The Dazzling Narrative of the Classic Mustangs

By: Eric Buck

For many car enthusiasts, the Mustang is ruled to be one of the most esteemed. But how did this favorite vehicle really come to be? Well, it all started back in spring of 1964. Lee Iacocca, the General Manager of Ford Motor Company, always thought of having a medium sized sports car and proclaiming it as the next contender in street wars. But Ford decided to go for broke and unveil a brand new type of car. What was born of Iacocca's budding concept is the "Pony Car". It was engineered, in the beginning, as a two-passenger modeled after the European-style, but a business-savvy Iacocca knew that the future of this new model banked on a large number of sales. Thus the design was refined further and the Ford Mustang was designed after the Falcon, which was compact in design, so that production expenses could be shaved. This new vehicle was originally named P-51, after the famous fighter plane. But, many comparisons were made to the Mustang, a type of horse and it ultimately became both symbol and theme to the cars. True to its namesake, the Mustang sold 22,000 units on the very first day of it's debut and went on to sell a million more within the next few years thus gaining the respect of both the industry and car enthusiasts during that time.

By the time 1966 came rolling in, the Mustang was developed yet again.

They altered the design of the instrument panel to differentiate the Mustang from the Falcon. The 260 cubic inch V8 was also replaced with 2 and 4 barrel types of the 289 cid V8. A year later, a 100 % revampment materialized in the design of the Mustang, these changes include a thicker sheet metal below its belt line, a meaner grille, a hollow tail panel, and a fastback roof line for the fastback design of the vehicle's body. These 1967 Shelby's were more advanced in terms of design. It also had more elements that provided luxury to the passenger. The 1967 Shelby's were the last to be designed by the Shelby-American Company. Every model subsequent were built by Ford with negligible involvement for Shelby. In 1968, the Mustang underwent some more changes. The grille was changed into something simpler and its 427 engines were powered down but even still, they were more than able to get people's eye when motoring down the streets. Also in the same year was when Ford released what was to be their most infamous engine ever. The 428 Cobra Jet, as it was called, was rumored to have an output of 410 bhp. The Shelby's were still in production and a new design, a convertible, was also made available. This convertible design was called the Shelby Cobra.

Through the subsequent years of 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 more adjustments were made to the original Mustang design. In 1969, the Shelby's that were produced became more oriented to being a luxury car. The Boss Mustangs were also unveiled the same year. These Boss Mustangs were made to qualify for the NASCAR races. By 1970, the public still preferred the Cobra engine to the other engines that were coming out during that time. By 1971, Ford's many years of being a total performance vehicle were coming to an end. This would also be the only year that Ford's performance was considered to be declining. In 1973, several mistakes and changes in the rules forced modifications to the design of the Mustang as well. This time, what used to be a car produced for high performance debuted a new model, the Mustang II, with no claims to anything as marvelous as what its descendants had done.

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