These Are the Best Fast Fords of All Time

These Are the Best Fast Fords of All Time

Mustangs, Mustangs and more Mustangs: these your picks for the best fast Fords of all time.

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A green Ford Escort Cosworth on a race track.
Photo: Ford

The world seems to have gone Mustang crazy this week following the unveiling of Ford’s seventh pony car. The new model, which also comes in a track-ready Dark Horse spec is the latest in a long and illustrious line of fast Fords.

So as we look ahead to what the seventh generation ‘Stang will bring, we thought it high time to celebrate the fast Fords that came before. To do this, we asked you for some of your favorite performance-minded releases from the Blue Oval.

We were inundated with some great responses, and here are some of the top suggestions we received.

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Ford Sweepstakes

Ford Sweepstakes

A photo of the Ford Sweepstake car in a museum.
Photo: F. D. Richards via Wikimedia Commons

“The best fast Ford is the 1901 ‘Sweepstakes’ race car piloted by Ford himself.

“539 cubes making 26hp where if Ford, a complete amateur, did not win against the race car driver of the time, Alexander Winton, Ford would’ve been sunk. Ford had to prove his car was reliable so investors would provide him with the capital he had to have—”all” he had to do was take on the Senna of his time and win. So basically an impossible task.

“It was a 10-mile endurance race reaching speeds of 70mph. Winton’s car broke down, so Ford proved the quality of his team’s work and his reputation was made due to Henry Ford’s one and only race win. Ford got his investors.

“So no Sweepstakes victory, then no FoMoCo, then no GT40, etc.—it all hinged on this car.”

Let’s start at the very beginning, for it’s a very good place to start.

Well, actually, it might not be as one commenter argues that this is actually a Cadillac. I’ll let yeardley68 explain:

“This car attracted investors into the Henry Ford Company. Ford’s goal was to make lower priced cars. His investors goal was to make expensive cars.

“By 1903, Ford had been fired from the Henry Ford Company. Ford used his payoff to form the Ford Motor Company. The investors renamed Henry Ford to Cadillac.”

The More You Know.

Suggested by: the1969dodgechargerguy

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Ford RS200

Ford RS200

A photo of a blue and white Ford rally car.
Photo: Ford

“The Ford RS200 because Group B. No more discussion needed!”

Anyways, here’s a genuine Ford article, and what a fantastic one at that! Raced in 1986, the Ford RS200 was powered by a single turbocharged Ford-Cosworth engine that produced 250 hp.

Suggested by: Jason Ogawa (Facebook)

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Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

A photo of a red Ford Mustang on a track.
Photo: Ford

“I’d argue the 2000 Cobra R. It was so, SO special and so rare. They took the garbage Fox chassis and turned it into something that was beating C5 ZO6s in SCCA showroom stock. The motor was hilariously under rated at 385 hp, I’ve personally tested one and it made that at the wheels. Plus, look at that intake.

“Imagine popping the hood in 2000 with that beauty. The car came with a huge fuel cell instead of the normal mustang gas tank so that you could take it endurance racing. It had custom BFG tires. It ran 12s at a time when the fastest BMW barely broke into the 13s.”

The first Ford Mustang suggestion we got today was for the mighty Cobra R from the early 2000s. This ‘Stang packs 385 hp from a 5.4 liter V8.

Suggested by: squirmish

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Ford Escort RS

Ford Escort RS

A photo of a white and blue Ford RS.
Photo: Ford

“The Mark 1 and 2 RS Escorts. One of the best rally cars of all time, even many modern drivers started out in one.”

The Escort RS is lovely and obviously has a fine history. But, it’ll always be that car in that Fast & Furious chase scene.

Suggested by: Mike Snyder (Facebook)

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Ford GT40

Ford GT40

A profile photo of a pale blue Ford GT race car.
Photo: Ford

“The original GT40, and it’s not even close.”

The GT40 is often lauded as America’s greatest supercar, so we’d be remiss to miss it from our roundup of fast Fords.

Suggested by: Syscrush

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Ford Escort Cosworth

Ford Escort Cosworth

A side profile photo of a Ford Escort Cosworth.
Photo: Ford

“The Escort Cosworth, one of the greatest rear wings ever made.”

There’s no form of ranking here, but if there was the Escort Cosworth would be right at the top. Another rally-derived road car, this icon could hit 144 mph thanks to a turbocharged Cosworth motor.

Suggested by: Brayden Mackie (Facebook)

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Ford Fairlane

Ford Fairlane

A photo of a black Ford sedan.
Photo: Ford

“The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt.

“425hp V8, 4-speed, fiberglass hood, doors, fenders, bumpers, plexiglass windows. 11 second quarter mile times.”

Truly, what more could you as for?

Suggested by: hangovergrenade

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Ford GT

Ford GT

A photo of an orange Ford GT supercar.
Photo: Ford

“The 05/06 GT is the definition of ‘Halo car’, no other car has ever done so much for the image of a car brand. Everyone was talking about the new Ford retro supercar, not only American journalists.

“It was so good that instead of being compared with the usual GM and Chrysler rivals, it was being compared against Ferrari’s. A feat that even its 2016-on successor hasn’t been able to duplicate.”

