Krause Publications – Iola, Wis.
Release Date: Summer 2006
(Jerry Heasley and I once again collaborated on a great Mustang book. Here is the Introduction.)
The authors tried to establish several solid criteria for determining which cars would be included in this book about special edition Mustangs. Some were easy choices; the 1968 California Special and High Country Special quickly went to the top of the list. Others were cause for debate: the 1965 Shelby GT-350R and certain Saleen and Roush models, for example.
It is not that we liked or disliked some Mustangs more than others, but we had to eliminate models that were certainly special in some ways but could not truly be considered special editions. The 1971 Mach 1 with a 429-cid Super Cobra Jet V-8 is obviously a hot car (and more rare than some models Ford labeled “limited editions”) but we deemed it to be a production model (Mach 1) built with an optional factory engine.
Our guidelines for adding to or eliminating from the list read something like this:
1. A special edition is an offshoot of a regular production model.
2. A special edition is not offered year after year.
3. Intent plays a factor in special edition status. Did Ford intend to create a new model when it introduced the California Special, or was it a one-time-only proposition?
4. Does the special edition in question have any historical significance? Another way to phrase this is: In hindsight, does this model stand out from the crowd?
5. How did the target audience respond to the package?
6. Shelbys, Saleens, SVOs, SVTs and Roushes are to be treated as production models, but anything that deviates from their established formats in limited numbers can be considered a special edition.
Were we able to include every regional or dealer promotion in this book? No, obviously there are many of these cars still waiting to be discovered out there. And do not even think about finding an entry for every Mustang with special order paint in here. That is the kind of in-depth research that Tony Popish has performed through his Horse of a Different Color registry and newsletter; it would take a 300-page volume just to discuss all of his findings.
What should you do if there is a Mustang in your driveway or garage with unusual markings or features that might indicate a promotional package? First, enjoy driving it. Second, surf the Internet for online registries that know something about your car. Failing that, create your own Web registry so people can start coming to you with information.