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10 Most Iconic Cars of the Past 25 Years

4. Ford Mustang (2005-09)

The Mustang is already considered an icon, but tweaks to the vehicle over the years left it a sad shell of its former self.

After the first-generation Mustangs of the late '60s and early '70s, the car began to lose its way. There was the ugly and underpowered Mustang II that served as a nod to the oil crisis of the late 1970s. For much of the '80s and early '90s, it took on a four-eyed, overly aerodynamic look that came in hatchback and T-roof versions.

While the 5.0-liter '90s upgrades were well received and carried into the next generation's redesign, the Mustang still wasn't looking quite right. It was Vanilla Ice's car. It was your pizza guy's ride of choice. It was what you bought if you didn't like that year's Camaro or Trans Am. It was cool, but not iconic.

That changed in 2005, when the Mustang was redesigned with a "retro-futurist look" that was basically an update of the first generation's classic aesthetic. Fans responded instantly. Sales jumped from fewer than 130,000 in 2004 to more than 160,000 in 2005 and 166,500 in 2006. It gave the Mustang line a huge boost just before the Great Recession and prompted Chevy and Dodge to make similar retro tweaks to their Camaro, Charger and Challenger.

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