More Ford Mustang history
Popular Mechanics wrote a great article on the Mustang’s history. The article was initially written in 2004, inspired by the 40th anniversary of the Mustang. I don’t want to copy the whole article on this blog, but like to highlight some of the most remarkable things.
It already started out quite different than I guess car manufacturers start developing now cars:
“That we’re here to celebrate the Mustang’s 40th anniversary is due to the vision and efforts of a small group of men at Ford–including Donald Frey, Hal Sperlich, Donald Petersen and Lee Iacocca. They met informally after hours at the Fairlane Inn on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, working on the concept of a small, fun-to-drive car and on a strategy to convince the company to produce it. It’s hard to appreciate the impact that the first Mustang made when it was shown to the public on April 17, 1964.”
I think Ford also made a smart move involve Carroll Shelby to outperform the competition that had developed around the Mustang.
“In August 1964, Iacocca asked Carroll Shelby to develop a high-performance Mustang for street and track at his small shop in Venice, Calif. The new fastback, a 2+2, was at Shelby’s disposal, along with Ford’s brand-new small block. The 289 was the same engine Shelby developed in his Cobra roadster. Shelby divided production between the GT-350 street and competition Mustangs. Factory backed, the racing GT-350 steamrolled the competition, including Corvette.
Soon, Mustang had imitators, the market was so large. For ’67, Chevrolet introduced its Camaro, Pontiac its Firebird and Mercury its Cougar. For ’68, AMC added its Javelin. Plymouth had a Barracuda and Dodge a Challenger for 1970. All were dubbed “ponycars.”
GT-350 Shelby (Photo by Jerry Heasley)
If you’ve been reading this blog before, you know that the generation 2 – 4 Mustangs didn’t really do it for me, so read on at the source if you want to know how the history continues to the last generation (5) which again is a kick ass vehicle.
Make sure you take a look as well at some of the Mustang concept cars that never made it, there’s some interesting exercises there.