2020 Auto News Auto Sales USA automobiles

1968 Ford Mustang – Faster than a Speeding Bullitt

The 1968 Ford Mustang offered incredible engine options and safety features that made it a stand out car from the rest of the crowd in the 1960s.

 Half a century ago, the first generation Mustang was a real magnet for customers in the American car market. The Mustang brought a much-needed freshness to the American car markets and it was also accessible to a wider crowd of people due to a more favorable economic condition at the time of production. Although it has the reputation of being a typical American muscle car, the range of versions was diverse enough for the different tastes, needs, and wallet thicknesses.

The 1968 Mustangs’ Charm

Regardless of the model year, the base and purpose of the Mustang remained the same throughout time. Like the first, the 1968 Mustang mastered the demanding play between sportiness and usability.

With the 1968 model year’s introduction of the incredibly powerful 428 V8 engines, one might think that the Mustang had shifted more towards power rather than usability. The eight-cylinder engine roared with a powerful penetrating sound. These sounds spoke volumes at higher RPMs that the driver repeatedly asked himself about the legality of his actions. Not because of the dizzying increase in speed achieved, but because of the noise generated.

1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

 The 1968 Ford Mustang GT was notoriously known as a fast car. Faster than its predecessors and despite its power, it remains surprisingly well manageable. This is mostly thanks to the improved suspension which came with every GT model Mustang. Putting the foot to the floor, and what usually follows is a predictable slip of the front wheels, and if the driver wishes, the Mustang will slip at the back too.

Driving a powerful 1968 Mustang with zero electronic stability systems as we are used to today is not an easy task and requires an experienced driver. That right there is the charm of the Mustang- it is wild, it is unpredictable, but most of all it will raise your heartbeat and remind you why you love cars so much.

1968 Ford Mustang – New Development and Changes

In 1967 the first-generation Mustang received the first major redesign which continued in the 1968 model year. The 1968 Ford Mustang is well known as the initial Mustang to display side markers. The additional side markers were added to the 1968 Mustang as new USA Federal regulations demanded all new vehicles have front and back side markers. This is also the most straightforward way to differentiate a pre-1968 Mustang from the 1968 Mustang. The second federally mandated safety feature was the shoulder belts. Both of these safety features made the 1968 Mustang the safest Mustang ever.

Side Markers on 1968 Ford Mustang

Another point of difference was that the 1968 Mustang also featured a newly designed two-spoke energy-absorbing steering wheel.

Interior of 1968 Ford Mustang

There were also several other modifications with the 1968 model year. The 1968 Mustang was the first Mustang with no ‘FORD’ lettering on the hood of the car. In addition, the side scoops were switched out in 1968 and replaced with one-piece chrome details (they were also pointed out by the new C-stripe graphics).

The other major design change was the grille. Gone were the two horizontal lines surrounding the steed emblem. They added a single band around the emblem and a horizontal line connecting the band to the sides of the grille.

Another small but significant change was the application of the rearview mirror to the windshield and not the frame of the car.

Taking a look at the 1968 Ford Mustang brochure, you can see several new features that at first were not picked up by journalists. There was an update to the odometer which let you reset it with a single push of a button to accurately measure the distance of your trip. This was only available with V8 powered Mustangs.

The 1968 Mustangs also featured a rear window defogger, an important new feature that improved visibility through the back window. A high-speed fan directed flow of air to the rear window which kept it fog-free.

The third remarkable feature was a group of “convenience” signal lights on the dashboard. These signal lights flashed to advise you to buckle your seat belts, to release the parking brake, and to warn you of low fuel levels and unclosed doors. These features, although common today, were a standout feature of the day.

Side profile of 1968 Ford Mustang

Performance and Engine Selection

In 1968, Ford offered the Mustang with a choice of seven engines, one 6-cylinder engine and six V8 engines. Horsepower ranged from 120 in the 6-cylinder engine and all the way up to 335 horsepower and more in the 428 cubic-inch V8 engine.

A newcomer in the engine lineup was the 302 engine which served as a replacement for the old 289 engines. The 302 offered 30 more horsepower than the 289 engine, 230 hp in total.

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