The Ford Car in Miniature – Mustang 1999-2003

By Dave Turner

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

“Definitely Racy” Ford Mustang 1999-2003

When the 1999 Mustang appeared it looked very similar to the preceding 1998 at first glance but closer inspection showed it differed in almost every detail. Models of the 1994-1998 Mustangs were featured in Model Auto Review online for May 2016. This second version of the Fox4 series had the headlamp/indicator assembly and grille aperture subtly deeper while overall it was 1½ inches wider. A central ‘scoop’ towards the rear of the hood was new while the Mustang logo in the grille now had a plated surround. The wheelbase remained the same but the cars length was increased by 2”. The sides were slightly less bulbous but the ‘intake’ in front of the rear wheel opening was considerably deeper.

The rear end was somehow sharper, the triple rear lights each side were taller and no longer in distinctly separate sections while the rear bumper was much heavier and featured a row of small slots just above the lower edge. A slightly more aggressive character had been created with the general styling, Inside the layout of the facia was basically along the same lines as the 1998.

A 3.8 litre V6 and 15” wheels came with the standard model while a 4.6 V8 and 16” or 17” wheels came with the GT versions. In addition there were the inevitable ‘specials’ such as the 5000 35th Anniversary editions in black silver white or red plus some Cobras that boasted independent rear suspension.

For 2000 a Cobra R intended for competition use arrived complete with 5.4 litre Roush engine accompanied by a higher rear wing and a massive front spoiler. The following years cars can be identified by having a deeper scoop on the hood while a special run of 6500 commemorated the film Bullitt based on a lowered standard GT finished in the same shade of Forest Green as the 1968 car from the film, together with special 17” alloy wheels.

The Mach 1 name returned for 2003, again limited to just 6500 and was a colour stripe exercise on a ½” lower GT with a de-rated 32 valve Cobra 4.6 V8 while paying homage to the Mach 1s of previous years down to the ‘shaker’ hood. It was created as a step up from the regular GT but below the up-rated for 2003 Cobra that got a supercharged 4.6 motor with more aggressive looking front and rear spoilers. From mid 2003 just 2003 coupe and convertible 10th Anniversary SVT Cobras were made sporting two-tone leather seats and special 17” wheels with red brake callipers.


There have been so many models of this particular series of Mustang that it may be easier to take them year by year.

Ford Mustang 1999

1999 and Johnny Lightning did a small series of models from the US TV series VIP. Among them was a well detailed GT convertible with the top up in a non standard yellow with white stripes as well as a Cobra front spoiler and plated six-spoke wheels that don’t appear in the Ford brochure. A second series had this GT with the top down.
Maisto also offered a 1999 in this scale but although the shape was excellent there was very little detail, and no interior. However Maisto also issued some 1:24 and 1:18 1999 Mustangs tha,t at the inexpensive end of the price range, were excellent value. The 1:24 models were an open GT and an SVT Cobra Coupe. The larger Maistos depicted the GT in both coupe and open convertible form and lack nothing in detail down to the optional 17” argent painted five spoke alloy wheels.

Back to the small scale and Matchbox did no less than 17 versions of their little diecast in coupe, convertible and ‘glasstop’ form in numerous finishes. Mattel produced even more of their 1999 Coupe, at least 20, and unlike most Hot Wheels they are reasonably ‘stock’ in appearance.

If it’s a plastic kit you like then Revell/Monogram did a 1:25 1999 Cobra while a range that was sold through regular leaflets was National Motor Museum Mint and they also included a 1999 GT.

Welly did their GT Coupe in no less than four sizes, and while they are firmly in the toy end of the spectrum – spray painted with doors closed so bare metal in aperture – they represent quite acceptable miniatures of the subject.

Johnny Lightning China 2000 235B GT Convertible  top up from VIP 76mm 1:61 diecast
Johnny Lightning China 2001 235B GT Convertible  open from VIP 76mm 1:61 diecast
Maisto China 15044 Hardtop 75mm 1:62 diecast.
Maisto China 2007 31946 SVT Cobra Coupe 1:24 diecast
Maisto China 2007 31961 GT Convertible 1:24 diecast
Maisto China 2007 31860 GT Coupe 250mm 1:18 diecast
Maisto China 2007 31861 GT Convertible open 250mm 1:18 diecast
Matchbox China 2002 92203 GT Coupe  “35th Anniversary’ 76mm 1:61 diecast
Matchbox China 2002 97345 GT Convertible open “Coca Cola” 76mm 1:61 diecast
Matchbox China 2002 177EA GT Coupe Plastic top 76mm 1:61 diecast
Mattel Malaysia 1998 21056 GT Coupe      (20 versions) 72mm 1:65 diecaast
Monogram 2535 Cobra Coupe 1:15 plastic kit
National Motor Museum Mint F99MUS GT
Welly China 2041 GT Coupe 77mm 1:61 diecast
Welly China 9399 GT Coupe 1:43 diecast
Welly China 9753 GT Coupe 119mm 1:39 diecast
Welly China 9878 GT Coupe 1:24 diecast


Ford Mustang 2000

Auto Art entered the 1999-2003 series in 2001 with their excellent SVT Cobra R 2000 featuring all the detail one could imagine including the twin exhausts and slender 5 spoke wheels. Maisto also did the self-same subject in the same scale and while it lacks to subtle quality of the Auto Art it can stand proudly in any 1:18 cabinet.

