The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced early on April 17, 1964, dubbed as a "1964½" model by Mustang fans, the 1965 Mustang was the automaker's most successful launch since the Model A. The model is Ford's third oldest nameplate in production and has undergone several transformations to its current fifth generation.
Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobiles—sports car-
Production of the 1965 Mustang (VIN coded by Ford and titled as 1965 models) began in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's third oldest nameplate currently in production next to the F-
Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-
Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971–1973 models, Ford returned the car to its original size and concept for 1974. It has since seen several platform generations and designs. Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production over five decades of development and revision.
First generation (1964½–1973)
1964½ MustangAs Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-
It was claimed that the decision to abandon the two-
The new design was styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster—in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca.
Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie.
To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components, many of which were already in production for other Ford models. Many (if not most) of the interior, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from those used on Ford's Falcon and Fairlane. This use of common components also shortened the learning curve for assembly and repair workers, while at the same time allowing dealers to pick up the Mustang without also having to spend massive amounts of money on spare parts inventories to support the new car line.
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 at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning August 1964), including the addition of back-
All of the features added to the "1965" model were available as options or developmental modification to the "1964½" model, which in some cases led to "mix-
For 1967, The Mustang retained the original body structure but styling was refreshed, giving the Mustang a more massive look overall. Front and rear end styling was more pronounced, and the "twin cove" instrument panel offered a thicker crash pad, and larger gauges. Hardtop, fastback and convertible body styles continued as before. A host of Federal safety features were standard that year, including an energy-
For 1969 and 1970 models, the Mustang received a larger body, a more aggressive stance, and a wider grille. The 1969 models featured "quad headlamps" which disappeared to make way for an even wider grille in the 1970 models. A variety of performance and decorative options were available including functional (and non-
The Mustang evolved from "from speed and power" to the growing consumer demand for bigger and heavier "luxury" type designs. "The result were the styling misadventures of 1971 — 73 ... The Mustang grew fat and lazy." This was the last major restyling of the first-
Second generation (1974–1978)
1974–1978 Mustang II.Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became President of Ford Motor Company in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-
The new model, called the "Mustang II", was introduced two months before the first 1973 oil crisis, and its reduced size allowed it to compete against imported sports coupés such as the Japanese Toyota Celica and the European Ford Capri (then Ford-
Lee Iacocca wanted the new car, which returned the Mustang to its 1964 predecessor in size, shape, and overall styling, to be finished to a high standard, saying it should be "a little jewel." However not only was it smaller than the original car, but it was also heavier, owing to the addition of equipment needed to meet new U.S. emission and safety regulations. Performance was reduced, and despite the car's new handling and engineering features the galloping mustang emblem "became a less muscular steed that seemed to be cantering."
The car was available in coupé and hatchback versions, including a "luxury" Ghia model designed by Ford's rececently acquired Ghia of Italy. Changes introduced in 1975 included reinstatement of the 302 CID V8 option (after being without a V8 option for the 1974 model year) and availability of an economy option called the "MPG Stallion". Other changes in appearance and performance came with a "Cobra II" version in 1976 & 1977 and a "King Cobra" in 1978.
Third generation (1979–1993)
1985–1986 Ford Mustang GTThe 1979 Mustang was based on the longer Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr). The interior was restyled to accommodate four people in comfort despite a smaller rear seat. Body styles included a coupé, (notchback), hatchback, and convertible. Available trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT (1983–84), SVO (1984–86), Cobra (1979–81; 1993), and Cobra R (1993).
In response to slumping sales and escalating fuel prices during the early 1980s, a new Mustang was in development. It was to be a variant of the Mazda MX-
Fourth generation (1994–2004)
2002 Ford Mustang ConvertibleIn 1994 the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. Code-
The base model came with a 3.8 OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at 145 bhp (108 kW) in 1994 and 1995, or 150 bhp (110 kW) (1996–1998), and was mated to a standard 5-
For 1999, the Mustang received Ford's New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork, but its basic proportions, interior design, and chassis remained the same as the previous model. The Mustang's powertrains were carried over for 1999, but benefited from new improvements. The standard 3.8 L V6 had a new split-
Fifth generation (2005–present)
Ford introduced a redesigned 2005 model year Mustang at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, codenamed "S-
For the 2005 to 2009 production years, the base model was powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) cast-
Ford announced in July, 2007 that all 2008 Mustangs would have seats containing material derived from soybeans. A new option for the 2009 Mustang was a $1,995 glass roof.
