It’s hard to believe that the 50 year anniversary of the Mustang is on the horizon. On April 17, 2014 we will join you in celebrating this milestone! I wonder if Lee Iacocca ever would have dreamed that the little car he envisioned with the $2500 price tag, bucket seats, and three speeds on the floor would have remained so popular to this day.
Iacocca became Ford’s division president in 1960 and almost immediately began to work on the vision of the affordable practical car. By 1962 Ford had the first drawing of the car but it was a far cry from Iacocca’s vision. He refocused his team on a 4 seat version because of the wider appeal and in October 1963 the first 4 concept car began to tour.
The Mustang debuted on April 17, 1964 and the Pony Car race was on. The base car was very base in deed but it was very popular at the time to offer and incredible amount of options. Some of the earlier options included Power Brakes, Power Steering, Automatic Transmission, 4 speed stick, heavy duty suspension, styled steel wheels, Vinyl Top, and the 289 V-8.
On September 9, 1964 Mustang would step up their image even more when they introduced the 2 + 2 Mustang Fastback, selling nearly 80,000 units in 1965. On the one year anniversary Ford introduced what has become known as the Pony Interior. The Pony Interior included deluxe door panels, upgraded walnut steering wheel, embossed Pony logo seats, bigger instrument bezel, new style door handles and read and white courtesy lights in the door.
It is hard to imagine that by 1966 Mustang was ready to celebrate its millionth production car!
In 1967 everyone waited impatiently as Ford introduced the first of many re-styles of the Mustang. Based on the previous year’s success of the car there was a lot of people questioning the thinking of changing the body style. But again Iacocca was right. The larger body made room for the big block 390 V-8 and lots more power. Choosing the automatic transmission also added an “A” to the GTA Emblem.
As we look forward into the body styles that are sure to come 2014 is just around the corner and from most accounts a major body style change is once again on the horizon for the Mustang. I have seen a few concept drawings, but we will have to wait and see the final product. If nothing else to watch this legend continue has been truly fun!