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Mustang's Extended Family


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Being new to the Ford Mustang family and not having played much with "muscle cars" and "drag racing" since my high school days in the early 80s (Chevrolet back in those days), I was surprised to find out that the Mustang went through 3 major variants during the late 1980s and beyond.

This does not include Shelby Mustangs since they have been around since 1966 if I'm not mistaking. I don't believe there has ever been another American car model that has gone through this process and been so popular.


I was reading an article last night and found it pretty interesting and thought I would post it here for others who do not know the history. (condensed from Wikipedia):



Roush Performance, established by former Ford engineer Jack Roush in 1988, had been known for providing performance parts, vehicles and engines. In 2001, the company introduced three packages for the Mustang. Stage 1 came with 17-inch wheels, a lowered suspension and a side-mounted exhaust system. In addition, it came with an air dam, side skirts and a rear spoiler. Stage 2 upgraded Stage 1 with 18-inch alloy wheels and BF Goodrich Comp TA. The suspension was extensively modified with Bilstein shocks, High-rate springs, stiffer anti-roll bars and new control arms. Roush claimed it achieved 1.0g lateral acceleration and was on par with the Porsche 911 Turbo. Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 came with V6 or V8 engine options. The top of the line was the Stage 3, with 360 hp and 375 ftlbf. The Stage 3 platform was essentially a heavily modified Mustang GT. The Ford Modular 4.6 L V8 was upgraded with an Eaton supercharger, a new intake manifold, high performing fuel injectors, an air-to-water intercooler and a lighter flywheel (on the manual transmission only). The Stage 3 was available in three packages: Sport, Rally and Premium.



Based in Pompano Beach, Florida, Dario Orlando founded Steeda Autosports in 1988 using his years of experience repairing and racing cars. Steeda is one of the largest manufacturers of Ford aftermarket performance parts. In 2003 Steeda introduced Q 400 based from Mustang GT with an advertised 400 hp. The 4.6 L V8 was modified with Vortech centrifugal supercharger, K&N Filter Charger, and FRPP 80 mm Mass Air Meter with 70 mm throttle body. Fuel is supplied via twin Bosch pumps, and Steeda-spec Borla 2.5-inch stainless pipes and mufflers. Motor Trend magazine made a dyno test on Q 400, equipped with Paxton supercharger, produced 425 hp from the rear wheels, and 450 hp horsepower from the flywheel.



Saleen was founded by racer Steve Saleen in 1983, with the first model being a 1984 Saleen Mustang. The current Mustang based model they have is the 2007 Saleen S281 from the 5th generation Mustang. The S281 have different versions like the S281 SC, supercharged 465 hp and the S281 Extreme in which they have replaced the Ford engine with a Saleen-built V8 engine increasing the power to 550 hp.



Automobile racer Carroll Shelby transformed a conventional Mustang into a serious track racer designated as the "GT-350." The fastbacks were shipped from the San Jose, California assembly plant and fitted with a "Hi-Po" 289, four-speed manual transmission, and included front disc brakes. Additionally, shortened hoods and deleted rear seats with identifying trim were among the visual variations. These select Mustangs were converted to street, road racing, and drag cars in Shelby's plant at Los Angeles International Airport.

Models include: Shelby GT-H, Shelby GT500KR, and the Shelby CS6.

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