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The Mustang California Special reflects the original 1968 car with a black honeycomb grille and lower side stripes. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Mustang California Special reflects the original 1968 car with a black honeycomb grille and lower side stripes. Picture: SUPPLIED

When the now iconic Ford Mustang first hit the streets in 1964, owners’ clubs sprang up across America, with many regional dealers creating personalised designs. One — inspired by the 1967 Shelby GT notchback coupé prototype —— came to be called the California Special.

Ford put a limited number of California Specials into production for 1968, and the latest version is making its way to SA.

Ford says it captures the “quintessential style of west coast America” and embodies the free-spirited ethos of the 1968 original. The new Mustang California Special will be offered locally exclusively in Fastback coupé body style and is limited to 100 units.

A special-edition design package with unique badging and detailing, 19-inch alloy wheels and special “colour shift” California Special decals delivers distinctive style, matched to a 5.0l V8 petrol engine which delivers 330kW and 529Nm, and powers through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, the Mustang California Special has bespoke detailing.

“The California Special is a huge part of the Mustang’s legacy in America and it symbolises so much of what Mustang stands for: the joy of driving and the freedom of the open road,” says Doreen Mashinini, GM for marketing at Ford SA.

The latest interpretation reflects the original 1968 car with a honeycomb front grille finished in Ebony Black and features a GT/CS badge in Race Red, as well as lower side stripes finished in black, red and grey.

Incorporating GT/CS logos, the stripes run from the front to rear wings and feature a hidden “California Special” script that is almost invisible in low light conditions but becomes much more prominent in stronger sunlight. Eight exterior colours add further visual flair, including signature Atlas Blue and Cyber Orange.

Local pricing and further details will be available at launch later in the year.

The iconic Ford Mustang is revered among enthusiasts, with many owners and fans coming together to celebrate World Mustang Day on April 17.

In SA the Mustang took an 87% share of the local sports car segment last year, with 3,613 units sold.

Another exclusive limited-edition variant was the Mustang Mach 1 introduced last year.

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