Many recall the American car industry with its muscle cars, which are noticeable for their high performance under the hood and muscular bodies. And without a doubt, anyone interested in the American car industry has one Ford on their list of favorite cars; and most of the time, that car is the Ford Mustang. But, let's not limit Ford's history to Mustang this time and go beyond the empire of this notable car. For sure, there exist influential vehicles in the past that are waiting under the shadow of the Mustang.
Although this may not hold for serious car followers, many see the history of muscle cars exclusive to Mustang. This exclusion isn’t an insult, but it’s a matter of shortsightedness regarding muscle cars. In this regard, this article doesn’t want to add to that prophecy and aspires to discover prominent Ford muscle cars in history. Some cars on this list are iconic to the extent that they have appeared in different movies and have acted with famous actors like James Dean and Clint Eastwood. So, don’t miss the list!
18. 1949 Mercury Eight Coupe
Mercury Eight Coupe is most known for its appearance in Hollywood movies like Rebel Without a Cause and The Wild One. Driven by iconic actors like James Dean, it makes us consider this influential car more breathtaking in style than performance. However, no one can deny hot rodders’ affection toward this eye-catching sports classic.
17. 1954 Mercury Sun Valley
Besides Sun Valley’s number 1 rival, which was Crestline Skyliner, this is the first car that let you see the sky through its glass roof. Although this idea wasn’t an innovation by this car, we mean using plastic as a decorative element in interior design, aforementioned designing, giving it “a freshness of view,” reached its height by Sun Valley in the eye of its lovers.
16. 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster
With only 455 examples produced, this rare sports roadster brings together what you may expect from a car on this category: A Powerful 300-hp engine and luxury-related design. Of course, exclude the wheels from the cons as there were some service problem reports, which one of these reports was Elvis Presley’s.
15. 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
Influenced by Bob Tasca’s idea, which was putting a V8 engine into the Fairlane 500 hardtop, Ford Company started to bring the Thunderbolt into limited production. Introduced in 1964 and marketed in the US, this car never lets you down in terms of performance. Its 425 bhp V8 engine enables it to sprint 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
14. 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint
Considered to be a controversy among car enthusiasts, some take Falcon as a convenient transport car with a roomy inside while others see it fitting the prerequisite thrills a muscle car needs. The latter, of course, like this car since under the hood with a 200 bhp engine, and the top speed of 107 mph may nourish the '60s muscle cars fans.
13. 1968 Mercury Cougar GT-E
The production of the Cougar started in 1967 with 113,720 examples to be put out in 1968, few of which were armored with the GT-E package. Showing itself more devoted to the class it belongs, the Mercury Cougar GT-E, as the highest-performance version of the standard Cougar, is more aggressive in exterior and has the more roaring characteristic, with its 427 Cobra Jet V8, as you hit the pedal.
12. 1968 Ford Torino GT
The Torino nameplate was on the market since 1968, with different annual updates, each giving it a minute change in look and performance. Among various models, the 1968 Sportroof is one of the most memorable. Compared to the standard, The GT is more powerful under the hood with its 7-liter 335 hp V8 engine.
11. 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III
via RM Sotheby’s
Having the same chassis with Thunderbird, a giant coupe as Lincoln may not be anyone’s interest by now, but thanks to its 365 hp engine and well-designed black vinyl roof, we can portray how people felt once they saw this car. It stands as the representative of the late 1960s American luxury cars and the most notable rival of the Cadillac Eldorado as well.
10. 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II
Identical to Ford Torino Talladega, both as race cars share a unique exterior design, “tapered nose and a flush-mounted grille,” that fit the aerodynamic purpose. With 300 to 500 units produced, Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II came to the streets and soon became a rarity. This sports coupe features an OHV V-8 producing 375 hp, setting a 0-60 mph record of 5.9 seconds.
9. 1970 Ford Torino Cobra
via Ford Authority
Sharing the speed-friendly-aerodynamic exterior design of the sports cars of the decade, Ford Torino Cobra, with its 370 hp engine, named 429 Cobra Jet Ram-Air, brings the power you expect from an American muscle car under your right foot. Are you in love with roaring violence? So, don’t hesitate to pinpoint the gas pedal!
8. 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT
Considered to be the fourth generation of Cyclone cars, Mercury Cyclone GT came with two primary engine trims, one with a 7.0 L V8 engine and the other with a 375 hp engine. Although many took this 2-door coupe more preoccupied with style than performance, the GT trim with its Action Special Package outshined its standard trim.
7. 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber
via Maverick/Comet Forums
Introduced in April 1969, Ford Maverick Grabber came to market one year after its showcase to compete with newcomer sports cars from Japan. As a replacement for the Falcon, which had gradually lost its sale and reputation, this two-door sports coupe revived the ongoing competition in the decade. Long hood and fastback roof are the eye-catching elements at first glance.
6. 1971 Ford Capri Perana V8
"Ford Capri - The Car You Always Promised Yourself." This was the commercial motto describing this car back in those days. Ford Capri Perana, with its 5.0 L engine, transmits 281 hp to the wheels. The Capri Perana V8 sprinted as fast as it ran 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which can be moving even for a modern car enthusiast in 2020.
5. 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport
Available in two-door coupe and fastback, the “Sport” model of Gran Torino, as a replacement for the previous GT model, along with Torino continued the noticeable shift in styling that designers started two years before. Although Torino Sport didn’t grab the attention of Chevy Chevelle SS and Pontiac GTO, its appearance in Clint Eastwood’s 2008 movie Grand Torino shows how unforgettable this car is.
4. 1973 Ford Falcon GT
Ford Australia manufactured Ford Falcon GT and sold it between 1973 to 1976. With a V8 engine producing 300 hp and 379 lb.ft of torque, it was able to reach the top speed of 118 mph to be entitled as a fast sports vehicle. For those interested in movies, Falcon also appeared in 1979's Mad Max and Eric Bana’s documentary film.
3. 1978 Ford Falcon Cobra
Mostly known for its Bright Blue stripes and a number from 1 to 400 on the glove box, each Ford Falcon Cobra was armored with a distinct performance. Released by Ford Australia, this 2-door Hardtop sports coupe. Moreover, it was armed to a 4.9 L V8 engine producing 202 bhp under its hood.
2. 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7
The 1987 Mercury Cougar was available in two trims: the LS, which was the luxury trim, and XR-7, which was more sporty and rarer than the former. The 1987 XR-7 broke up with the turbocharged 4-cylinder used in the previous model year and utilized a 5.0-Liter V8 engine that produced 150 hp. The aforementioned engine performance was also available but optional in the LS trim.
1. 1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe, alongside Mercury Cougar as its cousin, is a front-engine 2-door coupe produced for almost ten years. Thanks to the technological advancements in the time of its production, the 1989 Motor Trend's Car of the Year featured more features, including four-wheel independent suspension that helped its handling.