The History of the Ford Mustang begins with Ford product manager Donald Frey’s introduction of the Mustang in 1964, enthusiastically supported by then-general manager Lee Iacocca. The Mustang became an instant hit for Ford selling over 22,000 in the first week the Mustang was available. In the Mustang’s first two years of sales, more than 1,000,000 Mustangs would end up being sold.
Much of the original body style was based a great deal on the Ford Falcon and Fairlane; it enclosed a straight-6 engine, and was available in a convertible or coupe version. The first model was released in early 1965, but is lovingly known as the "1964 ½" Mustang as it would come to be called by Pony car fans old and young alike.
In late 1965, a GT equipment package was introduced it included a V8 block engine, front fog lights, and disc brakes. At this time a fastback version was introduced along with the coupe and convertible models, however the coupe continued to outsell the other versions. 1966 saw the introduction of the famed Shelby GT-350H a Shelby Mustang specially prepared for the Hertz Rental Car Company designed for weekend drag racers on a rental basis.
From 1967 to 70, the Mustang continued to increase in size to have capacity for the bigger V8 engines Ford tried stuffing in the Stang. From 1971 to 1973 new product design manager Budie Knudsen saw the Mustang during it’s period of largest engine size increase including such venerable Ford powerhouses as the 390, 427, 428, and 429 cubic inch V8 monsters.
It was at this time the United States experienced the first of the Arab Oil Embargos causing a decline in demand in huge gas-guzzlers. It was at this time Mustang fans began to cry out for a return to the smaller Mustangs of the 1960s. When Lee Iacocca became president of Ford in 1973, he put together a plan to completely redesign the Mustang, basing it on the Ford Pinto body much to the chagrin of big Mustang fans.
In 1974we would see the introduction of a much different Mustang then the big Mustangs we had grown accustom to with the release for sale of the Mustang II. The Mustang II produced to compete with the smaller, hot-selling sport cars of the time, would go onto become one of the best selling editions of the Mustang ever. The V8 version was not available in the cars inaugural year, but heavy demand for it was so great Ford was forced to come up with a V8 version that was introduced in 1975 do to cries from Pony car fans all over.
The ushering in of 1979 would see another major do over of the Mustang, based on Ford’s "Fox platform." This period I would like to coin as the "dark ages of Mustang production" would see several of the lowest horsepowered versions of the Mustang in its history, with its V8 equipped versions reaching a mere 120 horsepower. This caused Mustang sales to slump right through the eighties, until its next major redesign in 1994.
Auto designer Patrick Schiavone would end up radically redesigning yet another new Mustang body style, codenamed "SN-95." The design which was Sleek and stylish with rounded curves, would breath new life into the car. It is this redesign that is generally credited with saving the beloved Mustang from sure extinction.
It would also see the fastback version discontinued for the first time since its inception back in the sixties. It would end up being selected as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 in 1994, and would go on to become Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for the third time in the car’s historic life.
Yet, another redesign of the Mustang was approved in 1999, but the car would end up keeping much of the basic look of SN-95, with somewhat more angular features. The GT version increased in horsepower to 260hp. in 2005 the Mustang would see yet another group of loyal fans be born and a major increase in popularity with one of its most radical redesigns in its history.
The 2005 Mustang was a complete retro redesign, with design cues taken directly from the 1960s. Ford called it "retro futurism," and even the interior dials and controls harkened back to the sixties. Old fans like me would see the classic looks that we had grown up with roll the streets on the prowl again in a major case of flashback to our youths.
With its current redesign, the Mustang remains one of the only original muscle cars in constant production and continues to be one of the most popular cars in America with only the Chevy corvette being older, who is counting years anyways. The Mustang will always be the workingman or women’s sports car and to this day has one of the most loyal fan basses of any car ever made.
With fans from sixteen to sixty or seventy, the appeal of the Mustang is as large as ever. One can only hope that Ford continues to seek out the voice of fans old and young alike when the next round of the designers pen is struck to blueprints and the beloved Mustang will continue to roam the streets for yet another 40 years or more.
Thanks for visiting,
Christine and everyone here at Ford Mustang History
How would you like to be cruising down the main drag in this baby? If you are like most people that love the Ford Mustang, it is easy to see a transformation, from the moment you step into them. They look equally sporty on the street or on the track. When you compare classic models to newer models, it is easy to see similarities because this philosophy has not changed as it applies to the "muscle car" appeal, which is lacking in many of today's cars. There are so many similarities between the vintage classics and today's "retro-futuristic" models, you might have to do a double-take on this photo. Can you tell whether it is a classic or one of the newer models?
Here is just a sampling of our Mustang history articles you'll find plenty more inside the site.
