1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1

As much as we love the Ford Mustang, we’ll be the first ones to admit that not every example that came from the factory since 1964 has been a quintessential example of the pony car. The 1970s were a rough time for the Mustang (and the automotive industry in general), a time when horsepower was down and styling was at an all time low.

But which Mustang is the worst of all time? Jalopnik.com asked their readers to nominate the worst special edition Mustangs of all time and have put together a top ten list with the results. It’s hard to argue against many of the Mustangs being on the list, although some, like the California Special, don’t deserve the negative limelight.

Check out Jalopnik’s 10 worst special edition Ford Mustangs below, and let us know in the comments section whetherthey got the list correct or not.

10. 1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car 

Jalopnik says, “Even as far as stripes-and-stickers sets go, this one is painful. The car underneath would take some time to get back on the path of righteousness, as well.”

1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car
9. Ford Mustang California Special

Jalopnik says, “California is still the center of American car culture, but this misguided homage does the Golden State no favors. It’s different (and more expensive) than the base model, but different is not always better.”

Ford Mustang California Special
8. Ford Mustang Ski Country Edition

Jalopnik says, “This Rocky Mountain-area special (stripes and a ski rack, basically) was an interesting, if not exactly logical, exercise in early crossover marketing.”

Ford Mustang Ski Country Edition
7. 1969 Ford Mustang E

Jalopnik says, “Even before the 1973 gas crisis they tried to sell E (for economy) models, with an inline-6 and a galactically high 2.33:1 axle ratio. The success of the idea speaks for itself: About fifty were sold.”

1969 Ford Mustang E
6. Ford Mustang 20th Anniversary GT350

Jalopnik says, “Although a 20th anniversary is certainly worth celebrating, this is the first taste of the navel-gazing retro obsession that would become such a contentious issue down the line. There’s no reason the hardcore-racer GT350 tag belongs on this car. Carroll Shelby wasn’t the only seriously annoyed party at the time.”

Ford Mustang 20th Anniversary GT350
5. Ford Mustang Sprint

Jalopnik says, “Done to commemorate the 1972 Munich Olympics, the Sprints were nothing more than a few trim items. These are as indicative of the increasingly stringent regulatory environment of the time as anything: no hotter motor, no tighter suspension, nothing to make the Mustang sprint-ier.”

Ford Mustang Sprint
4. Ford Mustang Heat Edition

Jalopnik says, “The folks that work for Jack Roush are the last people you’d accuse of being lazy or operating in half measures, so this stripes-and-spoilers makeup job that they inflicted on an otherwise stock base Mustang is doubly disappointing.”

Ford Mustang Heat Edition
3. Ford Mustang King Cobra

Jalopnik says, “The King Cobra heaped on the cliches by the cubic yard: plastic body panel extensions, then-daring alloy wheels, and the most obnoxious stickers that designers could create without barfing.”

Ford Mustang King Cobra
2. Ford Mustang Ghia

Jalopnik says, “One would think that combining the ideas of “Mustang” (powerful all-American GT car) and “Ghia” (renowned Italian design house) would produce something special, a broad-chested hero in perfectly-tailored sportswear. Instead, we have this absurd luxe-lite cruiser that betrays every bit of its Pinto heritage and forsakes every known strand of Mustang identity.”

Ford Mustang Ghia
1. 1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Jalopnik says, “The top engine on the 1974 Mustang II was a 2.8-liter Cologne V-6, which was evil portent enough, but Ford’s product planners still stuck with the Mach 1 tag. Thankfully they quickly realized the error of their ways and shoehorned a (strangled, but still real) V-8 in there. But it was done, and of such things are horrible reputations made.”

1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1

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