The Ford Mustang is easily the most iconic muscle car in the history of automobiles. Whether or not you’re a fan of these cars, you can’t deny the respect and recognition they have gathered. From their first release in April 1964, the Mustang has taken the world by storm. Since then, over 10 million Ford Mustangs have been sold. And, it’s still the most popular and best-selling sports coupe on the planet today.
However, throughout the Mustang’s storied history, there have been ups and downs regarding certain models. Some are just clearly more popular and vaunted than others.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 most popular Ford Mustangs of all-time.
This list is highly subjective. But if you don’t see your favorite, please share with us down in the comments below what would have cracked your top ten list.
The Top 10 Ford Mustangs of All-Time
1. 1965 Shelby GT350
When it comes to our number one pick, it has to be the 1965 Shelby GT350.
Originally released in Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes, these were sleek and sexy machines. They were often called “Cobras”—a reference to other 2-seater Shelby vehicles. Plus, they came equipped with the Cobra emblems to solidify their involvement with Shelby.
With a 306 HP V-8 engine under the hood, the GT350 was no daily commuter. It was designed with racing specifically in mind. However, subsequent year models were adjusted more and more to make the car more comfortable. However, that just added more weight, and eventually, they were no longer racing contenders.
2. 1969 Boss 429
The 1969 Boss 429 is easily one of the rarest and most sought-after vehicles of the 1969-1971 era. It was originally built to be Ford’s answer to Chrysler’s 426 Hemi that was dominating auto racing.
When Ford released the Boss 429, they weren’t keen on putting the 429 into production model cars. However, in accordance with NASCAR rules, they needed to put a minimum of 500 vehicles and engines out on the public market. Only 859 Boss 429s were produced in 1969—and even less the following year with 499.
3. 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback
If you’re looking for the most beautiful Mustang ever released by Ford, it’s got to be the 1966 Fastback. Its shape and curvature are instantly recognizable among car enthusiasts, and the Fastback is one of the reasons the Mustang is so iconic today.
One of the best things about this car is its price. They’re a relatively cheap entry into classic car collecting. Whereas many classic cars can drive prices well above the $100,000 mark, you can pick one of these up for much less.
4. 2015 Shelby GT350R
We really like the Shelby models, and in 2015, Ford released another Shelby GT350R worthy of making this list.
Its 5.2-L V-8 engine pumps out a solid 526 HP with 429 ft-lbs. of torque, giving it that get-up-and-go you expect from a Ford Shelby.
5. 1964 Ford Mustang
This is the one that started it all. When Ford launched the Mustang, they had no idea just how far the vehicle would take them. It’s one of the most popular vehicles ever built, with a reputation that’s still going strong today.
The original engine inside the Mustang was a 176 cubic-inch V-6 that only put out 101 HP. It’s amazing to see just how far they’ve come since then.
6. 1993 SVT Cobra
If you dig the Fox-body Mustangs, then you already know the 1993 SVT Cobra. It was essentially the send-off for the generation of cars before releasing the longer, less boxy Generation 4 Mustangs. And it’s the only Cobra ever produced with the Fox-body.
This came with the signature 5.0 L V-8 that could crank out 235 HP at 4,600 RPM. While these aren’t an exceedingly rare find, they’re a great representative of the Fox body Mustangs.
7. 1968 Ford Mustang California Special
The 1968 California Special was a Mustang that Ford never had any plans of creating. However, since California attributed to about a quarter of Mustang and Thunderbird sales, regional car dealers pulled together their clout in order to drive Ford to produce a car just for them.
It was called the California Special, and it had several unique features. It came with 1965 Thunderbird taillights, side scoops, hood pins, and a rear spoiler deck lid. The California Special sported many different engine sizes. They were even sold as the High-Country Special in the Denver, Colorado area.
8. 2000 Cobra R Mustang
When the 2000 Cobra R first debuted, it was the fastest production Mustang ever built. It could reach speeds up to 170 mph. It’s powered by a 5.4 L V-8 capable of generating 385 HP. In true R-type fashion, the vehicle was lightweight and with its powerful engine, it could accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
To get those kinds of numbers, Ford scrapped anything that wasn’t essential for track use. Only 300 of these units were ever produced, so they’re a real treasure to find out in the wild.
9. 1971 Mustang Mach 1
The 1971 Mustang Mach 1 has got to be one of the meanest looking Mustangs Ford has ever produced. With upgraded front geometry and wider wheelbase from the 1970 model, it surely is a sight to behold. However, when swapping out to 1971 from 1970, the Mach 1 actually lost a bit of power.
While this may have seemed like a raw deal when the cars were new, this is an acceptable trade-off in today’s age—especially if you’re going to turn it into a show car.
10. 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt
The first Mustang Bullitt cars came out in honor of the Steve McQueen film Bullitt, where he drove a 1966 Fastback. The 2008 model is a unique, modern take on the original. It’s designed to resemble the original Bullitt Mustang while integrating the newer front-end.
It came equipped with a 24 V SOHC V-8 that charged 315 HP at 325 ft-lbs. of torque. And let’s not forget, the Bullitt comes standard in Dark Highland Green—a color only available for Bullitt mustangs.
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So, what did you think of our list? Is there any Mustang that you feel should have made the cut?
The Ford Mustang is a real gift to sport and muscle cars. Its longevity has proven that the Mustang is here to stay. We’re looking forward to the next generation and seeing what Ford will come out with next.