2023 Ford GT MK IV

13 Iconic Fords Every Enthusiast Knows And Loves

Since 1903, the Ford Motor Company—the Blue Oval, founded by Henry Ford—has been nothing short of showstopping and revolutionary. It’s America’s pride and joy and one of the world’s largest makers of automobiles.

As such, over the decades, Ford Motors has built a solid following of car enthusiasts and staunch clientele. The automaker didn’t just stumble on its following. It’s built a reputation in the auto industry for developing some of the boldest, most versatile automobiles on the planet – from the Ford F-150 truck to the ferocious Mustang.

If you are a Ford Motors fan, it would be blasphemous not to know of the following releases throughout the decades. These are Ford automobiles that every enthusiast knows and loves by heart.

Ford Model T

1908 Ford Model T
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Ford Model T is where the story of Ford Motors Company began. It’s the true definition of the American dream — starting with a vision and selling over 15 million units (Ford Model T).

Developed in 1909, the Model T was quite an affordable automobile (it was the first vehicle on the assembly line). Despite what many people think, the Ford Model T wasn’t the Blue Oval’s first car, but it was the vehicle that changed everything for the American automaker.

1955 Ford Thunderbird

1955 Ford Thunderbird
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Chevy’s Corvette caused a lot of destruction in the American automotive market, and in response to that glitch, Ford released the Ford Thunderbird. The iconic release was first showcased towards the end of 1954 at the all-famous Detroit Motor Show. It was a hit, with 3,500 orders in the first ten days.

The 1955 Ford Thunderbird was the handy work of Lewis Crusoe and Frank Hershey. It was developed on the same platform and borrowed its design cues from the Jaguar XK120. The Thunderbird featured a V8 engine and an iconic fiberglass top.

1959 Ford Country Squire

1959 Ford Country Squire
Image Credit: Barn Finds.

The overlanding community has grown so much over the years that every other SUV developed today is expected to have a bit of offroading DNA. But what most overlanders might not know is that they are living other visionaries’ dreams. To squash any confusion, we are talking about the 1959 Ford Country Squire.

Before all this SUV madness, the preferential versatile family car in America was the station wagon. The 1959 Ford Country Squire was a one-off concept developed by Ford and displayed to the masses to check for potential interest.

Don’t get me wrong, the Country Squire was a popular Ford release that had been sold for eight generations. But the ‘59 model was different – it was meant to be more than a family cart and featured basic amenities that would fit the modern overlander, including a kitchen sink.

1961 Lincoln Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental
Image Credit: Greg Gjerdingen/WikiCommons.

Forget all the bad things that the 1961 Lincoln Continental could be remembered for (the 1963 assassination). The 1961 Lincoln Continental will be most remembered for its exquisite design—the famous suicide doors.

It took inspiration from the Thunderbird and had an extended wheelbase. Under the hood, it packed a 7-liter V8 capable of 325 hp (replaced in 1966 with a 7.5-liter V8). The 1961 Lincoln Continental was the first American car with a two-year warranty (24,000 miles).

1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350H

1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350H
Image Credit: Mic, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons.

America is truly the land of all possibilities. The 1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350H was a rare race car that anyone could rent for $17 a day (17 cents per mile) at a Hertz shop.

The 1965 and 1966 iterations of the Shelby Mustangs came with GT350 badges and featured a K-code (HiPo) 4.7-liter V8 engine capable of 306 hp.

1984 Ford Bronco

1984 Ford Bronco II
Image Credit: biglinc71/flickr.

Let’s be honest. In today’s world, driving a car with a cup holder is a necessity. Well, in case you didn’t know, the 1984 Ford Bronco was the first vehicle to feature a cup holder.

The 1984 Ford Bronco wasn’t developed at the best time in Ford’s history – the automaker was downsizing (end of the 1970s), and you can tell comparing this Bronco to its predecessors. Still, it had enhanced aerodynamics, improved front suspension (independent system with coil springs), and fuel efficiency.

1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra

1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra II
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra will remembered as the unit that brought back the V8 engine after a long time missing in action. There was the Cobra (two-tone stripes) and the King Cobra (aggressive body kit and cool graphics on the hood).

