History of the Ford MustangNov 23rd, 2015
Power meets beauty in a vehicle that has won the world over since it was launched in 1964. The Mustang is one of those quintessential cars that automotive enthusiasts consider when they think of the history of the American car market. It’s clear design and outstanding features have long set the standard (and continued to redefine it, generation after generation) for cruising out on the road.
There’s something about the stern appearance that seems to suggest the car knows what you’re planning before you’ve really had a chance to consider the plans ahead. Perhaps it’s the deliberate angles and the handsome selections of features that have earned it this quality.
Whatever the case may be, there are few vehicles on the road today that hold the reputation and the fame that the Mustang brings to the table.
First exhibited at the New York World’s Fair on April 17th, 1964.
Ostensibly, this vehicle is referred to as the 1964½ model, though the official Ford documentation refer to it as the same as the 1965 production model. This is due to the fact that there were subtle difference between it and the Mustang that would be made available to drivers in the fall of 1965.
Was it Named for the P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane?
John Najjar, the executive stylist for the Ford Mustang is credited as having named it after the World War II P-51 fighter plane. Well before production began on the 1965 model, Najjar worked and co-designed the original Ford Mustang back in 1961, referred to as the Ford Mustang I.
The Ford Mustang I was introduced to the American market at the United States Grand Prix held in Watkins Glen, New York on October 7th, 1962.
Or Was it Named for a Horse?
There are others that hold to the theory that Robert J. Eggbert, a market research manager for the Ford Division offered the name based on a present from his wife, a book with the title “The Mustangs”.
The situation here is interesting as there was already a German truck that was manufactured from 1951 through to 1964 that held the name Mustang. Because of this the Ford Mustang name was used internationally with the exception of Germany where it was marketed as the T-5 up until December 1978.
Sales Expectations for the First Generation Were Greatly Underestimated
When the Mustang completed its initial 18 month development process, had received its marketing push, and was ready to roll out the expectations set by Ford was to sell 100,000 units by the end of the first year.
Just 3 months after launching, however, this number had already been surpassed, leading to a record-year of over 318,000 models. This record was further shattered with a number topic 1 million at the close of only 18 months from the day it went on sale.
The second generation wouldn’t come until 1974, but that didn’t stop engineering and design changes to follow subsequent years of the first generation. Options included 2 door hardtop, 2 door fastback/sportsroof, and 2 door convertible models.
Engines ranged from the 2.8L or 3.3L Thriftpower I6, a 4.3L or 4.7L Windsor V8 engine (as well as a 4.7L Windsor HiPro V8 option). Transmissions included 3 or 4-speed manual and a 3-speed automatic.
The Vehicle Bond Drove
It’s hard not to recognize the importance that popular culture can play on modern vehicles and their marketability. For this reason one can appreciate that fact that the same year it launched that James Bond drove around in the film “Goldfinger” in September 1964 in none-other than the Ford Mustang.
A History of Excellence with a Bright Future Ahead
The Ford Mustang is the type of car that you simply love to drive. It doesn’t just have power, it makes you feel more powerful. There was no question after the success of the first generation that others were going to follow it.
In 1974, almost ten years to the date that the first generation Mustang hit the roads, the second generation was introduced. This model was originally conceived to be based on the Ford Maverick but as it moved to conceptualization and implementation the model was based instead on the Ford Pinto.
Called the Ford Mustang II to differentiate it from its predecessor came at a point of turmoil in the history of the American automotive sector. Released just 2 months before the 1973 oil crisis, the concerns on sales, while understandable, still saw 385,000 Mustang II sales in the first year.
Among those responsible for the Mustang II was Lee Iacocca, a man who has, among his many accolades, earned the position of the 18th-Greatest American CEOs of all time. Iacocca wanted the second generation Mustang to really stand out, and responded to the changes present on the original Mustang by conceiving of a more refined driving experience.
His efforts were well received and like the original Mustang the Mustang II was offered in a number of model options, with engines that included the 2.3L Lima I4, 2.8L Cologne V6, or the 4.9L Windsor V8.
The second generation was followed by a third, fourth, fifth, and as of 2015, a sixth generation. All of which goes to show that this Ford brand is one that’s definitely here to stay. Come down to Kitchener Ford and let our team show you what the Mustang has to offer!