I feel it’s safe to say the Ford Mustang is one of the most classic cars to ever cruise American roads. Who’s the thank for this patriotic automobile? His name is Lee Lacocca, at the time he was the VP and GM of the Ford Division.
The first Mustang went for sale in April of 1964. Ford expected to sell around 100,000 units but in the first day alone the sold over 22,000 and in just one year, over 418,000 – talk about consumer demand! The first model came in both a coupe and convertible with chrome bumpers, an elongated hood and a stumpy rear. One of the fans’ favorite features was the oversized logo in the center of its honeycomb grille. The first Mustang had a pile of engine types to choose from ranging from an OHV straight-six, perfect for the conservative cruisers, to the 271hp generating V8, more appropriate for the daredevil drivers.
One year later, in ’65, the first Mustang GT upgrade became available with the choice of a 225hp generating V8, a 271hp generating V8. The purchaser also had to choose between a 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or the Cruise-O-Matic transmission. The new model also came with an upgraded dashboard instrument cluster, stripes on the lower body sides, fog lamps, and the classic GT badges. The GT was only produced through 1969 and returned to again in 1982.
The 1966 model Mustang got some aesthetic revamps included a new grille with horizontal inserts rather than honeycomb. The front logo lost the vertical and horizontal strips that protruded from it, as well, the emblems on either side of the vehicle, near the front tires, were changed the tri-bar logo. This model came in 34 different interior colors and styles too!
In 1967 Ford extend the Mustangs roofline to the rear of the trunk, becoming the recognizable Fastback. Fun fact: at the time most car enthusiasts thought poorly of the new model because was way too heavy, while today is one of the most favored vintage cars. Back to the history lesson! The interior package was all new as well as it’s tilt stirring wheel, concave taillights, side scoops, and square rearview mirrors. The grille was altered once again too, the logo was enlarged to show off the new mesh pattern, and the 1965 vertical and horizontal bars were brought back. One of the most exciting updates wasn’t visible with the naked eye, this was the first year the big-block, 320hp generating V8 was available.
The 1968 model didn’t differ much from the previous. “Ford” was written across the hood, the grille and badge on it differed a bit, and “Mustang” on the backend was now bubble letters rather than script. This was the first model year to have an AM/FM radio as well. Slightly more exciting, the California Special Mustang GT debutted as well as a High Country Special line in Colorado. Lastly, the Shelby GT500-KR was born in ’68. It featured a 428 cubic in Cobra jet V8, it rightfully deserved the title King of the Road.
The Mustang’s second major restyle occured in 1969 when Ford added ~4in to the front of the car and 140lbs to it’s curb weight. This model can also be distinguished from the former years by it’s dual headlights and off-center Mustange emblem.