The Right Car for the Right Time. The Ford Mustang arrived at time when consumers were wanting something a little more reasonable. The Mustang, which was based of the created off the compact Ford Falcon, created the “pony car” class of American automobiles. Pony cars were sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks and gave rise to competitors such as GM’s Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC’s Javelin, and Chrysler’s revamped Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Challengers.
1964 1/2 Ford Mustang
The Mustang was championed by none other than Lee Iacocca. At the time, he was the General Manager of th Ford Division general manager. The Mustang began as the T-5 prototype. It was a two-seat, mid-engine roadster. This vehicle used the German Ford Taunus V4 engine. Think of it as a 1964 Pontiac Fiero. However, that concept was abandoned in favor of four-seat concept. When the design was revealed, the automotive press fell in love. Favorable articles appeared in over 2,600 newspapers.
In order to cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$2,368, the first generation Mustang was employed several existing components from the Ford parts bin. Most of the interior, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from those used on Ford’s Falcon and Fairlane. Plymouth had used this trick in creating the first Barracuda by using similar components of the Plymouth Valiant.
Sales forecasts for 1964 1/2 were projected at less than 100,000 units. This mark was surpassed in three months. Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year. Ford would build more than one million in the first eighteen months or production.
1965 Ford Mustang
For 1965, Ford made several changes to the Mustang. Changes included the addition of back-up lights to some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, and an upgrade of the V8 engine from 260 cubic inches (4.3 L) to 289 cubic inches (4.7 L).
1966 Ford Mustang
The 1966 model received minor revisions: revised side scoops, grill and gas cap, and the deletion of the four bars protruding from the Mustang emblem in the grille. A new Mustang only “twin cove” instrument panel replaced the original Falcon based instrument panel.
The Mustang would be revised and slightly enlarged for 1967. See the post on the 1967-1973 Ford Mustang to keep reading about the first generation Mustang.
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