The Twister Special had a very interesting beginning. Late in the 1969 production year American Raceways, Inc. (ARI) contacted the Ford Motor Corporation regarding the production of pace cars for the race tracks in their organization. Ford eagerly obliged by designing a unique 1970 Mach 1 Mustang. Each car's detailing was color coordinated to match ARI's various race tracks. Unfortunately, the ARI went bankrupt and the cars were never delivered.
Fortunately for Ford, a special project was underway in Kansas City Missouri. People at the district sales office approached Ford about producing a flashy, high performance, promotional car for their "Total Performance Day" which would be held Friday, Nov. 7, 1969. Now, Ford had the opportunity to market the vehicles originally manufactured for ARI. Fords shipped 96 Mach I Mustangs and 90 Torino Cobras to Kansas City. They contracted with a detailing firm there to remove the ARI logos and replace them with the Mach I logo, Ford script, and the Twister Special logo.
On the morning of Nov. 7th, the assembly of Kansas City district dealers converged. Seminars and performances were given promoting Ford's high perforamce cars and parts. The highlight of the day came in the afternoon when the dealers were treated to a display commemorating the event - 90 vermilion Torino Cobras, and 96 GRABBER ORANGE MACH I's - THE TWISTER SPECIAL.