The first reincarnation of the race winning Ford GT came in the early 2000s and it was excellent. It still looks sleek and stylish to this day, and has aged far better than the latest iteration.

Suggested by: Jorge R R Gomez (Facebook)

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The FE 427

The FE 427

A photo of a Ford engine in a vintage car.
Photo: PMDrive1061 via Wikimedia Commons

“I vote not for a car, but for an engine. The Ford/Edsel ‘FE’ 427. This single chunk of cast iron basically created Ford’s entire racing legacy.

“Ford added the FE 427 engine to the Ford Galaxie, which made it eligible to be used in NASCAR races. Tiny Lund won the Dayton 500 that year with four other Fords running the FE engine coming in second through fifth. Ford went on to dominate the season.

“Meanwhile across the world in Europe, Ford was trying to still figure out how to achieve the Deuce’s goal of ‘Beating Ferrari’. Well, they removed the 289 out of the GT40, replaced it with the 427, and then took a 1/2/3 at Le Mans.

“And, then it started appearing and dominated at the drag strips.

“Soon, the ‘427’ Badge itself, was a crown selling point on everything from Shelby Cobras to Ford Torinos.”

The engine powering two cars that are already on this list surely deserves a spot of its own?

Suggested by: Knyte

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Ford Sierra Cosworth

Ford Sierra Cosworth

A photo of a Ford Sierra Cosworth hatchback.
Photo: Ford

“Ford RS 500 Cosworth was the most successful roadcar derived racing car of all time, as the RS500 won a staggering 84.6% of races that it took part in. Good enough for my choice.”

Further proof that Ford’s European workers know their way around a hot hatch. The Sierra Cosworth dominated Australian touring car racing, DTM and the World Touring Car Championship.

Suggested by: Tommy Olsen (Facebook)

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Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

A photo of a black Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Photo: Ford

“Thoughts:

“1. The original F150 Lightning - better and faster than it had any business being.

“2. First gen Taurus SHO. It was refined, modern and fast. While the comparable Dodge *might* have been a tick faster, the Dodge was embarrassingly K-car based and it showed despite the rounded edges.

“Honorable mention: My 2001 Focus ZX3. It was an “economy car” that was not a penalty box. The Zetec 4 never felt slow and it is one of the few cars I’ve owned that I regret selling. For what it was, it was fast.”

Before the F-150 Lighting went electric, it was a more powerful trim offered on the ninth generation truck. In 1993, the truck packed 240hp from a 5.8 liter V8.

Suggested by: bfisch1629

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Another Ford Mustang

Another Ford Mustang

A photo of two Ford Mustang coupes.
Photo: Ford

“Yer all off the mark. Lots of good quality cars talked about. But most of them are outside the mainstream affordability (MOST not all).

“IMHO the best was and still is the 03/04 Terminators hands down it will always be the iconic standard and is really the only one that has lived up to its name.”

The second Mustang nomination we got was for the Terminator ‘Stang from 2003. Just 140 of these monsters were built, each packing in 390hp from a 4.6 liter V8.

Suggested by: Dave Jones (Facebook)

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Ford Galaxie

Ford Galaxie

A photo of a white Ford Galaxie sedan.
Photo: Ford

“We’re going to go old school here: 1966 Ford Galaxie 7 liter.

“I remember one of these embarrassing Camaros and Mustangs at amateur night at Atco Speedway in NJ back in the day.

“Saw one for sale near me a few years ago, but it was a rust bucket so I had to take a pass.”

If you’re going to go fast, you want to look good doing it.

Suggested by: earthbound-misfit-i

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Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

A photo of an orange Fiesta ST hot hatch.
Photo: Ford

“Best bang-for-the-buck performance car in recent years was the Fiesta ST. Lightweight and toss-able. With 4-5k in aftermarket parts you had a pocket rocket.”

The latest and greatest hot hatch from the Ford family is the wonderful Fiesta ST. Sadly, it’s another excellent Ford you can’t buy new in the U.S.

Suggested by: Tony Ng (Facebook)

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Yet Another Ford Mustang

Yet Another Ford Mustang

A photo of a teal Fastback Ford Mustang from the 1960s.
Photo: Ford

“I’m going with the 1965 Ford Mustang 289 ‘K-Code’.

“This was, as far as I can recall, the first time Ford said ‘Let’s take this two door coupe with decent performance’ and really ratchet it up (though I think it may have been used in the Fairlane as well).

“I seem to recall that the ‘k-code’ option for the v8 put out something like 50 extra HP and was a significantly better performer than even the standard 4-barrel v8. To me that makes it the trendsetter for every factory-performance option in a Pony Car that followed.”

I promise this is the last Mustang we’ll include, but just look at it! The K-Code mustangs from the 60s were the era’s more powerful options, before the likes of the Shelby GT350 came along.

Suggested by: z2221344

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Ford Transit Supervan

Ford Transit Supervan

A photo of the third generation Ford Supervan.
Photo: Ford

“The Ford Supervan.”

It took me far too long to come across this as an answer. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Suggested by: Johnny Young (Facebook)

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