That Time Ford Tried To Turn The Mustang Into A Luxury Car

Although the Ford Mustang will be forever associated with brash American muscle, the Mustang Grande prioritized comfort and luxury over power and speed
That Time Ford Tried To Turn The Mustang Into A Luxury Car

Ever since it was introduced in 1965, the Ford Mustang has been the most iconic sports car to come out of Detroit. The Mustang name will forever evoke images of V8-powered burnouts, donuts and quarter-mile showdowns. It’s a car that’s never been well-known for its social graces. With the 50th-anniversary revival of the Cobra Jet estimated to run the quarter-mile in just eight seconds, it’s hard to imagine the muscular Mustang being marketed as a comfort-oriented grand tourer. But that didn’t stop Ford from trying.

An advertisement for the 1969 Ford Mustang Grande
An advertisement for the 1969 Ford Mustang Grande

When the first-generation Mustang was refreshed in 1969, it had transformed from a compact pony car into another big, muscular coupe. Although it was beginning to stray from the traditional sports car formula, Ford capitalised on the Mustang’s increased corpulence by marketing it to a wider audience. As a result, the luxury-oriented Mustang Grande was born.

That Time Ford Tried To Turn The Mustang Into A Luxury Car

The Mustang Grande was intended to attract buyers who were more interested in a personal luxury car than a true-blue muscle car. Buyers who opted for the Grande were treated with luxuries such as cloth seats, teak-inspired faux wood trim, wire-style hubcaps, and an optional vinyl roof (in either black or white). The Grande also came equipped with softened suspension and about twice the sound-deadening insulation as the standard Mustang. Although performance was clearly not the Grande’s prerogative, it could be optioned with any of the engines and transmissions that were available to the Mustang. This included the 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 that made the Mach 1 Mustang one of the fastest muscle cars on the road.

Although it seemed contrary to the ethos of the Mustang, the Grande performed decently well in the market place. Of the approximately 150,000 Mustangs sold in 1969, 22,182 of them were Grandes. Of these, just 62 were equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet V8, making them among the most exclusive Mustangs ever built.

A 1971-1973 Mustang Grande
A 1971-1973 Mustang Grande

It might seem incredibly strange to think of the Ford Mustang as a luxury car, but its modest success shouldn’t really come as a surprise to fans of American muscle. After all, the concept of the Grande wasn’t far from the popular Mercury Cougar, which is itself remembered as a more luxurious variant of the Mustang. In spite of the warm reception, Ford decided to discontinue the Grande in 1973.

The Grande was an interesting foray into an alternative pony car sector, and I doubt that it’ll be the last time that Ford tries to find a niche market for the Mustang. Given recent events in America, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they made one with an off-road theme…


GTRTURTLE 🔰 🐢(Oo \ S K Y L I N E / oO) (Koen

Conspiracy theory: Ford killed off its small cars to make Mustang sedans and hatches just like Dodge did with the Dart turning it into an econobox

04/28/2018 - 15:14 |
102 | 0

Should I be happy?

I dunno tbh

04/28/2018 - 16:26 |
4 | 0
Ali Mahfooz

I was thinking about a luxurious Mustang if it actually existed. I like the idea of the luxury Mustang. But I thing the luxury trim would work well now under the Lincoln brand. Although considering the sales of the sports car industry, it’s really hard to say if that would even sell in the first place.

Nice article BTW.

04/28/2018 - 15:18 |
44 | 2

well look at the thunderbird, it was more or less like a mustang and direct competitor to the corvette back then in its first few generations but then ford saw it had a better market with the luxury people and so they set making it a luxury car and i guess they saw that and tried it with the mustang which ultimately failed

04/30/2018 - 11:40 |
2 | 0

Still better than the 2005-2009 V6 Mustang

That thing had APPALLING SPECS

A Peugeot 208 GTi is as powerful as that

04/28/2018 - 15:47 |
24 | 4
Olivier (CT's grammar commie)

In reply to by CannedRex24

I still prefer that to a 120-hp 255 V8 early Foxbody

04/28/2018 - 20:09 |
8 | 2

1996 4.6L v8 mustang GT made 225hp…
but it had quite a bit of torque

04/28/2018 - 22:34 |
2 | 2

Ford stahp.Ur drunk

04/28/2018 - 15:56 |
0 | 0
Chris D.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

But you gotta admit it would be sick to have one with a Cobra Jet V8.

04/28/2018 - 18:02 |
12 | 0

some joke about mustang and crowds and how you can crash into the crowd in luxury

please send help

04/28/2018 - 16:07 |
26 | 2
Paul Beckman (slowtsx)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

ah ha ha That’s just terrible dude, just terrible

04/29/2018 - 00:06 |
4 | 0

“That time Ford tried to turn the Mustang into a luxury car”…

04/28/2018 - 16:09 |
68 | 0

Actually, if I would want to buy a Mustang, I would consider the Grande. The older Mustang models were mostly made for cruising, not for the track, so a softer suspension and a bit more luxury wouldn’t be a bad thing. If I were Ford, I would have made it a convertible - for ultimate sunday evening cruises.

04/28/2018 - 16:15 |
22 | 0
Chris D.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


04/28/2018 - 18:02 |
6 | 0
Drew Holt

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I wish I had a grande, it would make driving one everyday a much better experience. The normal ones just feel so fragile that you take everything super slow and careful.

04/29/2018 - 01:02 |
4 | 0

“crash in comfort”

04/28/2018 - 16:31 |
2 | 10
Roope Henttula
04/28/2018 - 17:28 |
6 | 0
Chris D.

Ok tbh i would so be down to buy one of these with the Cobra Jet V8

04/28/2018 - 18:01 |
8 | 0

Same I’d honestly take it over a normal CJ, it takes all the small pains of a classic mustang and for the most part improves it, kinda like a factory restomod.

04/29/2018 - 01:07 |
0 | 0


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