When you decide to take the plunge and purchase a Ford Mustang, there are a number of factors that you need to weigh in- generation, engine type, horsepower numbers, etc, but before you get into the nitty-gritty details, you must also decide what color pony car you envision yourself driving around in.
For a special core of muscle car aficionados, the answer is yellow.
Despite being among the rarest paint colors in a number of model years, many people have an affinity for a bright yellow appearance to go along with all of that power under the hood. Whether it be in movies, popular television programs, or at your local car show, yellow Mustangs never fail to dazzle the masses.
Yellow Mustangs have been a cornerstone of the vehicle’s illustrious history since the very beginning, and continue to be relevant in the present day, more than 50 years after the inaugural unit rolled off the assembly line for the first time.
In fact, the color is so celebrated within the Ford community that there is a passionate, 8,000-plus member club that is dedicated solely to yellow Mustangs. Appropriately dubbed the Yellow Mustang Registry, this ever-growing club brings muscle car enthusiasts from all corners of America together for meet-and-greet events to discuss all things related to yellow Ford Mustangs.
Red is the most prominent Mustang color out there and blue and green pony cars are a dime-a-dozen, but there is something special about a yellow pony car on the roadway or the track. The rare, yet prevalent color has evolved right along with the times, and the yellow Mustangs of today look mighty different than they did back in the First Generation.
From the very beginning all the way through the S550 redesign, we have highlighted some of the best shades of Mustang yellow.
We might as well start at the very beginning! When you think of the color yellow, the sun is probably one of the first things that pops into your head. Sunlight Yellow was one of the 19 colors available for the 1964.5 model year, and its brief tenure is remembered fondly. Though not quite as bright as the sun itself, Sunlight Yellow depicts a beautiful, bright yellow image that certainly garnered a double-take or two back in the day.
Sunlight Yellow was one of the two shades of Mustang yellow options for 1964.5, along with Phoenician Yellow. Phoenician Yellow Mustangs were used in a number of promotional materials that were in conjunction with the pony car’s 1964 debut, and unlike Sunlight Yellow, the former carried over to the 1965 model year. Though Phoenician Yellow wins in terms of longevity, we simply can’t pass up the brilliance in which the Sunlight Yellow Mustang offers!
When the first full model year (1965) debuted in the summer of 1964, there was just one yellow Mustang option available- Phoenician Yellow. Phoenician carried the bright yellow flag all the way through the New Year but that all changed once the snow melted and the days grew longer. Named for the time it debuted, Springtime Yellow became a color option for the stretch run of the 1965 model year.
This pale yellow color quickly gained momentum, and its popularity carried through the summer. Springtime Yellow was the lone yellow Mustang option for both the 1966 and 1967 model years, with the exception of Breckenridge Yellow as a Ski Country Special color in ’67. A whole new array of bright colors became available in 1968, but Springtime Yellow remains one of the most prominent pale yellow Mustang colors in the First Generation.
For the 1969 model year, Ford unveiled a quartet of “Grabber” colors, including Grabber Blue, Grabber Orange, and of course, Grabber Yellow. At times referred to as Grabber Bright or Bright Yellow throughout its three-year run, Grabber Yellow debuted as a Shelby Mustang only color in ’69 and carried over into 1970.
Grabber Yellow took on a new identity for 1971, taking the place of Competition Yellow, and became the primary shade of yellow used on standard production Mustangs that year. The curtain fell on Grabber Yellow after 1971, but the distinct paint code is synonymous with several special edition pony cars of the time, including the Mach 1 and the iconic Boss 351 Fastback.
After 1971, Ford shelved the Grabber colors as yearly fixtures, and only one of the four options periodically popped up every so often. The 2007 Grabber Orange revival peaked the attention of yellow Mustang fans, but it was Orange enough to draw a clear line between the two colors. It did not last very long, but one thing is for sure, Grabber Yellow Mustangs certainly grab people’s attention whenever one pulls into town!
