15 BEST FORD MUSTANGS FROM THE 60s AND 70s


Publish date: 2016-02-15 15:24:30
1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

It has been said that the Golden Age of the Muscle Car was ushered in when in 1964, Pontiac released the Tempest GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) which basically meant that the car was approved for races. The Tempest initially set the standard with its 330 CID engine and tag price of $3,300 making it affordable to young professionals at the time. Unbeknownst to Pontiac at that time, it had set an example of what a muscle car should be – sheer power at a very affordable price. Ford was quick to recognize the potential that the Tempest GTO has and offered its own version of the muscle car in the package of the Thunderbolt with its massive 427 CID engine block. Though Ford managed to produce 127 builds at that time, the Thunderbolt was so powerful at the time that it was considered dangerous to be driven on the streets.

1964 ½ Ford Mustang Convertible 260 V8

To tame the beast within, Ford toyed with the idea of offering a toned down version of the muscle car emphasising looks, heavy customisation, and a very low price but somehow lesser power. Thus, the Mustang was born, creating a new niche in the automotive market called the pony car. It was a pun actually, considering that pony cars are often confused with muscle cars because they look similar and some have power. 1967 saw the partnership between Ford and Shelby that led to the upgrading of the Mustang from a small -block to a 390 CID engine, and the creation of a 428 CID variant by Carroll Shelby. The last quarter of the 1960s was indeed a Golden Age, a Renaissance Period for the American car industry.

However, all good things must eventually come to an end. When federal safety and emissions legislation gradually came into play, car manufacturers foresaw darker days ahead for the muscle car. By early 70s, the government has put in new emission limits. As a result, carmakers were compelled to make engines that ran on low-lead fuel, detuned the powerful engines of the 1960s, and changed the bumpers to heavier, sturdier metals, adding weight and further cutting performance.  Consequently, these new restrictions significantly downgraded the performance of the muscle cars.

The gas crisis of the 1970s – the first being in 1973 and the second and last one in 1979 – also dealt a serious blow to the muscle car industry. Inflation was high and since the muscle car was deemed unsafe, insurance companies where not being helpful and has started a crackdown on performance cars. People began to lose interest as the market had lower and lower demands for muscle and pony cars. Needless to say, the muscle car was caged and was fated to die. Ford eventually left the muscle car business, as the Mustang evolved into a high-end compact. As the 1980s approached, manufacturers eventually grew accustomed to the new legislation, with Ford reviving the Mustang build. The Third Generation Mustang was released in 1979 with a new look and a V8 option.  The low-torque V8 sold well hinting on the trend that performance cars may soon become popular once more.

When the oil crisis came to an end in the early part of the 1980s, it is apparent that Ford will see the rise of its Mustang once again. New technology was emerging allowing muscle cars to return on the streets because of advanced safety features, big but compliant engines, and more efficient production methods. By then, the muscle card of the 60s and 70s slowly made their comeback as these new technologies were applied through restoration and enhancements using modern parts. Today, Ford’s coolest Mustangs are back on the streets again doing what they do best: running with such power and grace.

We offer you our round-up of what we consider to be 15 of the best Mustangs that ever rolled the streets during its Golden Age from 1960s to ‘70s. You may agree or disagree with us on this, but one thing’s for sure: these cars will not be forgotten as more and more generations fall in love with the muscle car. Here’s our list arranged chronologically, including their specifications that you may find worthwhile reading.

1964 1/2 Mustang

1964 ½ Ford Mustang Convertible 260 V8

Year(s) Produced: April – September 1964

Number Built: 92,705

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door convertible

Engine: 260.4 cu in Ford Winsor V8

Power: 164hp @ 4400 RPM

0-60mph: 10.3 seconds

Top Speed: 108mph

Transmission: 3-speed manual

Length/width/height: 181.6 in./ 68.2 in./ 51.1 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $2,533.19

 

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback GT 2+2 Challenger V8

Year(s) Produced: 1963-1965

Number Built: 71,303

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 288.5 cu in Ford Winsor V8

Power: 271hp @ 6000 RPM

0-60mph: 6.4 seconds

Top Speed: 122mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 181.6 in./ 68.2 in./ 51.1 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $2,809

 

1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350

1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350 

Year(s) Produced: 1963-1965

Number Built: (?)

