This week, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Ford pony car, Ford Motor Co. unveiled the new sixth-generation 2015 Mustang (that beauty you see above these words). Since the first edition of the car launched in 1964, this iconic automobile has become one of the most recognized rides in the world. In tribute, we bring you the top 10 models that have helped drive the car’s legacy over the past five decades. Look and yearn.
1964 1/2 Ford Mustang As the first production version of the Ford pony car, the 1964½ Mustang is the one that set everything in motion. The model quickly captured the heart of America, becoming an instant star in the world of automobiles.
1965 Ford Shelby G.T. 350 Mustang Carrying one of the most of the iconic names ever associated with Mustang, the first Shelby G.T. 350 ushered in a level of enhancements that would help define the car for decades to come. The high-performance model, introduced by racing legend Carroll Shelby in partnership with Ford, continues to be a sought-after American collectible.
1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Although the Fastback Mustang was first introduced in 1964, the 1967 model significantly boosted the car’s appeal. Of course, it was the Fastback’s starring role in the 1968 Steve McQueen action flick Bullitt that solidified its exalted status in the world of classic automobiles.
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 When it comes to classic Mustangs, the Boss 429 may be the most coveted. Only manufactured for two years, this aggressive street racer is one of the slickest vehicles to ever roll off a Ford assembly line.
1978 Ford King Cobra Mustang During a period when the Ford Mustang was starting to lose its luster due to a lack of power, the 1978 King Cobra edition helped the nameplate reclaim its throne as a sports car. The higher-performance model was also the first Mustang to carry Ford’s iconic 5.0 badge.
1998 Roush Mustang Stage 3 First launched in 1995, Roush Performance represents another specialty nameplate that helped define the Mustang’s legacy. But it was until the 1998 Stage 3 model, built in-house, that the company founded by engineering guru Jack Roush started to gain real street cred.
2005 Ford Mustang Building on the Mustang’s classic appeal during the car’s early years, the first fifth-generation model sparked a new fire in the nameplate. The 2005 Mustang, which featured a contemporary spin on the popular models of the sixties, also helped usher in the return of the “Shelby” and “5.0” badges.
2008 Saleen SA-25 Sterling Edition Mustang Commemorating the 25th anniversary of top-end sports car manufacturer Saleen, the Sterling Edition Mustang pays homage to the company’s legacy in the world of performance vehicles. And with only 25 units produced, the 620-horsepower model has certainly left a rare mark in the history of Mustangs.
2009 Iacocca Silver 45th Edition Ford Mustang Among all the Ford Mustangs to ever carry an individual’s name, none is more worthy than the Lee Iacocca Silver Edition. Unveiled in 2009, the limited-edition model pays tribute to the former Ford president and CEO who is credited with launching the Ford pony car.
2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 If there is one Mustang that best captures the evolution of the Ford pony car over the past 50 years, it’s arguably the 2014 Shelby GT500. The American muscle car, likely the last Shelby GT500 to be built by Ford, is touted as the most powerful production V8 on earth, with 662-horsepower and 631-lb-ft. of torque. Of course, we’ll have to check out the 2015 edition to make sure. To see more photos of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, check out the official Ford Mustang Facebook page.