Medium Yellow Gold
It is not 100% yellow, but because of its place in cinema lore, it is only appropriate to include this particular color on our list of the best shades of Mustang yellow. Whether you like yellow Mustangs or not, if you are an auto enthusiast, you have undoubtedly seen the original Gone In Sixty Seconds film, featuring a modified 1971 Fastback named “Eleanor.”
Gone In Sixty Seconds starred H. B. Halicki, but Eleanor is likely the first thing that comes to people’s minds when the 1974 flick is brought up in conversation. Eleanor has taken on many forms, including as a Shelby GT500 in the Gone in Sixty Seconds remake, but the original Medium Yellow Gold paint code set the tone for years of notoriety.
Mustang fans not-named H.B. Halicki could purchase Medium Yellow Gold pony cars on 1971-1974 units. Outside of a two-year stretch from 1966-67, the Ford Motor Company did not produce another gold Mustang until the 1997 model year. Though it is not as renowned as the Bullit’s Highland Green, Medium Yellow Gold as certainly one of the most famous Mustang colors ever produced.
As the Fox Body era drew to a close, bright yellow Mustangs became a growing trend, replacing the outgoing pale shades of yesteryear. A number of different bright yellow Mustang colors were introduced throughout the Fourth Generation, highlighted by Zinc Yellow at the turn of the century.
Zinc replaced the outgoing Chrome Yellow, which enjoyed a brief run as the signature light Mustang color from 1998-1999. As was the case with Springtime Yellow 35 years earlier, Zinc Yellow hit the market for the first time in the spring of 2000. Less than 1,000 Zinc Yellow units were produced, marking the smallest total for yellow Mustangs in the SN95 Generation.
Zinc Yellow Mustangs were much more prominent the following year and were available on all V6 and V8 models, as well as Cobras. Speaking of the Special Edition pony cars, Zinc Yellow was a primary option for 2003 Cobras as well as the newly-revived Mach 1 that same year, in addition to the V6 and GT Mustangs. Zinc Yellow went dark for good following the 2004 model year, but it helped lay the foundation for many more bright yellow Mustang colors in the future.
A shade of Mustang yellow so bright, you’ll scream! Well, it might not make you yell out loud, but the Screaming Yellow color delighted Ford fans in the mid-2000s. Screaming Yellow bore a striking resemblance to Chrome Yellow and replaced Zinc as the principal bright color available. While many colors were primarily confined to one generation, Screaming Yellow made its presence felt on both SN95 and S197 body styles.
Debuting in 2004, Screaming Yellow help bid farewell to the Fourth Generation and usher in the fifth in both 2005 and 2006. Because it was around for the tail end of the New Edge era, Screaming Yellow was a color choice for both the 2004 Cobra and the Mach 1. Throughout its three years with the pony car, this stunning, bright color maintained the D6 paint code while carrying the flag for yellow Mustangs during the transitional period.
Mustangs were no longer available in Screaming Yellow beginning in the 2007 model year, but Ford utilized the color on the Focus and a number of trucks before moving on from it for good in 2008.
Following the 2006 model year, yellow Mustang fans had to wait five years before they could see their favorite color on a Ford muscle car again. The return was short-lived, however, as Yellow Blaze lasted just two years, and School Bus Yellow was available only on the Boss 302 in 2013.
That all changed in a big way in 2015. On the heels of yet another body style change, the Ford Motor Company introduced Triple Yellow in its latest array of new colors for the Sixth Generation. Auto enthusiasts from all walks of life first laid eyes on the Triple Yellow Mustang at the Detroit International Auto Show in January 2014. Triple Yellow continued to be one of the main promotional colors for the 2015 Mustang until its release that summer.
For many Mustang fans, Triple Yellow marked a bright color they had wanted for almost a decade. When paired with black stripes/decals along with dark wheels, Triple Yellow Mustangs were constant head-turners. Triple Yellow lasted from 2015-2018. Those wishing to own a 2019 Mustang with a bright color could purchase an Orange Fury option.
Though the 2020 Mustang colors have a lot of great options, including the very vintage looking Grabber Lime, it looks like yellow Mustangs are off-the-menu for the time being.
Image Credit: MustangAttitude.com