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fix-head coupe

Engine: 288.5 cu in Ford Winsor V8 in 90 degrees

Power: 306hp @ 6000 RPM

0-60mph: 5.7 seconds

Top Speed: 134mph

Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 181.6 in./ 68.2 in./ 55 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $4,547 (NADA)

Highest Price: $312,500 (NADA)

 

1966 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

1966 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Year(s) Produced: 1965-1966

Number Built: 56,409

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door convertible

Engine: 288.5 cu in Ford Winsor V8 in 90 degrees

Power: 225hp @ 4800 RPM

0-60mph: 7.6 seconds

Top Speed: 121mph

Transmission: 3-speed manual

Length/width/height: 181.6 in./ 68.2 in./ 51.1 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $2,929.20

Highest Price: $61,000

 

1967 Ford Mustang K-Code

1967 Ford Mustang K-Code

Year(s) Produced: 1966-1967

Number Built: 53,651

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 288.5 cu in Ford Winsor V8 289

Power: 271hp @ 6000 RPM

0-60mph: 6.9 seconds

Top Speed: 129mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 183.6 in./ 70.9 in./ 51.8 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $2,855.88

Highest Price: $43,100 (NADA)

 

1968 ½ Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2+2 428 Cobra Jet

1968 ½ Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2+2 428 Cobra Jet

Year(s) Produced: 1968

Number Built: 7,661

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 427 cu in Ford FE-series V8 428 Cobra Jet

Power: 335hp @ 5600 RPM

0-60mph: 6.2 seconds

Top Speed: 127mph

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 183.6 in./ 70.9 in./ 51.6 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $3,012

Highest Price: $40,800

 

1968 Shelby Mustang Fastback GT500 KR

1968 Shelby Mustang Fastback GT500 KR

Year(s) Produced: 1967-1968

Number Built: 933

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 427 cu in Ford FE-series V8 428 Cobra Jet

Power: 400hp @ 5600 RPM

0-60mph: 5.8 seconds

Top Speed: 131mph

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 186.6 in./ 70.9 in./ 51.4 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $4,472

Highest Price: $185,000

 

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Year(s) Produced: 1969-1970

Number Built: 7,013

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 301.6 cu in Ford Windsor V8 302 (5.0L)

Power: 290hp @ 5800 RPM

0-60mph: 6.8 seconds

Top Speed: 131mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 187.4 in./ 71.3 in./ 51.3 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $3,720

Highest Price: $107,500

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

 

1970 Ford Mustang Mach I 351C

Year(s) Produced: 1969-1970

Number Built: 40,970

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 351.9 cu in Ford Windsor 351W V8

Power: 250hp @ 4600 RPM

0-60mph: 8.3 seconds

Top Speed: 126mph

Transmission: 3-speed manual

Length/width/height: 187.4 in./ 71.3 in./ 51.3 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: $3,271

Highest Price: $62,200

 

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Year(s) Produced: 1969-1970

Number Built: 499

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 429.2 cu in Ford 385 series V8 429

Power: 375hp @ 5200 RPM

0-60mph: 5.3 seconds

Top Speed: 110mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 187.4 in./ 71.3 in./ 51.3 in.

Wheelbase: 108 in.

Base Price: (?)

Highest Price: $314,600

 

1971 Ford Mustang Mach I 429 CJ V-8 4-speed

1971 Ford Mustang Mach I 429 CJ V-8 4-speed

Year(s) Produced: 1970-1971

Number Built: 36,499

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 429.2 cu in Ford 385 series V8 429

Power: 370hp @ 5400 RPM

0-60mph: 6 seconds

Top Speed: 135mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 187.4 in./ 74.1 in./ 50.1 in.

Wheelbase: 109 in.

Base Price: $3,268

Highest Price: $81,345

 

1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

Year(s) Produced: 1970-1971

Number Built: 1,806

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 351.9 cu in Ford Cleveland 335 series 351C V8

Power: 330hp @ 5400 RPM

0-60mph: 5.9 seconds

Top Speed: 114mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 189.5 in./ 74.1 in./ 50.1 in.

Wheelbase: 109 in.

Base Price: $4,100

Highest Price: $84,200

 

971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 351C Cobra Jet

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 351C Cobra Jet

Year(s) Produced: 1970-1971

Number Built: 36,499

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe

Engine: 351.9 cu in Ford Cleveland 335 series 351C V8

Power: 285hp @ 5400 RPM

0-60mph: 6.6 seconds

Top Speed: 129mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 189.5 in./ 74.1 in./ 50.1 in.

Wheelbase: 109 in.

Base Price: $3,268

Highest Price: $49,300

 

1975 Ford Mustang II V8

1975 Ford Mustang II V8

Year(s) Produced: 1974-1975

Number Built: 30,038

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 3-door hatchback coupe

Engine: 301.6 cu in Ford Windsor V8 (5.0L)

Power: 133hp @ 3600 RPM

0-60mph: 11.2 seconds

Top Speed: 95mph

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 175 in./ 70.2 in./ 49.7 in.

Wheelbase: 96.2 in.

Base Price: $3,818

Highest Price: $8,998

References:
http://www.gentlemansgazette.com/muscle-cars-explained-history/
http://www.mustangandfords.com/news/29460-25-hottest-ford-mustangs/
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/14/jay-leno-top-10-mustangs-video/

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