Photos Courtesy of Ford and Huw Evans
2005 NEW BEGINNINGS
Perhaps more so than any Mustang since the original, the 2005 model was the most anticipated Ford ponycar in a generation. Boasting very retro-inspired styling, both inside and out, it was an entirely new design, larger than the ’04 model and built on a dedicated, ultra-stiff platform at the Ford/Mazda Flat Rock facility. The car’s basic MacPherson strut front suspension was shared with the Lincoln LS, while out back, to the dismay of some critics, was still a live rear axle, though with a new three-link arrangement, handling was tremendous for a ponycar. Base and GT coupe versions were initially offered, with Deluxe or Premium packages. The former now using Ford’s SOHC 4.0-liter V6 for propulsion, coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox or new five-speed automatic. With 210 hp on tap, the new base car was a capable performer in its own right and proved highly popular. The GT was the first regular Mustang to come standard with 300 hp, in this case an updated version of the venerable 4.6 modular V8 with three-valve cylinder heads. Also available with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic, it could run high 13 second passes in the standing quarter-mile all day long, making it among the quickest regular production Mustangs ever built. Base Mustangs were available with 16-inch wheels, while GT models came with standard 17s, in polished aluminum or updated Bullitt form. Inside drivers had the option of a multitude of different colors for instrument lighting as well as a choice of new Shaker 500 or 1000 sound systems, with CD player/changer and MP3 capability.
2006 CHOPPING THE TOP
The biggest news for 2006, was the return of the convertible in both base and GT trim level. A new Pony Package was offered on V6 cars that included the GT’s rear spoiler, special rocker panel striping, a new grille with horizontal bars and foglights (reminiscent of those found on 1965-1966 GT equipment group cars), ABS, traction control and 17-inch wheels and tires. GT models could now also be fitted with a choice of two different 18-inch wheels. On another note, Carroll Shelby, back working with Ford, released a special GT-H model, built at Shelby’s facility in Las Vegas as a rental car for select Hertz fleets.
2007 CALIFORNIA SPECIAL RETURNS
Heated front seats became an option on all regular Mustangs, while a California Special trim package was offered on GT coupes and convertibles. It included a hoodscoop, polished 18-inch Bullitt wheels, special side stripes and unique front and rear fascias. GT models could also now be ordered with rear spoiler delete and all Mustangs got Sirius satellite radio as a new standard feature. This year, Ford Racing Performance Parts also announced a variety of hop-up parts, available at your local Ford dealer and warranty approved – these included a Power Package (that featured a cold air intake, bigger throttle body, specific tune and performance exhaust); Handling Package (lowering springs, special sway bars, strut brace and performance shocks), plus for hard core drag racers a new Drag Pack with low rear gearing, performance oil filter, cold air intake and short shifter.
2008 A TOUCH OF SOPHISTICATION
Side airbags were now standard on all Mustangs and V6 cars could be ordered with an 18-inch wheel and tire package. Optional HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights and ambient interior lighting added a dash of sophistication. Also new was a Warriors in Pink edition designed to support the Susan E. Komen for the Cure charity. Looking much like a Pony Package car, except for the grille, it came with pink rocker panel stripes, exterior emblems and stitching on the steering wheel and floormats. Also new was an updated Bullitt Mustang in celebration of the classic movie that inspired it, which turned 40 this year.
2009 LET THE SUNSHINE IN
The biggest news this year was the availability of a factory fitted glass roof on coupes. Costing $1,995, it was offered on both V6 and GT models. If featured special reflective glass, a built-in sunshade, and a layer of sound absorbing vinyl to keep noise and vibration to a minimum. A new Security Package, including alarm, engine immobilizer and locking wheel nuts was available on GTs; while a new exterior color, Silver clearcoat metallic was offered for the first time. Both the Warriors in Pink and Bullitt Mustangs returned for another season. This would be the last hurrah for the original 2005 design, as a heavily facelifted and updated version was launched as a 2010 model.
My Experience: Jodie Kendall, 2005 GT coupe
“I wasn’t actually looking for a Mustang. My husband had owned one since high school and we were looking to trade our truck in for a sensible car, but the 2005 model had just come out that year and a few months later we were just curious to see how much they were. We found a dealer about three hours from our home that had a Sonic Blue GT for sale, they were willing to give me a decent amount of money for the truck, so we drove down there and bought it. The car was an automatic with very few miles on it. My husband I were planning to use it as our daily driver, but the car was just too nice really, so we ended up getting a winter car and it turned into my project. I’ve since added wheels and tires, side scoops, hood, new rear spoiler and front air dam and I am planning a few driveline upgrades. The car is nice to drive, it handles really well and it gets a lot of attention. I’m really glad I decided to take the plunge.” – Jodie Kendall
Mustang Historical Timeline – 1964 - 1973
Mustang Historical Timeline – 1974 - 1978
Mustang Historical Timeline – 1979 - 1993
Mustang Historical Timeline – 1994 - 2004
Mustang Historical Timeline – 2005 - 2009