When the first Ford Mustang went on sale in 1964, the Beatles had just broken America and the post-war baby-boom generation was coming of age. The Mustang was a product born to serve the times, the classic mix of dynamic style and affordability ensuring its continuing popularity today.
Conceived in the early 1960’s, the Mustang took the basic design of the Ford Falcon and gave it muscles. It was a looker too – the famous running horse motif and the long sloping hood, lower roof and low seating produced a slimline effect that had instant appeal.
Ford sold 97,705 coupes that year and over four times as many the following. In the midst of demand for a racing model that could take on the Corvette, Carroll Shelby modified 100 ‘K-code’ high-performance models which are still highly praised today. Even as Chevrolet and Pontiac brought out their own new ‘muscle’ cars in the later sixties, they could not rival the Mustang in popularity.
The seventies saw a tighter model with smaller power plants: the less-powerful 2.8L V6 engine was a hit and later a V8 engine was also available meaning that in 1975 Mustang II achieved record sales.
Later in the decade, the Mustang grew in length but lost weight as the lightweight ‘Fox body’ chassis came into being. There were now also luxury options including the ‘Ghia’ model.
The eighties gave the Mustang a turbocharged boost and the convertible, missing for almost a decade, made a comeback. Early nineties saw a redesign and a new 5.0L V8 for the GT, which could gain speeds of 60 miles per hour in around six seconds.
Mustang, in the early noughties, kept the scalloped sides and taillights split into three, reminiscent of the vintage models. With features like smart suspension which reacts to road surface changes, Mustang took a leap into the 21st century and will continue to do so.
Next year the 2013 models coming out range from the Mustang GT to the Boss 302, Shelby GT500 and the V6, building on the success the brand has received across generations.