Here are some facts you may not know about Ford Muscle Cars—
1. The Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964 and is considered the first mass-produced muscle car.
The 1964 Ford Mustang was introduced on April 17, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. It was the first vehicle of its kind, combining the sporty features of a European-style roadster with the comfort and convenience of a compact car. In its first year of production, Ford sold over 400,000 Mustangs.
The original Mustang was available as a coupe or convertible and came with a variety of engine options, including a 170 cubic inch inline-six and a 260 cubic inch V8. The Mustang was an instant success and helped create the “pony car” segment of the automobile market. In fact, it was so successful that the 1964 Mustang was named the “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend magazine.
2. In the late 1960s, Ford produced the Boss 302 and Boss 429 Mustangs, which were highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts.
The Ford Boss 302 is a high-performance version of the Ford Mustang that was produced from 1969 to 1970. The Boss 302 was named for its 302 cubic inch V8 engine, which was designed for Trans Am racing and produced 290 horsepower. The Boss 302 was designed to compete with Chevrolet’s Camaro Z/28 in the SCCA’s Trans Am racing series. In addition to its powerful engine, the Boss 302 featured a number of performance enhancements, including a stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and a revised exhaust system.
The Boss 302 was only available in two colors: Bright Yellow and Grabber Blue. A total of 7,013 Boss 302 Mustangs were produced in 1969 and another 1,628 were produced in 1970. The Boss 302 has become a highly sought-after collector’s item and is considered one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time.
Let us contrast this to the Boss 429 Mustang—
The Ford Boss 429 is a high-performance version of the Ford Mustang that was produced in 1969 and 1970. It was named for its 429 cubic inch V8 engine, which was based on the engine used in Ford’s NASCAR race cars. The Boss 429 engine was rated at 375 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. The Boss 429 was built specifically to homologate the engine for use in NASCAR racing. In order to meet the NASCAR requirements, Ford had to build at least 500 street-legal cars with the Boss 429 engine.
The Boss 429 was only available in two colors: Raven Black and Royal Maroon. A total of 859 Boss 429 Mustangs were produced in 1969 and another 499 were produced in 1970. The Boss 429 is considered one of the rarest and most collectible muscle cars of all time. It is highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts for its impressive performance and unique place in automotive history.
Here are some pros and cons of the Boss 429 and Boss 302:
Pros of the Boss 429:
- The Boss 429 has a larger, more powerful engine than the Boss 302. Its 429 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at 375 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful muscle cars of its time.
- The Boss 429’s engine was based on the engine used in Ford’s NASCAR race cars, giving it a strong racing pedigree.
- The Boss 429 is rarer than the Boss 302, with only a total of 1,358 units produced. This makes it more collectible and potentially more valuable.
Cons of the Boss 429:
- The Boss 429 was more expensive than the Boss 302 when it was new.
- The Boss 429’s large engine required significant modifications to the Mustang’s body, including the addition of a bulge in the hood to accommodate the engine. This may not be to everyone’s taste.
Pros of the Boss 302:
- The Boss 302 has a more balanced performance than the Boss 429, with a strong 302 cubic inch V8 engine and a suspension that is optimized for both cornering and straight-line acceleration.
- The Boss 302 was designed specifically to compete in the SCCA’s Trans Am racing series, giving it a strong racing heritage.
- The Boss 302 is more common than the Boss 429, with a total of 8,641 units produced. This makes it easier to find and potentially more affordable.
Cons of the Boss 302:
- The Boss 302’s 302 cubic inch V8 engine is not as powerful as the Boss 429’s engine, with a rating of 290 horsepower.
- The Boss 302 may not be as rare or collectible as the Boss 429.
3. In the 1970s, Ford introduced the Mach 1 Mustang, which featured a sporty design and powerful engine options.
The Ford Mach 1 is a high-performance version of the Ford Mustang that was produced from 1969 to 1978. The Mach 1 was named for its Mach 1 package, which included a range of performance enhancements such as a powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, and aerodynamic exterior features. The Mach 1 was available with a variety of engine options, including the 351 cubic inch Windsor V8 and the 429 cubic inch Super Cobra Jet V8. In addition to its performance upgrades, the Mach 1 featured a distinctive appearance, with a shaker hood scoop, a matte black hood, and racing stripes.
Here are some of the Mach 1 production statistics. The Mach 1 was popular with muscle car enthusiasts and was produced in high numbers, with over 72,000 units produced in 1969 alone. The Mach 1 was available as a coupe or fastback and could be ordered with a variety of interior and exterior options. The Mach 1 was discontinued after the 1978 model year, but it has remained a popular choice with collectors and enthusiasts.
4. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ford produced several popular muscle car models, including the Thunderbird, the Taurus SHO (Super High Output), and the Probe GT.
We still discuss the Taurus SHO first, followed by the Ford Probe GT. The Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) is a high-performance version of the Ford Taurus that was produced from 1989 to 1999, and again from 2010 to 2019. The SHO was designed to appeal to performance enthusiasts who wanted a more practical and comfortable alternative to traditional muscle cars. The original SHO was powered by a Yamaha-designed 3.0 liter V6 engine that produced 220 horsepower. Later models featured a more powerful 3.4 liter V8 engine. The SHO featured a number of performance enhancements, including a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, and a close-ratio manual transmission.
The SHO was well-received by critics and became known for its strong performance and handling. The SHO was available in a variety of trim levels and could be equipped with a range of luxury features. The SHO was discontinued after the 1999 model year, but it was revived in 2010 and remained in production until 2019.
The Ford Probe was a sports coupe that was produced by Ford and sold in the United States and Canada from 1989 to 1997. It was based on the Mazda G-platform, which it shared with the Mazda MX-6 and the Ford Telstar.
The Ford Probe GT was a high-performance version of the Probe that was available from 1993 to 1997. It was powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produced 164 horsepower and was paired with a manual transmission or an optional automatic transmission. The Probe GT was equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and unique exterior styling.
Other features of the Ford Probe GT included a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and door locks, and a CD player. It was praised for its agile handling and quick acceleration, but some reviewers criticized its cramped interior and lack of cargo space. Sadly, the Ford Probe was discontinued in 1997 as part of a restructuring of Ford’s product line.
5. In the 2000s, Ford reintroduced the Mustang with retro styling inspired by the classic 1960s models. The new Mustang has been well received and continues to be a popular choice for muscle car enthusiasts.
Mustangs from the 2000s (2000-2009) have a number of features that are significantly different from those found on Mustangs from the 1960s. Some of the key differences include:
- Powertrain: Mustangs from the 2000s were available with a range of advanced powertrain options, including V6 and V8 engines as well as manual and automatic transmissions. Many of these engines used advanced technologies such as variable valve timing and fuel injection to deliver improved performance and fuel efficiency. In contrast, Mustangs from the 1960s were primarily powered by small-displacement V8 engines and were equipped with carburetors rather than fuel injection systems.
- Safety and handling: Mustangs from the 2000s were equipped with a number of advanced safety and handling features that were not available on Mustangs from the 1960s. These included airbags, stability control systems, and traction control systems, which helped to improve the car’s handling and stability in a variety of driving conditions. In addition, many 2000s-era Mustangs were available with advanced suspension systems that helped to improve the car’s ride comfort and handling.
- Technology and convenience features: Mustangs from the 2000s were equipped with a wide range of technology and convenience features that were not available on Mustangs from the 1960s. These included things like power windows and door locks, keyless entry systems, and advanced audio and entertainment systems. In addition, many 2000s-era Mustangs were available with optional navigation systems, which were not available on earlier models.