The date was April 17, 1964. Intermediate sized muscle cars, with big block engines were gradually replacing the full sized muscle car. Lee Lacocca, Ford’s General Manager, had always envisioned a small sports car to be the next hot item in the street wars. Ford decided that instead of improving their lackluster intermediate, they would do the competition one better and introduce a whole new breed of automobile, the pony car. Originally designed as a two seater in the European tradition, Lacocca realized that true success depended on volume sales. Therefore the Ford Mustang was introduced as a 1965 model that was based on the compact Falcon to lower production costs. It came with an obligatory back seat and a multitude of options that would give the buyer an opportunity to customize their purchase, and generate extra profits for Ford. Mustang turned the market and people’s attention to the pony car. The pony car class that the Ford Mustang helped create is the only class of muscle car that still exists today.
First Mustang was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964, at the New York’s World Fair.Advertisements appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers and on the major television networks. More than four million people visited showrooms, and more than 22,000 cars were ordered on the first day. First-year sales totaled more than 417,000, shattering previous sales records of any one model in the history of the automobile.
Ford provided 3 engines for customers to choose: 101hp 6-cylinder,164hp V8 and 210hp V8. The standard price of a convertible Mustang was $2557, and $2320 for a Mustang coupe.
The 1964 Ford Mustang convertible with 210hp V8 engine
1967 Ford lunched their first redesigned Mustang. The front grille kept the running pony in the corral, but vertical and horizontal bars returned, and the grille opening was enlarged. The side scoops, though non-functional, were designed as two smaller scoops with inlets and were painted the body color. Despite the body style change, coupes, fastbacks, and convertibles were still offered, but the fastback in 1967 extended fully to the rear, and this fastback feature had become the icon of Mustang since then. Also 1967 was the first year for Mustang GT with an automatic transmission.
These 2 years Ford provided 6 engines for customers to choose: 120hp 6-cylinder,200hp V8,225hp V8,271hp V8,320hp V8 and 335hp V8. The power of Mustang never stops growing. The standard price of a convertible Mustang was $2898, and $2461 for a Mustang coupe. This year, Ford also have a fastback Mustang at the price of $2692.
1967 fastback Mustang blue GT
Dual headlamps were introduced in 1969, with the extra pair set into the outer area of the grille. The wheelbase remained 108 inches, but the overall length increased by almost 4 inches, and the width increased by almost half an inch. Mustang is a litter bit stronger. Coupes, fastbacks, and convertibles were still offered, but new models joined the lineup: Mach 1, Boss, and Grand. All of these models were counted in GT sales; they were continued in 1970.
Of course the most exciting addition was the first Boss 302, which was a fastback with a high-performance version of the 376hp V8 engine. The exterior featured side striping, a partially blacked-out hood, front air dam, rear spoiler, and no side scoop on its rear fenders. Boss 302 is still the most exciting Mustang until now.
1970 the very first Mustang Boss 302
Though the 1971 Mustang’s wheelbase was only one inch longer than the 1970, every other dimension grew, again.The most special aspect of 1971 Mustang is that the March 1 Mustang appeared in the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever, featured a car chase involving 007 driving a red Mach 1 through the streets of Las Vegas.
The red March 1 in the movie Diamonds Are Forever
The 1974 Mustang marked the beginning of the second generation Mustang. Due to the fuel crisis during that period, Ford has to design smaller cars had weaker engines , and proved to be a hit with buyers. Even with slower cars and higher prices, sales nearly tripled the 1973 numbers, and the Mustang II was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Mustang IIs featured rack-and-pinion steering, which made driving easier and more comfortable. Because of this reason, large number of first-generation owners switched to rack-and-pinion.
1974 Ford Mustang II