For some reason, we’re in the mood to talk about green cars today, which made our minds quickly leap to a famous green Ford Mustang in particular.
…No, not that one.
Today we’re exploring a limited edition Fox Body that was born out of an ill-fated marketing promotion with a citrus-flavored soda pop: The 7UP Mustang.
We gleaned a lot of this information from a binder that this particular Mustang’s owner placed on the convertible boot. If you don’t mind a slightly blurry pic, you can get more details on that car here.
To coincide with the 1990 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the UnCola folks thought it’d be a cool idea to give away 30 limited-edition Ford Mustangs as part of a contest—just sink a shot from half-court, and you’re rollin’ in a 5.0.
And not just any 5.0L, these contest cars were based on a Mustang LX convertible, carried the GT-style turbine wheels, and wore Ford’s Deep Emerald Green Clearcoat Metallic with a white soft top and interior to mimic 7UP’s branding.
Problem was, the promotion never happened.
For whatever reason, 7UP pulled the plug on the whole idea. But since Ford had already built two of the planned 30 cars AND 1990 was the Mustang’s 25th birthday anyway, the company pressed ahead with plans to create 5,000 of these green Mustangs, rechristened as Special Editions.
Available to savvy buyers under the option code “562,” the production Mustangs were pretty much the same cars initially spec’d out for the 7UP promotion—right down to the green/white color scheme.
Under the hood was Ford’s trusty 5.0L HO V8, good for 225 horsepower. Buyers could opt for a five-speed manual or an automatic.
Though Ford never officially referenced soda pop in sales literature, when news of the true origin story leaked, the name stuck and members of the Blue Oval brigade now colloquially refer to these 1990 Special Editions as “7UP Mustangs.”
Interestingly, Ford never got to 5,000 units either—only about 4,000 of these Special Editions ever left the factory. And considering how many Fox Bodies were run hard and put away wet, finding a good example today is no easy feat.
So we were bubbling with delight when this particular 7UP Mustang reminded us about a fascinating soda-flavored sidebar in the Fox Body legend.