Forty-four years have passed since the Mustang first galloped into enthusiasts' barnyards, and in the intervening time Ford has dished out, like a Baskin-Robbins manager on speed, more flavors of Mustang than we can possibly count. Most have been iconic: GT350, GT500, Cobra, Cobra R, Mach I. Some have not: High Country Special, Cobra II, 1979 Indy Pace Car Edition, Twister.
While the regular versions of the pony car have kept money pouring into Ford's coffers -- even when the company has struggled to sell much else beyond pickups -- it's these special models that have kept interest high and the flame burning bright among enthusiasts and collectors. There's no sign the parade is going to stop, either. Read on for the scoop on five new special-edition Mustangs for 2009.*
*Every one of these models was made up and isn't real, in case you couldn't figure it out.
Ford Mustang Foal Edition
The last six-pot Stang we tested ran to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 93 mph. That, my friends, is just too damn quick for some people. Who needs all that go? Certainly not the hordes who buy Mustangs to serve as canvases for body kits, big spoilers, and gothic-lettered shout-outs to their dead grandmothers.
And so the Foal Edition marks the return of the four-cylinder Mustang, a Mustang with a 177-hp, 2.5-liter powerplant that provides what those hordes want and nothing more: enough gusto to get from fast-food parking lot to fast-food parking lot and the mall in between. They won't be winning any drag-strip throwdowns, but who cares? The name of the game here is style, not speed.
With its sub-$18,000 price point, the Foal provides an inexpensive, Scion-like blank slate on which new owners can infuse their own personality. The Foal rolls on 16-inch steelies for easier fitment of chrome hubcaps, and it wears front and rear bumpers that remain unpainted, since they'll probably be tossed in favor of ill-fitting, primer-coated replacements anyway. The paint on the rest of the car is treated with a special polymer that's said to facilitate decal swapping; when that awesome tribal theme starts getting stale, owners can toss it in favor of purple and gold flames or maybe even a sweet airbrush-look Viking battle scene.
Ford Mustang Malaria Edition
Big ups to Ford for its 2008 Warriors in Pink Mustang, a portion of the proceeds from which helps fund research to cure breast cancer. Designed to raise awareness of the company's efforts to help fight the deadly disease, it showed that even global automotive giants can have a heart. With so many other horrible afflictions in dire need of cures as well, we're glad to report that Ford is planning a follow-up: the Ford Mustang Malaria Edition, with the proceeds this time going to combat, well, malaria.
A disease primarily restricted to equatorial territories, estimates of infection range anywhere from 300 million to 900 million cases annually, with an estimated one-to-three million per year proving fatal. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and convulsions (coincidentally, these are the same symptoms we experience when we think about driving a Jeep Compass), and treatment is often too expensive for people in some of the world's poorest countries. You can see the need for aid.
As with the Warriors in Pink car, the primary mission of this model is awareness and fundraising, but there are a few functional changes. Malaria is often transmitted via mosquito bites, so the white and yellow Malaria Edition car will include mosquito netting, which will allow folks to enjoy window-down motoring without fear of contracting the disease, and a bug zapper that dangles from the rearview mirror to take care of any skeeters that do happen to wander in.
Photos used with Special Permission from Car and Driver