Tom Shaw
March 1, 2008

Inside has Twister floor mats, a logo on the passenger-side dash, embroidered headrests, and a personalized ID plate between the two center A/C vents. Ford options are available, including a Shaker audio system, heated seats, a Bluetooth phone connection, and so on.

The package dramatically steps up the Mustang's impact. Basic pricing for the Twister Special coupe/automatic is$42,770.72; coupe/five-speed, $42,425.72; convertible/automatic, $45,600.72; and convertible/five-speed, $45,505.72. Of course, extra options increase the price. Given the available equipment, you can spec out your Twister just the way you like it. That's a major change from the '70s, which were all identically equipped and were built with no aftermarket equipment.

Here's another big difference: the original '70 Twister Specials were sold only through the Kansas City sales district, but the '08s will be available from any Ford dealer and will carry a Ford warranty for the Ford parts. Ford obviously won't warranty the aftermarket parts it didn't manufacture, but it will stand behind the rest of the car.

Production will be limited to 96 cars, which is the same number as the original Twister Special Mustangs. Those 96 will be divided between coupes and convertibles, automatics and five-speeds.

The latest model is the hottest, most complete Twister Special yet. The originals had either four-barrel 351s or 428 CJs. The '08s have smaller displacement engines, but have power to run with the best of their vintage brethren and the chassis to leave 'em in the dust.

With the many design and manufacturing improvements built into today's Mustang, the strong restyling, and more extensive mods made to the engine and chassis, the '08s may be the most special Twisters yet. We suspect the 96 lucky buyers will think so.

Twister Special Package

  • Graphics package
  • Glassback roof (coupe only)
  • Functional Shaker with engraved logo
  • Blacked-out ground effect lowers
  • Widow's peak hood with mar-resistant textured black stripe
  • Chin spoiler
  • Centered driving lights grille with Tri-bar pony
  • Sequential taillights
  • Taillight panel
  • Ducktail spoiler
  • C-pillar scoops (coupe only)
  • Lightbar with Twister Special logo (convertible only)
  • The Original Twisters
    In late 1969, Ford's Kansas City sales district was looking for a promotion to kick off its '70 model year. Representatives approached the home office, which had been building a fleet of pace cars for a company that was constructing a group of new racetracks around the country. The pace cars were to have the 428 Super Cobra Jet/Drag Pack engines and a distinctive side stripe. When the racing corporation went bankrupt, Ford had a nice styling and performance package on its hands and nowhere to go with it.

    The promotional request from Kansas City came at just the right time. The styling developed for the pace cars was adapted to Kansas City's cars, which became known as the Twister Specials. All were Grabber Orange and were originally supposed to have 428 SCJ/Drag Pack drivetrains, but half of the 96 cars produced wound up with 351C four-barrels due to a shortage of CJ engines.

    Currently, 52 of the '70 Twister Special Mustangs are accounted for by the Twister Special registry. Four are known to have been totaled, and one was stolen and still missing.

    All the details are online at www.twisterspecialregistry.com, a Web site dedicated to Twister Specials and their background. Terry Fritts, owner of an original Twister Special, researcher, and long-time keeper of Twister knowledge, maintains the site. By the way, that's Terry driving the '08 coupe in our action shots.

    In 1985, there was a half-hearted attempt to resurrect the Twister concept with a model called the Twister II, but the effort was superficial and many Twister Special enthusiasts haven't warmly embraced those cars.