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California Special edition returns for the Mustang

Fans of Ford’s popular pony car must be overjoyed

Just the perfect car to drive on a lovely summer day. PHOTO FROM FORD

It isn’t a secret that the Ford Mustang was an instant hit in the motoring world when it was released in 1964. It was such a favorite among enthusiasts that a number of personalized designs surfaced—usually the handiwork of dealers—just to make the car a little less commonplace and spur continued interest among buyers.

One design was influenced by the 1967 Shelby GT notchback coupe prototype, and was dubbed “California Special.” It had a blacked-out-grille, fog lamps and a racing stripe. Apparently, the California Special came to be regarded by Mustang owners as being on a par with other special editions like the Shelby, the Boss and the Mach 1.

Don't you just wish your life were this serenely blissful? PHOTO FROM FORD

So Ford is reviving the California Special for today’s Mustang GT. This edition is said to be available for both the coupe and the convertible, but the photos you see here are only those of the latter. One feature being offered with this edition is rev-matching technology that better pairs the car’s 5.0-liter, 460hp V8 engine with a six-speed manual transmission.

Outside, you will easily recognize the California Special with its signature fading stripe that runs from the “5.0” front-fender badge to the rear fender scoop. Other visual elements include a blacked-out grille, the Mustang Performance Pack 1 splitter, and striking five-spoke machined wheels.

Inside, a customized Bang & Olufsen audio system is installed, delivering 1,000W of aural entertainment through a 12-channel speaker setup.

Just you, the California Special and the wide-open road. What more could you possibly want? PHOTO FROM FORD

The California Special is available in three new vintage-inspired paint jobs: Velocity Blue, Need for Green, and Dark Highland Green.

“These intense new colors trace back to the Mustang’s classic colors of the late 1960s and the early 1970s,” says Ford car group marketing manager Corey Holter in a press statement. “While colors like Shadow Black and Magnetic Gray will still be popular for those who prefer to go stealth, these new colors pack a brighter, more vibrant punch.”

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray. PHOTOS FROM FORD

It’s highly unlikely we’ll get this special edition in our market. Who wants to drive al fresco behind a smoke-belching truck anyway? But it should still encourage local Mustang owners to personalize their cars so they really stand out in traffic. How about a Tagaytay Special?

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.