LEE IACOCCA is a name synonymous with the automotive industry, from his beginnings at Ford and rapid progression up the ranks at the blue oval camp, to the famous rescue of Chrysler in the late 70s and early 80s.
It was his time at Ford, however, that saw the unveilling of the original Ford Mustang - initially a two-seater roadster concept with a mid-mounted engine - at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Now, 45 years later, Iacocca has been honoured by Ford with the special Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustang.
Only 45 of the special '2009??' model Mustangs will be produced, with Iacocca, designer Michael Leone and coachbuilder Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters collaborating on design and development of the limited edition pony car.
The Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustang is mostly hand-built, due to its small numbers, and features a number of subtle styling alterations - this is no case of slapping on a special paint job and a numbered badge: this is the real deal.
Based on the outgoing model, the special edition 'Stang features sunken headlights, a slanted grille, a restyled and shorter front and rear bumper with custom exhaust tips, covered rear quarter window and special Iacocca badging.
Power comes from a choice of a naturally-aspirated 4.6 litre 239kW V8, or a 298kW supercharged version of the same V8, delivered to the wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.
A Ford Racing Handling Packaging has also been installed, bringing stiffer springs and re-valved shock absorbers to the game. The options list includes 355mm brake discs, which should sit well behind the five-spoke 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.
The interior features diamond-stitched leather trim, a numbered Iacocca signature dash plaque, leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminium door sill plates.
The Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustang marks the first in a series of special edition models in a program called I Legacy, run by the Galpin Ford dealership in Southern California.
The special Mustang appear on Galpin Ford's showroom floor late next month, with pricing and availability details to be announced at www.ilegacy.com.