The Cult of the Mustang | Muscle Car
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.