The 2010 model year Mustang was released in the spring of 2009 with a redesigned exterior and a reduced drag coefficient of 4% on base models and 7% on GT models. The engine for base Mustangs remained unchanged, while GTs 4.6 L V8 was revised resulting in 315 hp (235 kW) at 6000 rpm and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque at 4255 rpm. Other mechanical features included new spring rates and shiners, traction and sineability control system standard on all models, and new wheel sizes.
All the Mustang's engines were revised for 2011, and transmission options included the Getrag-
The Shelby GT500's 5.4 L supercharged V8 block was made of aluminum making it 102 lb (46 kg) lighter than the iron units in previous years. It was rated at 550 hp (410 kW) and 510 lb·ft (690 N·m) of torque.
For 2011, a new Mustang Boss 302, based on the original 1969 model, was introduced. It has an upgraded engine, with a 444 hp (331 kW) and 380 lb·ft (520 N·m) output. It includes stiffer springs and a bigger stabilizer bar at the rear, among other things. Only 4000 Boss 302s will be produced. Most of these are 'regular' Boss 302s, but the other 750 of them will be Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Edition. These extra special editions run about one second faster around Laguna Seca compared to the base Boss 302. The Laguna Seca edition includes a large adjustable splitter in the front, and a X-
The Mustang made its first public appearance on a racetrack little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500.
The same year, Mustangs achieved the first of many notable competition successes, winning first and second in class in the Tour de France international rally. The car’s American competition debut, also in 1964, was in drag racing, where private individuals and dealer-
In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-
A decade later Bob Glidden won the Mustang’s first NHRA Pro Stock title.
Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) six divisions in 1965. Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-
In 1969, modified versions of the 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302 took 295 United States Auto Club-
Boss 429 engines powered Ford Torinos in 1969 and 1970 NASCAR racing.
In 1970, Mustang won the SCCA Trans-
Two years later Dick Trickle won 67 short-
In 1975 Ron Smaldone's Mustang became the first-
Mustangs also competed in the IMSA GTO class, with wins in 1984 and 1985. In 1985 John Jones also won the 1985 GTO drivers’ championship; Wally Dallenbach Jr., John Jones and Doc Bundy won the GTO class at the Daytona 24 Hours; and Ford won its first manufacturers’ championship in road racing since 1970. Three class wins went to Lynn St. James, the first woman to win in the series.
1986 brought eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers’ title. Scott Pruett won the drivers’ championship. The GT Endurance Championship also went to Ford.
In drag racing Rickie Smith’s Motorcraft Mustang won the International Hot Rod Association Pro Stock world championship.
In 1987 Saleen Autosport Mustangs driven by Steve Saleen and Rick Titus won the SCCA Escort Endurance SSGT championship, and in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing a Mustang again won the GTO class in the Daytona 24 hours. In 1989, its silver anniversary year, the Mustang won Ford its first Trans-
In 1997, Tommy Kendall’s Roush-
In 2002 John Force broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national championship in his Ford Mustang Funny Car, Force beat that record again in 2006, becoming the first ever 14-
Currently Mustangs compete in several racing series, including the Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup and the KONI Challenge, where it won the manufacturer's title in 2005 and 2008, and the Canada Drift, Formula Drift and D1 Grand Prix series. They are highly competitive in the SCCA World Challenge, with Brandon Davis winning the 2009 GT driver's championship.
As reported by Jayski.com, the Ford Mustang will be Ford's Car of Tomorrow for the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010, opening a new chapter in both Mustang's history and Ford's history. NASCAR insiders expect to see Mustang racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup by 2014 (the model's 50th anniversary). Unlike other racing series, the NASCAR vehicles are not based on production Mustangs, but are a silhouette racing car with decals that give them a superficial resemblance to the production road cars. Carl Edwards won the first ever race with a NASCAR prepped Mustang on April 8, 2011 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Ford Mustangs compete in the FIA GT3 European Championship, and compete in the GT4 European Cup and other sports car races such as the 24 Hours of Spa. The Marc VDS Racing Team has been developing the GT3 spec Mustang since 2010.  The car has most recently competed in the 2011 24 hours of Spa.
2005 Canadian Car of the YearThe 1965 Mustang won the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design, the first automobile ever to do so.
The Mustang was on the Car and Driver Ten Best list in 1983, 1987, 1988, 2005, 2006, and 2011. It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 1974 and 1994.
In 2005 it was runner-