The 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra was Ford’s rebuttal to Pontiac’s Firebird Trans Am. It featured a 4.9-liter V8 (even though it was branded as a 5-liter). This muscle car marks an important part of the Blue Oval’s automotive history.

Ford Capri RS2600

Ford Capri RS2600
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons.

The Ford Capri RS2600 is a true classic and collectible. It was Philip T. Clark’s brainchild and quickly became a marvel on the streets and on the circuit track.

The RS2600 made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. It featured an iconic long hood and a short back, and under the hood, a 150 bhp V6 that could hit 244 Nm at 3,500 RPMs. It could accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 124 mph.

Ford F-150

2024 Ford F-150 Platinum
Image Credit: Ford.

You can’t talk about Ford without mentioning the F-150. It’s one of the best-selling vehicles in America. The F-150 metamorphosed from a basic workhorse into a luxury off-roader that won’t hesitate to get dirty.

Ever since Ford unleashed the F-Series line of trucks, they have been getting fancier, more comfortable, with better tech, and, best of all, more agile for the off-road. The new Ford F-Series plays all the roles: a family cart, grocery-getter, workhorse, luxury car, and overlander.

Ford Explorer

1990 Ford Explorer
Image Credit: Men’s Journal/Pinterest.

Every Ford buff knows this — the Explorer was just another fancy name on a pickup truck. Jeep was making headway with the Cherokee, and the Ford Bronco II didn’t seem to take away any market share from the competition. Ford took the Ranger truck and worked its magic on it — and in came the Ford Explorer.

The Ford Explorer was a hit from day one. Over the years, it’s changed from a truck-based SUV to a unibody design and is now a top contender in the Blue Ovals heavy-duty lineup.

2016 Ford GT No. 68

2016 Ford GT No. 68
Image Credit: David Merrett, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons.

The Ford GT is an iconic car in the Blue Oval and, ultimately, America’s performance history. In 1966, the American automaker bagged a historic 1-2-3 finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in 2016, the automaker entered the race with four race-prepped unit numbers: 66, 67, 68, and 69.

As fate would have it, Ford GT No. 68 won the 2016, repeating history against its Ferrari opponent. Ford GT clinched a class win, further stamping its dominance in automotive performance against its European contenders 50 years later.

2017 Ford Focus RS

2017 Ford Focus RS
Image Credit: Vauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons.

Subaru, Mitsubishi, and lately, the Toyota GR get a lot of acclaim for their rally championship performances. But Ford buffs know their performance compact hatchback, the Ford Focus RS, was a brutal contender that won the World Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007.

The 2017 Ford Focus RS was an even mightier release and featured a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine good for 350 hp. It came in the iconic Smarf Blue color. Behind the wheel, it gave a wild ride performance aficionados are yet to resist.

2023 Ford GT MK IV

2023 Ford GT MK IV
Image Credit: Ford Media.

The 2023 Ford GT MK IV is a hand-crafted, limited-edition, track-focused performance car with a crazy-expensive price tag of $1.7 million (before taxes and options).

Its twin-turbo-charged EcoBoost engine produces more than 800 hp and is paired with a race-spec transmission system.

Only 67 of these long-tailed track toys are available. The 2023 Ford GT MK IV is a worthy bow out for the legendary GT.

Humphrey Bwayo

Author: Humphrey Bwayo

Title: Writer

Bio:

Humphrey Bwayo is an automotive journalist whose love for cars has extended into collecting, driving, and writing about automobiles. His first interaction with cars was with a BMW E36 M3 toy car he got for his 5th birthday, and, as the saying goes the rest was history. 

Growing up as a 90’s kid, he experienced firsthand the height of the great East African Safari Rally. He watched local legend Ian Duncan scoop titles in his Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD and Group A Subaru Legacy RS.

He was fortunate to attend journalism school and later work for a local news broadcaster before diverting into digital print. He’s enjoyed an illustrious career writing and editing for websites like National Monitor, The Clever, Columbia Observer, Gadget Review, Hotcars, TheDrive, and Autoevolution. 

He’s now found a home as a contributor at Tesla Tale, an extraordinary team of automotive journalists, experts, and car enthusiasts curving out new ways unseen on the interwebs of telling car stories — stay tuned!

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