Ford is reviving its California Special trim level for the 2019 Ford Mustang, which harkens back to the first Golden State-themed model of America’s pony car that went into production in 1968. In addition to the appearance package that includes three vintage-inspired colors and stripe configurations, the 2019 Ford Mustang California Special also boasts a rev-matching capability on 6-speed manual versions equipped with the 5.0-liter V8.

“No doubt, 2019 is an exciting year for Mustang enthusiasts, especially fans of our California Special and Bullitt models,” said Corey Holter, Ford car group marketing manager. “This year further targets hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who want even more performance from Bullitt, while new technology including rev-matching on manual transmission equipped Mustang GTs and active valve performance exhaust on EcoBoost models means even more thrills.”

A little history

Back in 1967, a Shelby notchback coupe prototype, which featured a blacked-out grille, fog lamps, a side racing stripe and a rear fender scoop, was known as the California Special. It also wore a Shelby-inspired spoiler, custom taillamps and twist-lock hood fasteners. In 1968, Ford put those modifications into production and the California Special was born.

Picking up on those themes, the 2019 California Special package on the Mustang GT has a fading stripe that runs from the 5.0 side badging to the rear fender scoop. Ebony black and red script is used for the California Special badge on the rear end, while at the front, the open grille is blacked-out and the nose is fitted with a Mustang Performance Pack 1 splitter. The car rides on 5-spoke machined alloy wheels. Inside, the seats are trimmed in black Miko suede with GT/CS logos and red stitching.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

Performance tweaks

The 460-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 GT models equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission get rev matching technology, while buyers who opt for the EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder will benefit from an exhaust system equipped with an active valve and quad rear tips, to boost the exhaust note of the engine. The active valve system is controlled by the drive mode or can be programmed through the MyMode settings.

The audio system also features some upgrades with an all-new Bang & Olufsen sound system optimized for the Mustang’s cabin. The setup includes a 10-channel amp with 1,000 watts pushing the audio out across 12 speakers.

Ford says the 2019 Mustang California Special will be available this summer with pricing announced closer to its on-sale date.

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