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1985 Ford Mustang Twister II - A Look Back
A Special Kansas City GT Commemorated The Original '70 Twister Specials
Ford dropped the base L series, creating an entry-level package out of the LX with standard power brakes and steering, a remote-control right-side mirror, a dual note horn, interval windshield wipers, and an AM/FM stereo radio. As before, notchback and hatchback bodies were offered. New standard interior features included a console, low-back bucket seats (on LX), Lear-Siegler articulated sport seats (on GT), luxury door trim panels, and covered visor mirrors. The convertible's quarter-trim panels were revised to accommodate a refined seatbelt system. Mechanical radio faces switched to a contemporary flat design. All Mustangs had larger tires that year, with added urethane lower-body side protection. A new electronic AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player was added to the options list. The 3.8L V-6 and 5.0L V-8 had a new oil warning light.
The Mustang received a new front cap design with an air dam below the bumper. The grille was similar to what the turbocharged SVO wore-one wide slot with angled sides in a sloping front panel with a Ford oval emblem affixed just below the hood line. On GTs, the air dam held integral foglamps. Full-width taillamps broke only for the license plate opening, with backup lenses sitting high in each inner section and a Ford oval posted on the right side of the trunk lid. Exterior trim and accents changed from earlier models' charcoal to black, except for the horizontal rub strip. The GT received a unique tape treatment on the hood.
Such an exciting product inspired memories of the marque's many special editions. Someone in Ford's Kansas City sales district noticed that 1985 marked the 15th anniversary of the Twister Special. Collaborating with Ford again, dealers arranged to purchase 90 GTs in hatchback and convertible form and apply certain commemorative decals as part of a "Twister II" promotion.
Because it was a cosmetic package that required no active factory involvement, dealers were free to order the cars with any combination of colors, powerplants, and options normally available on the GT. The Twister II featured on these pages, for example, is wearing stock GT 10-spoke wheels wrapped with Goodyear Gatorback rubber; the hatch louvers and T-top roof were both extra-cost options.
According to research undertaken by David and Kathy Bowers at MustangGT.org, Twister II GTs were assembled in October 1984 with vehicle identification numbers falling somewhere between 109800-109899, 110300-110399, and 112200-112299. The majority were painted Jalapeo Red (code 2R), but Oxford White (9L), Medium Canyon Red Metallic (2A), and possibly Silver Metallic (1E) were also offered.
Along with the rocker panel "TWISTER II" striping and "tornado with eyes" funnel cloud insignia, the package included a bronze dashplate, an alabaster coaster with a running horse logo, and "1985 Limited Edition TWISTER II, Kansas City District, October 1984" lettering, and a press kit from Ford discussing the promotion. Unfortunately, not all Twister IIs received dashplates, coasters, and press kits, as some were taken by sales staff members with sticky fingers.
All Twister IIs have a DSO of 53 (Kansas City) on their certification label and buildsheet, but the Ford window sticker doesn't mention anything about the package. According to research, 74 Twister IIs were five-speed hatchbacks, 2 were automatic-equipped hatchbacks, 9 were five-speed convertibles, and 5 were automatic convertibles. A dozen or so Twister IIs were ordered with the optional 3.08:1 rear-axle gears, but no convertibles were so equipped.
The revived special edition made its debut alongside several '70 models during a luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas, in November 1984. Enthusiasm for the Mustang's improved performance image was reflected in year-end sales, which saw 156,514 units go to new homes-31.7 percent of which were equipped with 5.0L V-8 engines.