More than Mustang and Cougar.
Though the Mustang remains Ford’s most famous muscle car, the company had been building muscle cars since it introduced the sleek Fairlane and Galaxie models with optional 390 cubic-inch big-block V-8 engines in 1961.
These cars were part of Ford’s Total Performance program, which tested cars in the crucible of racing at drag strips, oval circuits, European rally events, and road courses, resulting in legendary muscle cars like the Shelby Mustang, Boss 302 and 429 Mustangs, Mercury Cougar, Cyclone GT, and Spoiler.
The Complete Book of Classic Ford and Mercury Muscle Cars covers all of Ford Motor Company’s high-performance muscle cars from the early 1960s to 1973. It’s the bible of muscle every disciple of Ford performance needs.
About the Author
As editor of the Mustang Club of America’s Mustang Times magazine, Donald Farr has been researching and writing about Mustangs for over 40 years. In addition to his magazine work, Farr has authored many books, including Ford Mustang: America’s Favorite Pony Car, Mustang Boss 302: Ford’s Trans-Am Pony Car, Legendary Ford and Mercury Muscle Cars, and co-wrote How to Restore Your Mustang and the Mustang Recognition Guide. Farr was inducted into the Mustang Hall of Fame in 2012.
Chapter one the big bodies 1961–1970
In February 1963, Jim Feurer was 22 years old and bringing home good money from his job in Chicago with Western Electric. An admitted 'gear head' with a penchant for fast cars, Feurer placed an order for a 409 Chevy but canceled it when delivery was delayed. A subsequent deal for a Max Wedge Dodge fell through when the dealer wouldn’t accept Feurer’s trade-in. Then a friend who worked at the local Ford dealership called. 'He had just heard about the 427 for the Monterey,' Feurer recalls. 'I ordered it that day, a black two-door sedan with Super Marauder 427 and 4.11 gears.' Feurer took delivery on March 23 and immediately started street racing. He lost only once with his 427 Merc to a 427 Galaxie, he said. When a friend noted that the big Monterey launched 'like an animal,' Feurer gained a nickname. Throughout his future drag racing career, he was known as “Animal Jim.'
At the beginning of the muscle car decade, the 1961 Starliner with the 401-horsepower 6V Thunderbird Special was the hot setup. Jerry Heasley
Chapter two compacts & intermediates 1963–1967
By 1964, Ford’s Total Performance pendulum was swinging from big-engined, big-bodied Galaxies to smaller, lighter compacts and intermediates powered by the new, lightweight Windsor small-block engine. Even the economybased Falcon and Comet got into the act with peppy Sprint and Cyclone models. But the heart of the emerging muscle car market would be based on the intermediates, a trend fueled by Pontiac’s GTO, introduced in 1964 as a Tempest with a 389-cubic-inch engine, available Tri-Power, and an image name.
At midyear 1963, the Fairlane gained respect with the addition of the 271-horsepower 289 High Performance to the engine lineup. Jerry Heasley
Chapter three the intermediates 1968–1973
When Chrysler slapped Road Runner and Super Bee names onto its low-priced, 383 powered Belvedere and Coronet, the marketing tactic spawned a new economy supercar subcategory. Joe Oldham at Super Stock magazine preferred to call them 'specialty supercars' and added his own description: 'You have to offer, as standard equipment, a big, powerful engine, heavy-duty suspension, wide-tread tires, plenty of identification emblems and trim items, and most of the time a bench seat and four speed transmission.'
With the 1969 Cobra, Ford injected a supercar image into its Cobra Jet–powered and Fairlane-based intermediate. Jerry Heasley
Chapter four pony cars I 1965–1968
Herb Gordon describes his father as a “hot rodder and a racer.” In 1965, Bob Gordon ordered a Mustang fastback with the 289 High Performance and four-speed. But the factory 271 horsepower wasn’t enough for the West Virginia thrill seeker, so he ordered Ford’s over the-counter Cobra II 4V Induction kit with its pair of 500 cfm Carter AFB four-barrel carbs. Dipping his right toe into eight barrels of fun proved too tempting; Bob’s driving habits soon attracted the attention of local law enforcement. As a car dealer, Bob couldn’t risk losing his driver’s license, so he parked his fastback after driving it less than three thousand miles.
In 1965, Bob Gordon purchased a new Mustang fastback with the 289 High Performance. He passed it on to his son Herb, who maintains the car with a low three thousand miles. Donald Farr
Chapter five pony cars iI 1969–1973
Richard West was 19 years old and working part time at a local gas station when a striped and spoilered 1970 Boss 302 Mustang pulled in for a fill-up. “I’d never seen anything like it,” he recalled. Instead of fixing up his 1965 Mustang, Richard decided to order a new Boss 302. His father drove him to McFayden’s Ford Center in Omaha, Nebraska, where Richard checked off the option list—4.30 gears with Detroit Locker, Shaker hood scoop, rear spoiler, Magnum 500 wheels, tachometer, and Deluxe interior. His parents cosigned for the loan on the $4,389 Boss, less $1,100 for his 1965 Mustang trade-in. For the next three years, Richard paid $110.73 a month for the right to drive one of the hottest Mustangs on the road.
The Mustang reached its performance pinnacle with the Boss 429, rated at 375 horsepower with a NASCAR-inspired hemi-head engine. Jerry Heasley
Chapter six shelby 1963–1970
Hunt Palmer-Ball was nineteen when he made a quick U-turn to get a closer look at the Mustang in Louisville’s Girder Motors showroom. 'They had closed for the day,' he remembered of that late afternoon in 1967. 'I shielded my eyes with my hands and pressed my nose to the glass so I could get a better look. It was the coolest car I’d ever seen!'
Hunt Palmer-Ball bought his 1967 GT350 brand-new. He restored the car with only 8,600 miles on the odometer, most of them a quarter-mile at a time. Juan Lopez-Bonilla
Book is a must for Blue Oval fans and covers all the essential Ford/Mercury Muscle cars in one really nice colorful volume. Just like the back cover states "More than Mustang and Cougar" the book features the full size Galaxies and Marauders, midsize Fairlanes and Comets,...
by Rand Thompson, November 10, 2018
This book is a gift for a friend who likes these cars. But I looked through it after it was delivered. It appears to be very thorough, vehicles in date order, detailing all models, lots of pictures, and everything you want to know about these vehicles. This is a perfect...
by LR Martz, July 31, 2018
This is one of the best books about Ford motor company muscle cars from 1961 to 1973 very well written and a lot of information about the Ford engine's and horse power plus great pictures
by rpryor, March 25, 2020
Bought this book for my dad as a Christmas present. It was cheaper than other places, came super quick, and he loved it!
by K9-TRIGUN, July 26, 2019
Fantastic must have for any ford enthusiast. And can't beat the price, as this book retails for 40.00. Must have for any ford collector. Big, hard cover, great pictures and text.
by Trixie, October 11, 2018
Very nice book with excellent period correct pictures. Highly recommend for the Ford lover.
by Tom H., January 30, 2020
Great book for Ford lovers. Nice to have a book exclusively about Ford muscle cars. Well written and the pictures are beautiful.
by Don, March 3, 2019
It is so full of knowledge, for those style of vehicles. Plus all those retro-ads, that it has to share.
by Barbara N. Moungovan, February 9, 2019
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