Responding to declining sales resulting from increased competition in the pony car genre, Ford completely restyled the Mustang for the 1969 year model. Though actually only four inches longer than the 1967 and ’68 Mustangs at 187.4 inches, the redesign had the muscular look of being far larger than the previous models. Most prominent was a four headlight system, moving the main lights outside of the grille, with the inboard lights mounted inside the grille.
And for those participating in the late-1960s trend of wanting more powerful cars, the Mach I model was introduced as the most powerful Mustang ever. Available with the aforementioned 428 cubic inch V-8 called the Cobra Jet Ram-Air, capable of producing 360 horsepower, the car came with dual exhaust and high back bucket seats. Possibly in response to the muscle car trend, hood air scoops were added.
For the third consecutive year, Mustang production fell in 1969, though this year’s drop of 5.62 percent over 1968 marked the lowest yearly decrease since 1967. Total production of 299,320 was helped by an increase over 1968 sales of the fastback model, now known as the SportsRoof, and the addition of two new Mustang models.
Two six-cylinder engines were still available as they had been since 1968, one a 200 cubic inch six producing 120 horsepower, or a 250 cubic inch six rated at 155 horsepower, available for $26 more. The traditional Mustang 289 V-8 was phased out completely for 1969, with the base V-8 being the 302 cubic inch engine producing 220 horsepower.
The next most powerful option was the also new 351 cubic inch V-8, producing either 250 or 290 horsepower depending on whether it was the 2-barrel or the 4-barrel version. The 390 cubic inch engine was still available, as it had been since 1967 to produce 320 horsepower. The 428 cubic inch V-8 came in two 4-barrel forms, the Cobra jet and the Super Cobra Jet, producing 335 and 360 horsepower, respectively.
True to the form of all Mustangs before, the 1969 Mustang was known for having nearly any option (including any of the engines) available for any model of the car. The GT Equipment Group package was offered, as it had been every year since 1965, and included a base 351 cubic inch engine, heftier shocks, pin-type lock hood and other GT trim ornamentation.