The Ford Mustang always comes into the conversation when it comes to good old-fashioned American muscle. Since 1964, the Ford Mustang has been tearing up the road. The Mustang is so iconic; people recognize the classic car wherever you are in the world. Even those people who aren’t so familiar with muscle cars often refer to other competitor muscle cars as a “Mustang.”
Now in its sixth generation, the Mustang is a big favorite for anyone wanting a powerful and gorgeous car. If you’re curious about the Mustang, let’s take a look at the brief history of this mechanical marvel:
Origins and First Release
Lee Iacocca, the VP and GM of Ford wanted a car that looked sporty and would cater to a younger market. Drawing inspiration from the Falcon, the Mustang came to fruition. Ford proudly released the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair with a tight budget and shorter development period than their other cars.
Ford had envisioned at least 100,000 units sold in its first-year release. However, dealers sold a whopping 22,000 cars on the first day. Although the original Mustang was a 1965 model, Ford had already made many production changes to cars that were built after August 1964. Many car enthusiasts consider these Mustangs as 1964 ½ models. The ones that were built after August were known as the “late” models.
Booming Popularity and Development
Enjoying a healthy market, the Mustang saw significant changes during 1967. The car had to grow in length and width to support a heavier, more powerful block engine. As if previous models that could reach 289 horsepower weren’t fast enough, the newer mustangs had V-8 engines that produced up to 335 horsepower.
Due to its popularity and further desire for improvements, Ford collaborated with Carrol Shelby to develop the Shelby Mustang. Shelby Mustangs were high-performance versions of the 1967 models, which sported a classic look and the engine changes mentioned above. The Shelby Mustangs, especially the GT350R versions, had engine improvements and stronger brakes and suspension. Built for power and torque, the Shelby Mustangs were big on the race tracks.
Dropping Sales and Resurgence
Not all was good with the Ford Mustang, as sales dropped after 1989. As a closing or going-away gift, Ford produced the SVT Cobra, a mustang that sported a more futuristic look for its time.
Instead of being race-ready, the SVT Cobra had put on weight due to the air conditioning, stereos, back seats, and other accessories added to it. With the Mustang seemingly bidding farewell, Ford only built around 5000 of the SVTs. Due to the limited number of cars produced, the SVT Cobras are highly valuable and rare nowadays.
It was in 1994 that Ford decided that a major redesign for the Mustang was due. With a sleeker, more compact style, the 1994 Mustang coupes were produced. Surveys made by Ford at that time revealed that fans wanted more recognizable cues in the newer Mustangs. So, heeding the crowd, Ford released the newer Mustangs with many nods from the first-generation cars. The most recognizable similarity, however, was with the cabin.
Many fans had accepted these newer Mustangs, and some even modified the exterior of the car. The 1994-1998 mustang spoiler, for example, is one of the most popular accessories that many people still look to add on their Mustangs even today.
The Old and New Meet
Fast forward to 2005, the newer generation of Mustangs sported squared-off shapes that were a homage to the first generations. Moving on from the Fox platform, the newer Mustangs had meaner, more powerful looks. Of course, these Mustangs also had improved engines which made them attractive to many buyers.
Today, the Mustang remains one of the most popular sports cars in the world. Ford has innovated itself and released an electric four-door Mustang to answer rising oil prices and lessen environmental impact. Although the 2020 Mustang Mach-E is an electric car, it still boasts a good 266 horsepower with several advanced tech and accessories.
The Mustang is one of the best cars in the world. Whether you own or aspire to drive one, the Mustang is the perfect example of great engineering.