Jim Smart
April 1, 2000
Contributers: Jeff Ford Photos By: Mustang Monthly Archives
The new chassis brought better handling and Ford latched onto the heritage in a big way.

Rear Gear: 3.27 gear on everything. All engines are backed with an 8.8-inch Traction-Lok differential.

Quick Facts: With more power on tap-the most power of any of the late-model offerings-the GT is now poised to be the world beater that it should be. The 240 rear-wheel horses and tons of torque make the GT pull like a big-block, yet it is more frugal than any big-block Ford ever developed.

The New Edge styling is something that certain enthusiasts are not partial to, but the average buying public is not so jaded. Sales on the '99 seem to be ready to edge out the '98 model.

Rumor has it that Ford cut production of the GT by 18 percent to make room for more SUV sales. If this is true, then the '99 GT could be rare due to Ford's cuts.

Styling changes for 1996 were minimal, though the base GT wheel was now the 16-inch aluminum wheels shown on the cover of the brochure.

Fast Facts1996-1998 GT Package
Fastest GT: The '6811/42 428 Cobra Jet 13.56 at 106.6 mph

Slowest: The '65 289 4V with C4 automatic 16.80 at 86 mph

Best Vintage GT: The '65 fastback with the 289 Hi-Po and four-speed. Christmas is how far away again?

Best Late-Model GT: The '99 Anniversary convertible in Red. Christmas is how far away again?

Although popular, the 5.0 bid adieu at the end of 1995. Now the 4.6 modular V-8 powers the GT.

Worst Vintage GT: The '69-not because the car was bad, but because Ford did little to promote it above the rest.

Worst Late-Model: '94-'95. This is mostly due to the fact that the GT was actually worse off power-wise than the Fox-platform years.

GT Mystique!
Best Styling: The '65 GT convertible. Thousands of our readers can't be wrong, right?
Worst Styling: Many of you said the '99 GT. We aren't getting into that one.

GT Mystique!1996-1998 GT Package
Best Idle: The '65 GT 289 Hi-Po with trumpet exhaust.
Worst Idle: The '82 GT with the stock mufflers and tailpipes. Yawn...

The '99 GT is distinctive due to the 35th Anniversary badging that replaced the GT on its flanks.

Best Bang for the Buck: The '69 351 4V SportsRoof GT. The average person's response to the statement of its existence: "They made one of those?"
Worst Bang for the Buck: The '68 GT 428 convertible. Not many of them, and many people know what they are, and how much they are worth.

Coolest Option: Shaker. Right foot down, slight shake, tilt of the scoop through the hood, and the sound of the flapper slapping open-too cool. Why? Dunno. Why do you like blondes or brunettes-or redheads for that matter?

Finis?
1996-1998 GT Package
The GT continues to this day to be the bucking bronco it was. The big difference is that it is more powerful and better at its job. The '99 we tested had 240 ponies at the rear wheels-a bunch more than the GT of yore ever produced right out of the box.

2000 GTs are a bit easier to distinguish due to the GT badging being returned after 1999.

Truly, the GT has learned from the successes and failures of its forefathers. We can only hope that the powers that be in Ford keep the GT and its V-8 motivation alive.

Even though a 4.6 powers it and computers modeled it, the GT has the heart and soul that we all love-that of a Mustang.

Even with all the flash and splash that the 2000 GT can provide, there is something magical about the original. We guess this is because it is the original, and just like the original Coke, there is no substitute for the feelings it provokes, and the joy it brings to its fans.