Special Edition Mustangs
These special edition mustangs are highly coveted by collectors
'69 Cincinnati Special
During April 1969, there were 50 special order Mustang hardtops delivered to the Cincinnati sales district. It is not known why or what these odd yellow Mustangs were all about. Are there any of them out there? Does anyone have any information about these Mustangs?
'70 Grabber Special Value Package
To promote Ford's new Grabber colors, Ford introduced the Grabber package for Mustang and Maverick Grabber as a nationwide promotion in February 1970. According to the press release, they were offered in Grabber Green, Grabber Blue, Grabber Orange, Calypso Coral (also known as Vermillion), and Bright Yellow. Mainly identified by the '69 Boss-like C-stripe on the side, the "Grabber Special Value Package," as it was called on the invoice, was available only on the SportsRoof and also added dual sport mirrors, black taillight panel, and F-70 whitewall tires with standard hub caps. A 302 two-barrel engine was standard equipment with either a three-speed manual or automatic; the 351 was optional. According to Kevin Marti's Mustang… By the Numbers book, 5,120 Grabber SportsRoof were sold in 1970.
'70 Twister Special
The Twister Special story has its beginnings with a planned pace car program for American Raceways Inc. To accommodate ARI, Ford Special Promotions prepared 10 Mustangs--five Mach 1s and five convertibles--with distinctive side stripes and balanced/blueprinted 428 Super Cobra Jet engines. However, ARI filed for bankruptcy and Ford was left holding the money bags for the project.
To recoup the investment, Special Promotions sought out a sales district for a special edition. Kansas City signed on for the Twister Special, named for the Midwest's reputation for tornados. Produced as both '70 Mach 1s and Torinos, the Twister Specials utilized the still-born ARI side stripes, redesigned with the Ford oval and Mach 1 logo, along with a twirling tornado decal on the rear quarter panel. Initially, all of the Mustangs were planned with 428 SCJ engines, but a shortage of available engines split the order between big-blocks and the new 351 Cleveland four-barrel engine. All were equipped with the functional Shaker hood scoop.
Ford introduced the Twister Special during a "Total Performance Day" at Kansas City International Raceway on November 7, 1969, where dealers drove away in 96 Grabber Orange Mach 1s (half 428, half 351) and 90 Calypso Coral 429 SCJ Torinos.
'70 Sidewinder Special
Little is known about the '70 Sidewinder Special other than it was a SportsRoof built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant for the Oklahoma sales district. Powered by the 351 four-barrel engine, the Sidewinder was available in many colors with a side stripe similar to the Twister Special along with snake decals, similar to Ford's "Cobra on wheels" cartoon, for the rear quarters. The decals came in a box in the trunk for application by dealers. To date, it is believed that there were about 40 cars built for the promotion.
'70 Big Red Special
This little-known special was most likely a dealer promotion, but advertising indicates that the Big Red Special SportsRoof was created to honor the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. All were red Mustangs with a 302 V-8. It is not known how many were made or if any still exist.
'71 Spring Sports Coupe
The Mustang Sports Coupe was a national Special Value Package hardtop offered in April and May of 1971. Just as the '70 Grabbers had capitalized on the popular Boss cars, this model was dressed up to simulate a Boss 351 with hockey-stick side stripes (without Boss lettering), NASA hood, Mach I grille, E70 whitewall tires, hubcaps with trim rings, dual sport mirrors, and the Mach I's color-coordinated bumper group. The package retailed for $97. Any color and option was available.
'72 Sprint USA
Ford brought back the Sprint name in the spring of 1972 for a red, white, and blue themed special edition for Mustang, Maverick, and Pinto to commemorate the USA's Olympic team. Offered from March to June 1972, the "Sprint Décor Option Group" supplied a white hardtop or SportsRoof with blue and red trim, along with a "USA" decal on the rear quarter. Canadian versions were offered with a Canadian Maple Leaf decal.
Like the '68 Sprints, two packages were available. The base Package A ($156) included the Sprint exterior along with a matching white interior with blue seat inserts and red piping, blue carpet, dual racing mirrors, hub caps with trim rings, and E70 white sidewall tires. Package B ($347.46) added the Competition Suspension and F60 Wide Oval tires on 15-inch Magnum 500 wheels.
There were 6,247 hardtop and 3,086 SportsRoof Sprints produced for a total of 9,383, including 50 special convertibles produced for the Cherry Blossom parade in Washington D.C.
As the owner of a '69 Limited Edition 600, Don Hughmanick has taken a special interest in special edition Mustangs. His research led him to put together a list with descriptions, which spawned the idea for this article. Don maintains his special edition Mustang list at his website www.limited600mustang.net, which is updated when he uncovers new information. Don is also working with Carlisle Productions to create a display of Mustang special editions for the 2014 Ford Nationals. If you own one and would like to participate, or if you have additional information to share about special editions, you can reach Don through his website.