We have spent the last year improving the quality and amount of content on all of our network sites. That project is winding down now, and this has allowed us some time to do some of our non-food sites like are longtime favorite car site Ford Mustang History. We have taken the site off of a Word Press blog platform in favor of our own hand coded template we use for many of our sites, consolidate the info on the blog, and focus it on nothing but the Mustang. We find this vehicle (no pone intended) is the best way for us to deliver our content to you.
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Christine and everyone here at Ford Mustang History
When the Ford Mustang was released to the public 45 years ago at the New York World’s Fair, on April 17, 1964, it was the most successful car launch in automotive history. Part of the innovative design was the wheels.
The 1964 Ford Mustang had 14-inch wheels, with wheel covers as standard equipment. They were constructed of hard plastic, with a simulated chrome accent. The indented area was painted charcoal black. The coolest feature of these wheels was the wheel center caps. The background of the center caps was painted either blue or black, and a simulated chrome mustang appeared in the center. Above the Mustang was the word "Ford," and below it was the word "Mustang" in simulated chrome. The wheel covers complimented the cars overall sleek and sporty look.
The smaller, more fuel efficient second generation Ford Mustang hit the ground running in 1974. Although sales for this model were not quite as high as the original, sales remained brisk. The wheel covers were of a snowflake design, with simulated chrome. The center cap had a red background, with the simulated chrome Mustang in the center.
The third generation Mustang came out in 1979. While still clearly recognizable as a Mustang, it had a minimal design. The standard wheels were unimpressive three spoke black wheels, with a plain black center cap.
In 1994, the Ford Mustang went through one of the biggest redesigns in Mustang history. Borrowing from the original design, it was a sleek, sharp sports car. Mustang buyers had a large array of optional wheels to choose from. V-6 models came with silver plastic hubcaps, with the mustang logo on the center cap, or the star shaped polished steel rims with the center cap. Mustang GT had a choice of black spoked racing rims with a silver center cap that had the signature blue Ford logo embroidered on it, or black alloy wheels with the Mustang logo.
If you are rebuilding a Mustang, consider finding a set or replica of the original wheels. Mustang wheels have always been eye catching, sharp, and overall cool for the past 45 years, and having the set of wheels that goes with your model mustang will enhance its overall appearance, giving it the classic feel it deserves.
When Lee Iacocca introduced the 1964 Ford Mustang, he had no idea of the staying power and fascination. The 1965 version of the Ford Mustang was based on the Falcon, to lower production costs, but came with a multitude of optional equipment, so the buyers could customize their car and generate extra profit for Ford.
The Ford Mustang sold 22,000 units in its first day and a million sales of the Ford Mustang in the first two years. The Ford Mustang Memorabilia market is as strong as the sales for these first Ford Mustangs were. Memorabilia is traded at shows, swaps, and club events across the United States.
In the history of the Ford Mustang, it has won many international racing awards and has been the car of choice for many famous racecar drivers, such as Parnelli Jones, Steve Saleen, and Dan Gurney. These drivers have inspired custom made, limited edition racing versions of the Ford Mustang that are car collector dreams. They have inspired racing posters and other Ford Mustang memorabilia that is collected in the racing world.
The history of the Ford Mustang has seen different versions, such as the Mach I, Shelby Cobra and the Boss series. Whether it is a vintage Ford Mustang to restore or one of the new Ford Mustangs, these cars create a hobby, as well as a lifestyle.
There are memorabilia traders that specialize in nothing but Ford Mustang history. You can find all kinds of memorabilia for sale from the history of the Ford Mustang on different websites on the Internet. Lee Iacocca’s vision of a pony car class still exists today.
This idea has some Ford Mustang enthusiasts doing a double take. It seems that Ford thought it would be a good idea to drop a short deck all aluminum modular V-10 into a Mustang. Sweet! Amid rumors that this was going to occur, a few of these spicy little numbers have been spotted on the street. However, don’t go getting your hopes us that this will be standard fare from the Ford production plants. This Mustang and the handful of others that have been similarly modified about the globe are just Ford dipping its toe in the water.
It should be noted that the 5.8 V-10 that is causing such hubbub is not the same tall deck cast iron 6.8 V-10 that sits in the Excursions and Super Duty pickups. This engine is brand spanking new, resembling a 4.6 Cobra short block. To be more to the point, this Ford V-10 Mustang engine is a good 60 pounds lighter than its cousin, the 5.4 that is in the 2000 Cobra R... Therefore, it stands to reason that Ford would drop this nifty little V-10 into a 1999 GT and the result would be whispers behind the drawing room door referring to this "frakencar" as the Boss 351.
This low budget project was an experiment in power and creativity. It was an exercise in wing stretching for Ford as they pulled out all the stops and played a game of "let’s see what happens when we do this." However, what resulted is a sleek, powerful, albeit gas guzzling hunk of machine. Moreover, the clincher that really got the team? The sound of that V-10 purring. Grrrr!