Ever since Ford announced it was going to build a production version of the
Shelby GT500 Concept, enthusiasts have been abuzz with speculation about what
other specialty Mustangs were in the works. Would Ford bring back the Boss?
Could they be contemplating another Mach 1? How about another Bullitt? Their
wait is now over: While the competition scrambles once again to play catch-up to
Ford, Mustang momentum continues to grow with the introduction of the uniquely
styled, limited-edition 2007 Mustang GT/CS – or “California Special.”
The Mustang GT/California Special arrives in late summer as a full, stand-alone option package on the 2007 Mustang. Much like the 1968 GT/CS that offered Mustang buyers more aggressive styling that was “Inspired by the Shelby GT,” the new California Special also draws some cues from the 2007 Shelby. What’s more, it offers the kind of limited-production exclusivity that has made the original California Special such a big favorite with Mustang collectors over the years.
The new Mustang has been a runaway sales success ever since it bolted out of the starting gate 18 months ago. Today, Ford's Mustang remains the hottest selling car in America. It's no secret that the upcoming Shelby GT500 has driven performance-hungry enthusiasts to Ford dealerships across the country in search of information on purchasing the most powerful factory Mustang ever produced. And all indications are that the GT500 will be yet another Mustang sales success. But the Mustang has always been about choice and meeting the customer's needs – and Ford Motor Company knows that there are customers who don't require the ultimate performance Mustang, yet still desire something special beyond the Mustang GT. The 2007 California Special fits the bill.
“ As a Mustang enthusiast and SVTOA Chapter Director, I’ve long known about the original California Special and the mystique that surrounds it, so when I was given the chance to work on the program, I jumped on it," said Mark Wilson, who works in Car Project Management at Ford’s Vehicle Personalization group, and is the program manager for the California Special. Mark is a true Mustang fanatic, he races is 1993 Cobra R and 2004 Mustang in the American V-8 Super Car Series. “I believe the 2007 GT/CS is true to the original car’s heritage, while also setting itself apart from the base Mustang GT with styling cues that clearly differentiate it from any angle.”
The GT/CS was originally a limited-production 1968 Mustang coupe fitted with Shelby Mustang dress-up pieces and sold only though dealerships in California. It was available with any engine, and either with or without the GT option. The 2007 California Special can be ordered as either a coupe or convertible and will be available though Ford dealerships across the country.
The 2007 version has an aggressive front fascia with an integrated chin spoiler that sits 1.5 inches lower than the Mustang GT to provide a larger air opening for increased cooling performance. Familiar “California Special” style bodyside racing stripes run from the front fenders across the doors and fade-out at the end of the door.
Out back, a unique rear fascia styled with less “tuck-in” features a lower air-diffuser design that is similar to the rear of the 2007 Shelby GT500 – itself inspired by the rear diffuser on the Ford GT supercar. As an added touch, the dual exhaust system on the new Mustang GT/CS sports bright, rolled tips for a cleaner, more refined appearance. The car will also come standard with the Mustang GT’s optional 18-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires. (Those seeking further differentiation can even add a hood scoop by ordering the GT Appearance Package.)
“We’ve taken the spirit behind the original Cal Special – a regional package that personalized the Mustang for the West Coast buyer – and created a more aggressive, customized Mustang for customers everywhere,” said Joe Siler, Design Manager, Ford Vehicle Personalization. “We think the result has all of the high-style flair of the original.”
Exclusive touches carry over to the inside of the new California Special, as well. Starting with the array of bright-polished and satin-aluminum finished items in the Interior Upgrade Package (which is required to order a Mustang GT/CS), the cabin comes dressed in either Dove or Parchment environments, including black leather seats with unique Cal Special Dove or Parchment “GT Leather” inserts. Plus, matching front floormats include special Mustang badging to further distinguish the GT/CS interior.
There’s even more style under the hood of the new California Special: The Mustang GT’s 300-horsepower 3-valve 4.6-liter V-8 gets treated to a unique engine cover that gives the engine compartment the kind of dressed-up look that you'd only expect to see at custom car show.
The 2007 Mustang GT/CS goes on sale later this summer. The GT Cal Special option package adds $1,895 to the price of a Mustang GT (available with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission) with the requisite Premium and Interior Upgrade packages. Exterior color choices are limited to Redfire Metallic, Performance White, Vista Blue Metallic and Black. Valencia Yellow is to be added later in the model run. Production estimates have not been finalized, but the 2007 California Special is expected to surpass the sales total of its predecessor of nearly 40 years ago, when 4,325 copies of the GT/CS were sold. SS"
Advertisements touting the ‘68 GT/CS exclaimed that “ California made it happen.” When it comes to Mustangs, Ford Motor Company makes special editions “happen” because of America's ongoing love affair with its favorite sporty car – Mustang. After the rebirth of the Mustang and Mustang GT for 2005, the Pony Package for 2006, plus the Shelby GT500 and now the California Special for 2007, Mustang excitement continues unbridled for yet another model year. And if Mustang’s storied past is any indication, you can expect even more special breeds in the future.