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The cult of the Mustang

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With the new 2015 Ford Mustang taking centre stage at the Detroit Auto Show, ShortList provides a visual history of the ultimate muscle car.

1964

The first Ford Mustang (below) is unleashed upon the world in April, and pops up five months later in Goldfinger. Displaying an alarming lack of respect for a nascent vehicular icon, Bond runs the car off the road, ripping its bodywork to shreds with a knife, before telling the driver, “Here, let me help you. You know, you’re lucky to be alive.”

1968

Boasting a wider, longer body and a louder, burlier engine, the Mustang 390 GT makes a more memorable big screen appearance, being piloted by Steve McQueen in Bullitt. The film’s legendary chase scene instantly prompts a spike in Mustang sales. And, presumably, speeding fines.

1978

The 1973 fuel crisis saw Mustang engines shrink, but by the late-Seventies models were back boasting V8s again, and none was more testosterone-choked than the limited-edition King Cobra of ’78, featuring a snake mural on the hood, in case you forgot its name.

1998

The Eighties were a subdued period for the ’Stang. Happily, the Nineties saw a resurgence, culminating with the 1998 SVT Mustang Cobra which had improved tuning, a beefed-up chassis and, most importantly, looked the real deal.

2014

In addition to a forthcoming appearance with Aaron Paul in Need For Speed, the ’Stang is finally available in Europe. Boasting a 305bhp engine and retaining original design elements, it will be available (for around £30k) in November.

Ford.com

Images: Newspress; Kobal

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