10 Greatest Mustangs, Ever
In any endeavor that's been ongoing for nearly fifty years, there are some highs and some lows. In the case of the Ford Mustang, there definitely have been some low points-the utterly emasculating '74 Mustang II Ghia, the comically garish '78 Mustang II King Cobra, the tragically wimpy '81 'Stang with its 115-hp V-8-but they've been outnumbered by the highs. Herewith are our picks for the top ten Mustangs of all time-a blatantly subjective call, we'll admit. We tried to look at the cars in the context of their era, and thus our list has Mustangs from throughout the model's history. That last point is testament to the fact that, through good sales periods and bad, Ford has never given up on the Mustang. After Ford created the pony car, the Mustang was deluged with competitors, but only the Mustang has been in continuous production right up to the present day, and it is stronger now than ever. That alone is something to celebrate.
1965 Shelby GT350
Months after launching the Mustang in the spring of 1964, executives had the itch to go racing with their new pony car. Early attempts to field the Mustang in the SCCA's B-Production competition failed, so Carroll Shelby-who was already stuffing Ford engines into his successful Cobra race cars-was called in to help. Shelby's team extensively reworked the chassis. For the front suspension, upper control arms were lowered to improve suspension geometry, and a thicker, one-inch antiroll bar, as well as a one-piece shock-tower brace, were installed. At the rear, new traction bars curbed axle hop. Adjustable Koni dampers all around completed the package. These measures were especially useful since the already potent 289-cubic-inch V-8, which normally churned out 271 hp, was tuned to 306 ponies by means of a new intake manifold, a large Holley four-barrel carb, and tubular headers.
Development work began on the car in August 1964, and production began the week before Christmas. In one week, Shelby American built twelve cars; in two, it had built 100 examples-enough for SCCA officials to sign off on the car. The GT350 quickly became a dominant player in the B-Production class, winning national championships for the next three years and helping establish the Mustang's performance cred.
Base price: $4547
Engine: 289-cubic-inch (4.7L) OHV V-8
306 hp @ 6000 rpm
329 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm
0-60 MPH: 7.0 sec
Total built: 521