Ford Mustang: Quotes, Stats, & History
Everyone has heard, seen, or even driven a Ford Mustang. It is the classic pony car that was marketed towards young buyers and the emerging group of working women of America. It was the affordable option to style, power, and class in a world of muscle and race cars. For over five decades, the Ford Mustang is the only pony car to produce year after year, never failing to impress their loyal following.
History of the Ford Mustang
World Library states that the Mustang was released 5 months before the normal 1965 production year. This gave the first model the 1964 1/2 name. Production of the Mustang took place in Dearborn, Michigan, which is the birthplace of Henry Ford. The 1965 model was introduced at the New York World's Fair and quickly appeared at the Indy 500 and in James Bond movies. The name “Mustang” is derived from the wild horse of America and the World War II Mustang fighter planes.
Mustangs eventually grew heavier and larger by 1971. However, with consumer backlash, Ford reverted to the original size in 1974, thus ending the first generation of Mustang cars. However, it didn’t end there. The Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production for over 50 years.
According to the Tri-County Mustang Club, the convertible option was discontinued in the 1973 model Mustang, but returned in 1983. Due to the foreign import boom in the 1970s, Ford had re-created European style bodies for their cars to keep up with the competition. This would begin the creation of the third generation cars which were more compact and fuel efficient, according to Motorcities.
The current generation returns back to the classic 1964 body style. Cars received new technology and a V8 engine with a roaring sound, plus more horsepower. 2015 models also have an independent rear suspension system. This model was also to be sold overseas in 120 different countries after a long absence.
To learn more, you can visit any of the following websites:
- American Association of Retired People: Ford Mustang history slideshow
- National Museum of American History: 1965 Ford Mustang
- College of Saint Rose: History of the pony
- Northwestern: Man behind the Mustang
- University of Michigan: Ford’s SVT Mustang Cobra
Facts and Statistics
With the long history of the Mustang spanning more than 50 years, there are many interesting facts about the popular pony car.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has a list of 10 facts about the Ford Mustang, such as the name for the car. Names like Cheetah, Avanti, Puma, Thunderbird II, and Comet were suggested until Mustang was decided on. The name Mustang was mostly inspired by the sturdy, half wild horse but also partly inspired by the World War II plane.
The Mustang was marketed to young car buyers that wanted the sexy body of a Thunderbird, Ferrari's racy lines, and a Volkswagen price. The Mustang had all of these features with a nice price tag of only $2,500.
This car had a manly, muscle car appearance but was generally marketed towards women. After World War II, women become a huge market to cater to. With more and more women entering the workforce, they now had the means to purchase their own car. The slogan “The Sweetheart of the Supermarket Set” was then created.
The Henry Ford Museum shows us that the first generation 1965 Mustang came in only two colors, black and white. Its 260-cubic inch engine was a V8 with overhead valves. The horsepower clocked in at 164 at 4,400 revolutions per minute. The car weighed 2,740 pounds and cost $3,334.
To learn more, visit Mustang 428 Cobra Jet Registry: Production statistics.
Ford Mustang Quotes
“For me, it started in childhood, and that Mustang Mach 1 from 1973, I think. That's a dream car. That's the dream.”
- Michael Sommer, Mustang Club of Germany
“You had all these young, very persistent engineers, designers, guys from the marketing department that said 'You know what, we have a dream car in mind, and we want to do something with this,'"
- Jay Follis
“People like to have their cars reflect their personalities – young, vivacious, outdoorsy, wanting to get out and go do things. That's why this car has lasted for so long. People just resonate with what it stands for."
- John McElroy
Michigan Radio: The past and the future of Ford Mustang
“But the life of the Mustang isn't just based on the car and who buys them. It's based on the culture. Throughout the past six generations owners have been doing donuts in empty parking lots, leaving elevens between street lights, and crashing backwards into curbs after jabbing the throttle. There is an eternal love for power and the thrills that come with it - and the Mustang still delivers on that front. Some things never change.”
- Victor Szeto
Autoclips News: What happened to the Ford Mustang
“On my first drive, I took the car down a fast curving road with washboard. I’m so used to Mustangs dancing all over the pavement that it was shocking when the new car just rumbled over the pavement like an Audi. No shaking, no quaking, no drama. Why couldn’t Ford have achieved this decades ago? Amen!”
- Casey Williams
WFYI Indianapolis: Ford Mustang gallops into greatness
“The Mustang looks like a sports car, or Gran Turismo sports touring car, but—at least in the version tested here, as well as in the larger Six... it's actually a "sporty" car, or runabout, of compact size and appearance, appealing because of its lowness, easy handling, and the fresh lines that are its chief stock in trade. The more powerful V8 versions of the Mustang, culminating in a strictly competitive version, are progressively much more able (and are, CU understands, far and away the best-selling Mustangs), but even these are likely to offer sports car speed and acceleration, rather than handling.”
- Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports August 1964 Issue: The 1965 Ford Mustang started a legacy
Mustang Forums and Clubs
If you own a Mustang or are interested in Ford Mustangs, here are a few clubs and forums you can visit.