The 1968 Ford Mustang California Special, often referred to simply as the “Cal Special,” is a true vintage beauty that has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts for decades. This unique and limited-edition Mustang model was a testament to the creativity and innovation of American car manufacturers during the late 1960s.
The California Special was born out of a collaboration between Ford and Shelby Automotive. It was designed to be a regional special edition, primarily for the California market. The goal was to create a visually distinctive and performance-oriented Mustang that would appeal to the surfer and beach culture of the West Coast.
One of the most striking features of the California Special was its exterior styling. It sported unique design elements such as the iconic “GT/CS” side stripes that ran from the rear fender scoop to the door, giving it an instantly recognizable appearance. The front grille was also distinct, with a blacked-out look and integrated fog lights, further setting it apart from the standard Mustangs of the time.
Under the hood, the California Special offered a variety of engine options, including the powerful 289 cubic-inch V8 and the even more potent 390 cubic-inch V8. These engines provided impressive performance and a satisfying rumble, making every drive a thrilling experience.
Inside the cabin, the California Special featured a well-appointed interior with comfortable bucket seats, wood-grain accents, and special badging to remind passengers that they were in a limited-edition Mustang.
The production of the 1968 Ford Mustang California Special was relatively limited, with only around 4,118 units produced. This exclusivity has made it a sought-after collector’s item today, with enthusiasts and collectors restoring and preserving these vintage beauties to their former glory.
Owning a 1968 Ford Mustang California Special is like owning a piece of automotive history. It represents an era when American car manufacturers were pushing the boundaries of design and performance, and it continues to captivate both classic car enthusiasts and those who appreciate timeless automotive style. The California Special serves as a reminder of the enduring appeal of vintage cars and the legacy of the iconic Ford Mustang.