp corners and straight lines.

In 2001 Ford added Intake Manifold Runner Control to the V6, this increased the engine’s output to 193 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. During the second half of the 2004 model year, the 3.8-liter Essex was replaced with a bit revised 3.9-liter version with a longer stroke. The last Mustang for the fourth generation was produced on May 10, 2004.

Mustangs By Years: Fifth Generation (2005)

The production start-up for the 2005 Ford Mustang was on September 7, 2004, with the first 2005 model rolling off Flat Rock Assembly on September 2004. The 2005 to 2009 mustang was powered by Ford’s cast-iron block 4.0 L Cologne SOHC V6, which replaces the 3.8 L Essex OHV V6 that was used in 2004 and other models.

Like the original Mustang, the 2005 model featured a flat, vertical front fascia with a black grille and different casings. The fog lights were also installed in the grille as an option. The roofline followed the same line as the original fastback version from the late 1960s. The three vertical taillights in the back followed the same retro design pattern.

In the interior of this year’s model, there was more of a modern design than the retro-inspired one. However, they still kept the chromed rings around the tachometer and speedometer. Ford also installed up-to-date bucket seats with headrests and a wide center console with cupholders. There was also a bench not for two tall passengers in the rear.

The 2005 Ford Mustangs come in coupe and convertible body versions. It featured 4.0-liter and a 4.6-liter V8 engine.

2011 GT-Spec

For 2011, Ford straightened up the interior of the Mustang with soft-touch materials and more brightwork. This year’s model is equipped with two new six-speed transmissions. It is also fitted with the 255/40ZR-19 Pirelli P Zero standard GT tires. The 2011 Ford Mustang was the first vehicle ever to get over 300 horsepower and 30 mpg.

Its 3.7-liter V6 produces 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The V6 test car came with all the standard features and comforts that you would expect in a passenger car. These features include leather power seats, Sirius satellite radio, and split-folding rear seats. Other options are comfort and security packages and a 3.31-ratio limited slip axle.

The 2011 Ford Mustang model comes unique with big shiny fender badges, the all-aluminum four-valve DOHC V-8 displacement. Its interior features red leather, security and comfort packages, a rear-view camera Brembo brake package, and a 3.73 axle ratio.

The power is delivered through a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Mustangs By Years: Sixth Generation (2015)

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang is the latest reiteration of the Mustang pony car that was manufactured by Ford. This new Mustang model was introduced as a 2015 model year vehicle. It marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford Mustang.

The 2015 Ford Mustang was the fast vehicle to be marketed and sold globally. Its development started in 2009 under chief engineer Dave Pericak. The back of this model looks tidier than those of the previous models. It comes with less space from diffuser to taillights.

Final Thoughts

The Ford Mustang has been America’s most popular sports coupe for over 50 years. Ford manufactured many Mustangs and some from nearly all the six generations survived.

Ford Mustang was named for the Second World War II fighter plane and its performance worked on a mid-engine Mustang prototype in the late 1960s.

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