Irwin did a range of projectile plastic toys in 2000 called “Blazin’ Key Cars” fired from a catapult type creation during which a plastic ‘flame’ appears from the rear panel of the car. A simple 2000 Coupe in the range captures the basic shape quite well.

The Johnny Lightning casting appeared in Coupe form and well detailed as an SVT Cobra complete with opening hood and simple engine detail and now correct 5 spoke wheels. A 1:25 plastic battery powered GT Coupe came from Empire Inc. This was apparently based on existing tooling, the sunroof and hood being stuck down the latter revealing a printed circuit where the ‘engine’ had been. Compartment in the underside accepts 3 x AA batteries while control buttons are located on the left side door but the general appearance is spoiled by the over wide rear track, the otherwise acceptable rear wheels projecting from the body sides Carlos Fandango fashion. “GT 4.6L’ badges are printed on the front fenders despite what looks like a Cobra spoiler on the trunk lid.

Labelled “Toymax” on its plastic base a 1:44 diecast Coupe that appears to have lost its rear wing could have been a Cobra – the rear licence plate does in fact have that name on it. A compartment in the base takes a couple of AAA batteries while a three prong connector is located under the rear.

Auto Art China 2001 72771 SVT Cobra R 2000 Coupe 255mm 1:18 diecast
Irwin China GT Coupe 74mm 1:62 plastic
Johnny Lightning China 2001 235 SVT Cobra Coupe 76mm 1:61 diecast
Empire Inc. China 1999 GT Coupe 187mm 1:25 plastic
Maisto Thailand 2007 31872 SVT Cobra R 2000 Coupe 255mm 1:18 diecast
Toymax China 1998 Cobra coupe 105mm 1:44 diecast.

Ford Mustang 2001

Auto Art again and they did the 2001 Bullit in both green and black featuring all the expected detail from that range. In the smaller 1:64 scale a record exists of a 2001 Cobra from Tiger Wheels.

Auto Art China 2002 72851 Bullit coupe 244mm 1:18 diecast
Tiger Wheels Cobra 1:64
Ford Mustang 2003/4

So far no miniature Mustangs have been found that are described as 2002 but a few for 2003 (and 2004) have been noted.

Auto Art did several Mach 1s listed as 2003 and 2004 in their catalogues. Close study reveals only one difference – the 2004 example has a circular Mustang design on the front fender while the 2003 has the more familiar horse in front of a red, white and blue sash. Regardless, the models are superb in every way down to the exclusive 17” ‘Heritage’ design five spoke wheels and buckles on the seat belts.. Also listed as 2004 by Auto Art were their 40th Anniversary GT Coupes and these look just like their Bullit models with the same wheels, and even have the “Bullit” name on the tail.

Maisto were in there too with Coupe and Convertible versions of the 2003 SVT Cobra that look a bit more civilised than the R version with its aggressive front spoiler etc. To Maisto’s credit they have reproduced the 32 valve supercharged V8 – different to the ‘engine’ in their 2000 Cobra. The absence of the unique Fork-spoke 17” wheels suggest that these weren’t intended to be 10th Anniversary version.

Auto Art China 73002 Mach 1 Coupe 244mm 1:18 diecast
Auto Art China 73006 Mach 1 Coupe  (2004) 244mm 1:18 diecast
Auto Art China 72856 GT Coupe 40th Anniversary (2004) 244mm 1:18 diecast
Maisto Thailand 2007 31646 SVT Cobra Convertible 245mm 1:18 diecast
Maisto Thailand 2007 31647 SVT Cobra Coupe 245mm 1:18 diecast

Illustrations Ford Mustang 1999-2004



Johnny Lightning 1:61 diecast from China: 235B, 1999 GT Convertible top up from VIP TV Series.

Welly 1:61 diecast from China: 2041, 1999 GT Coupe

Welly 1:39 diecast from China: 9753, 1999 GT Coupe

Maisto 1:62 diecast from China: 15044, 1999 Coupe.

Maisto 1:18 diecast from Thailand: 31860,1999 GT Coupe

Maisto 1:18 diecast from Thailand: 31861, 1999 GT Convertible open.

Matchbox 1:61 diecast from China: 92203, 1999 GT Coupe 35th Anniversary.

Matchbox 1:61 diecast from China: 97345, 1999 GT Convertible open Coca Cola.

Matchbox 1:61 diecast from China: 177EA, 1999 GT Coupe glasstop.

Hot Wheels 1:65 diecast from Malaysia: 21056, 1999 GT Coupe.

Irwin 1:62 plastic from China: 2000 GT Coupe “Blazin’ Key Car”

Johnny Lightning 1:61 diecast from China: 235, 2000 SVT Cobra Coupe, two slightly different wheel patterns.

Empire Inc. 1:25 plastic from China: 2000 GT Coupe.

Maisto 1:18 diecast from Thailand: 31872, 2000 SVT Cobra R 2000 Coupe. Toymax 1:44 diecast from China: 2000 Cobra Coupe

Auto Art 1:18 diecast from China: 73002, 2003 Mach 1 Coupe.

Auto Art 1:18 diecast from China: 73006, Mach 1 Coupe (2004)
The circular fender insignia on the 2004 Mach 1


Auto Art 1:18 diecast from China: 72856, GT 40th Anniversary Coupe (2004)

Maisto 1:18 diecast fromThailand: 31647, 2003 SVT Cobra Coupe.

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