Ford Mustang

In April 17, 1964 Ford decided that instead of improving their intermediate models to compete on the market, the company would design a completely new pony car.

Ford management had developed a strategy to dominate the biggest competitors with a small sports car instead of full sized muscle cars. Mustang was originally designed as an European tradition two seater, however in order to reduce production costs 1965 model was based on the existing compact Falcon.

Ford Mustang included an obligatory back seat and a wide array of additional options for buyers. American people began paying more attention to the pony car as the new automobile trend emerged.

The result was staggering - 22,000 sales on the first day and over one million sales during next two years. With a multitude of different interior, exterior, and drivetrain options, the Mustang would be able to be ordered as plain, or as fancy, as economical, or as fast.

Generally speaking Ford created the car to with the highest level of personalization at the time. Familiar and simple components, many of which were previously well known by the company totaled in the retail price of $2,368. Most of the interior, chassis and suspension components were similar as those in Ford's Falcon and Fairlane.

From the production perspective, use of standard components greatly shortened the learning curve for assembly and repair workers. Dealers also welcomed the new model since they already had many of the spare parts to support the customer needs.

Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed in three months from rollout. Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year (a record), and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built. Several changes were made during the starting period. Back-up lights were added, alternators replaced generators and an upgrade of the V8 engine from 260 cu in (4.3 l) to 289 cu in displacement became available.

From other modifications oil filler was relocated along with integral power steering pump and reservoir, while a wire retaining ring was added to the gas cap. The standard horns were smaller and relocated. In April of 1965, one year after the first appearance at the New York World's Fair a new GT equipment option of Mustang was presented to the public.

It had five-dial instrumentation, disc brakes, larger sway bars, improved steering ratio, dual exhaust which exited through the rear valance panel, grill mounted fog lights, and special lower body side stripes. A total of 559,451 Mustangs were produced in 1965, creating a strong market for the pony automobile class. Production models grew larger and heavier with each model year until the 1973.

In 1974 Ford designers returned the famous model to its original size and concept. Interestingly, Mustang is the only original pony car which remained in uninterrupted production for over 50 years. Through the years several generations and designs were developed, but even today Mustang remains one of Ford's classic and most well-known vehicles.

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