The History of the Ford Mustang

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It seems that almost everyone has a favorite Mustang. With so many different generations of the Muscle Car to choose from the list is varied. To some, a Candy Apple Red 65' with a 289 is the best ever. Or how about a fastback with the HighPower V8 and GT package? Ever heard the rumble from a Boss 302? And yet others consider the 5.0 Liter Mustangs the best largely because of the variety of low cost add-on parts available. These cars are inexpensive to buy and modify. And then there is the Cobras no matter what year or body style the Cobras come of the factory line ready to go "Run'em".

In the early 60s' the only American sports car was the Corvette at a price to costly for many young Americans. The Thunderbird was basically a luxury car at the time. As a result Imported sports cars were selling well. Within a few years the post-war baby boomers would be buying their first car. The Mustang II concept car generated allot of excitement and led directly to the first Mustang less than a year later. Ford was unaware how popular the car would be. They announced when the first television commercial would be shown and many Americans tuned in to see it. The next day, the first day of availability, Ford sold 22,000 mustangs.

The 19641/2, as it was later called, was available in only two models: the coupe and convertible. Both models featured a lengthened hood and shortened rear deck, chrome wrap-around bumpers, chrome grille with a running horse, and full wheel covers. Both models were available with a 170 cid, 101 horsepower, 6 cylinder engine, a 260-2V, 164 horsepower V-8, a 289-4V, 210 horsepower V-8 and, starting in June, a fire breathing, 4 barrel, solid lifter, 271 horsepower, 289 cid V-8 engine. The buyer had a choice of a 3 speed, 4 speed or automatic transmission, and a variety of rear end gear ratios. The interior featured "wall-to-wall" carpeting, front bucket seats or an optional front bench seat, rear bench seat, a sports car style steering wheel, floor mounted shifter, and full headliner (Kowalke). There were a total of 121,538 Mustangs produced during the 6412 model run (Mustang) . 1965 brought few changes for the Mustang. The biggest change was the availability of a new fastback model, which was to become the basis for Carroll Shelby's G.T. 350. The 120 horsepower, 200 cid 6 cylinder engine replaced the 170 cid 6 cylinder, the 289-2V, 200 horsepower V-8 replaced the 260-2V, the 289-4V was upgraded to 225 horsepower, and the 289-4V hi-po remained unchanged (Kowalke). Other changes for 1965 included: an alternator instead of a generator, relocation of the oil filler, integral power steering pump and reservoir (most 64 12 had a remote mounted reservoir), a wire retaining ring was added to the gas cap, the horns were smaller and relocated, and the interior carpet was continued up the sides of the front interior panel and under the sill plate.(Wilson) A new interior option was added, the interior decor group (known as the pony interior), which featured special seat covers with running horses across the back, special interior door panes with integral arm rests and "pistol grip" door handles, five gauge instrument panel, woodgrain steering wheel, and woodgrain on the instrument cluster, glovebox, and optionally on the center console (Mustang). Another option introduced in April of 1965 was the GT equipment group. Available only with one of the two four barrel engines, the GT group included five-dial instrumentation, disc brakes, larger sway bars, quicker steering ratio, dual exhaust which exited through the rear valance panel, grill mounted foglights, and special lower body side stripes.(Auto) A total of 559,451 Mustangs were produced for the 1965 model year. 1966 brought even fewer changes than did its predecessor. Most of the changes for 1966 were in the form of cosmetic refinements. A new grille which featured chrome edged, horizontal inserts, replaced the honeycomb grille of '65. The chrome bars that extended...
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