Any muscle car lover is familiar with the iconic Ford Mustang. The car, first produced in 1964 and released in model year 1965, is not only an attractive vehicle, but a powerful one. It’s also a true American icon, with roles in popular shows and films, and a look for every decade since it came out.
You might be wondering which Mustang is the best Ford Mustang. While everyone has their opinion about what the best version is, and there’s no one objective ranking, there are some classics that deserve a shoutout with no question.
Take a look at this Mustang list for some information on which Ford Mustangs are the best.
1. Ford Shelby Mustang GT350: A Racing Classic
If you know anything about the history of racing, you’ve at least seen a Mustang GT350 from 1965. Its 289 engine can reach up to 305 HP, and taking out the rear seat made it a car racing trailblazer.
These days, you can buy a Shelby Mustang GT350R with impressive performance. But even though the modern Shelby GT350R is an excellent vehicle, it’s no match for the original 1965 model.
2. Mach 1 Is the Best Ford Mustang for a Speedy Look
The Mustang Mach 1, first introduced in 1969, is as speedy as its name sounds. 3 V8s including the 428 cubic inch Cobra Jet gave the original run intense power.
The Mach 1 of the mid-1970s felt the echos of gas rationing as much as any other Mustang. Maybe it was because Americans couldn’t afford to drive a high-performing muscle car but wanted the look that the Mach 1’s highest-selling year was 1975.
The 1975 Mach 1 only had a V6 engine, and since it was the highest-selling, it’s also one you’re more likely to find for sale today. If you want to bring a 1975 Ford Mustang Mach 1 up to 1969 speed, you could add some Mustang mods.
3. Ford Mustang California Special for Collectors
One of the rarest Ford Mustangs is the 1968 California Special. That year, Ford produced a special Mustang for the state of California at the request of auto dealers. This business move paid off, as the car became highly popular for its unique look.
Ford fans in California can buy the modern California Special as an exterior upgrade package for their Mustang. This car is comparatively rare to this day, making it a good investment for anyone who can get their hands on one.
4. High-Performing SVT Cobra R
The SVT Cobra R was produced between 1993 and 2004 and were built to dominate the roads. The car had a 235 hp 5.0-liter V8, premium shocks, extra cooling, more powerful brakes, and bigger wheels than the typical Mustang.
What you don’t get with the Cobra R is utility. If you’re looking for a passenger vehicle to take a leisurely drive in, look elsewhere. To boost the car’s power by decreasing its weight, the AC, stereo, and rear seat were taken out.
5. The Famed Mustang Bullitt
The Bullitt was originally released as a 1968 Mustang Fastback, not as a Bullitt. The name actually came from the Steve McQueen movie, Bullitt, in which the car plays a role. By 2001, Ford formally recognized the car’s legacy with a 2001 version.
The original “Bullitt” was a great car in its own right, with a handsome dark green exterior and a 390 engine. The official 2001 Bullitt, though, came with unbelievable upgrades. Improved mechanics, engine power, and improved wheels with a retro look give retro car lovers the best of both worlds without breaking the bank or spending time and energy restoring an old vehicle.
The 2008 and 2009 Bullits were even truer to the Mustang from the movie Bullitt in appearance, with even more power.
6. Ford Mustang II King Cobra for Style
Ford Mustangs are popular among muscle car fans, and the Mustang II doesn’t offer the same performance. For this reason, it’s a disappointment to many muscle car lovers.
The Mustang II’s engine only reaches 138 HP and takes ten seconds to go 0-60 MPH, so it doesn’t perform like a muscle car. The advantage of the Mustang II King Cobra is its winning combination of looks and fuel economy.
Its muscle car appearance hides its actually quite reasonable MPG figures, which are a legacy of its era. Gas costs were high when the Mustang II was manufactured, leaving Ford with no choice but to sacrifice performance for sales.
7. The Unique Ford Mustang Boss
The Mustang Boss first came about in 1969 with a fresh, sporty look.
The Boss 302 came with high performance despite its smaller engine, owing to its lack of cladding and upgraded suspensions and brakes. The Boss 351 is among the top 100 fastest Mustangs and is also one of the rarest. The 429 came with a whopping 375 HP-capable engine.
In 2012, the Boss hit the market again.
8. Ford Mustang SVO Set a New Standard
The Ford Mustang SVO is one of the most classic types of Mustangs. It was introduced in 1984 and throughout its run, set new highs for Ford Mustang horsepower. By the end of the SVO’s run, Mustang engines gave up to 205 HP.
Ford made sure to include safety along with power in the SVO, and offered upgrades to suspension, brakes, transmission, and steering. This ensured that the vehicle was built strong to handle the engine’s capabilities.
It may not be the most modern vehicle, but as far as Mustangs go, it’s impossible to deny its prowess.
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