Mustang’s History

As far as the consumer is concerned, the history of the great Ford Mustang began when it was shown to the public at New York's World Exhibition. The prototypes had been in existence since 1962, with the Mustang 1 (T-5) being first introduced to the motor racing world at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix where Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney drove it for a few laps each as a demo.

In the early 1960s, Ford desperately needed a new car to compete with the sporty Chevrolet Corsair Monza, and its first attempt, the Falcon Future, failed to compete. A brand new car was needed, and the idea for the Mustang was born. It was sporty and quick and a four seater. It was appealing to youngsters, and the prototype was well received when shown at the motor racing circuits.

It went in production in 1964, and was an instant hit. Its launch on 17th April, 1964 was the beginning of what was to be the most popular car ever in American history, and it sold half a million in its first year. Its customers included every age and it was equally popular to men and women.

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First Generation Ford Mustang 289

Many of its parts were taken from the failed Falcon, and its immediate success had as much to do with the almost perfect advertising campaign as it had to do with looks and speed. The advertising power of the three major television networks was used extensively, and with its distinctive mane and tail galloping across the red, white and blue of America the ‘Pony Car' was the phenomenon of its age, representing the flavor of the 1960s more perfectly than its designers could ever have dreamt possible.

It was a car of its day that arrived with perfect timing. Later to be called the 1964-1/2, the original Mustang was available as a convertible and as a coupe, both with chrome wrap-around fenders, the distinctive chrome grill with running pony, and a lengthened hood. Although it claimed to have four seats, the back seat was a bit small and it also sported three tails lights on each side. It has sold a million by 1966, although before that the GT and fastback model had been introduced.

The car continued to progress, and by the end of the 60s had become longer by four inches, and a lot heavier than the original, much of this in response to the development of Chevrolet's Firebird and Pontiac. It was the Corvette, however, that brought the Mustang into the road racing arena. The Mustang was so popular, especially with the young, that Ford were desperate to race it against the Corvette. However, only production two seaters were allowed to race, and to enable them to do this at least 100 two seaters had be produced by January 1965.

 

Thanks to ClassicMustangs for this article. Check out the full story at this link.

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