Despite these strong beginnings, there were times when the original pony car’s future was in jeopardy, and it looked as if the Mustang would go the same way as the Camaro and Challenger before it. Fortunately the passion of its loyal fanbase persevered, and in 2004 the Mustang found itself celebrating 40 years of continuous production with the release of a special anniversary edition.
The 40th Anniversary MustangThere is some confusion about what exactly constitutes a 40th Anniversary Mustang. All pony cars released in the 2004 model year received special fender badging — on top of that, however, was an optional 40th Anniversary package available for both the base model and the GT.
Here’s what you got by purchasing the optional upgrade:
Exterior: Most strikingly, the 40th Anniversary Mustang featured a prominent dual stripe across the hood and over the roof and tailgate. Because of this, the package could only be ordered on Black, Oxford White or Crimson Red colored-vehicles, the latter of which was exclusively available on the 40th Anniversary Mustang. Other exterior features included matching rocker stripes and upgraded wheels.
Interior: The 40th Anniversary Mustang got a deluxe parchment exterior that included brushed aluminum foot pedals, grey metallic inner door knobs and shifter bezel, and painted center console inserts.
Although the 40th Anniversary Mustang package didn’t offer anything new under the hood, it was still an attractive upgrade over the stock V6 or GT, and it sold well. In a way, the Anniversary Mustang ended up being somewhat of a last hurrah for the “New Edge” Mustangs, as it was just a year later that Ford introduced the all-new, retro-inspired fifth generation — a car that did more to honor the Mustang’s legacy than the previous year’s offerings.
For interested buyers, plenty of 40th Anniversary Mustangs can be found on the used car market today. Because their upgrades are exclusively cosmetic, generally they do not command much of a higher price than others of the same model year.