During the early 1960s a large number of Americans entered their teenage years and their youthful spirits demanded a car with boundless energy. Lee Iacocca, then general manager of Ford Motor Company's Ford Division, grasped the importance of this huge untapped market, and with his talented team of designers and engineers he set out to create a car that satisfied their thrill-seeking desires. From the outset, the Mustang's three biggest selling points -- sporty styling, great performance, and a reasonable price -- were established to reach this young target audience. Ford designers worked tirelessly to come up with an innovative design. To jumpstart the creative process, Gene Bordinat, a company vice president and director of styling, staged a competition for Ford designers in the summer of 1962. Two weeks of non-stop sculpting created a rush of enthusiasm that led to seven different clay models, before Joe Oros's model was selected as the winner. The vehicle's name went through several incarnations before "Mustang" was selcted. In its early design stages the vehicle was known as Special Falcon, then later it was called the Cougar, the name Oros had given it. At the time, Italian fashions were big trends and the name Torino (the Italian name for the city of Turin) was seriously considered. Sample ads using the Torino name were prepared. However, the Ford Division wanted the car to sell as an American car and the Torino name was dropped. If company president Henry Ford II had his way the Mustang would have been called the T-Bird II. The final pool of names considered included Cougar, Bronco, Puma, Cheeta, Colt, and Mustang. Finally, after several strategy meetings, the Mustang Moniker was selected. Ford had already decided to make the Mustang a four-seater after the Mustang I concept was unveiled. The 1963 Mustang II was created to bridge the gap between that two-seater and the production four-seater. This Mustang II was actually built using a preproduction 1964 1/2 Mustang body and modified to show some of the styling cues from that Mustang I, including the centered blue stripe.
One of the world's most popular cars was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964, at the Worlds Fair in New York . The car was well received by the public , and appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines . Advertisements appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers and on the major television networks. More than four million people visited showrooms, and more than 22,000 cars were ordered on the first day. First-year sales totaled more than 417,000, shattering previous sales records of any one model in the history of the automobile. The Mustang was born of the simple idea that putting a back seat in a sports car would be a great idea. The idea came to Lee Iacocca and Donald Frey in the early 1960s as the country was being overrun by European sports cars. Everywhere you looked you saw Alfa Romeos and MGs and Triumphs that dripped oil. Even French makes that would draw peals of laughter today were popular back then. The two Ford execs saw a vast market literally rolling before their eyes, and, according to legend, the notion of a sports car with a back seat was one of those "ah-hah" moments. If Ford could dilute the European ethos just a bit by making the cars a bit more usable and practical , and a lot more affordable, Iacocca figured, the company would sell a few thousand. He was right, but boy was he wrong. Ford didn't sell thousands of them. It sold millions of them , thus creating a new market segmeny - the pony car . The pony car is easy to define. It was small by Detroit standards, with sporty styling. It had a back seat for your kids and a usable trunk for your stuff. And the rear wheels were driven by an engine — a V-8 engine ideally — mounted up front where God and Henry Ford intended. Pony cars may not have had the finesse of a European sports car, but they made up for it with brute force. A small-block V-8 can make up for a multitude of handling deficiencies. The success of the Mustang's launch , was much like the like the Beatles that same year . Popularity is everything .
Public reaction to the 1965 Ford Mustang was beyond even Ford's expectations, and "Mustang Fever" was soon a national epidemic . It was the same story everywhere. And why not? Mustang looked sharp and was priced right. The hardtop started at just $2368 f.o.b. Detroit, a fact naturally trumpeted in early advertising. Dealers couldn't get cars fast enough. Early models sold at or above retail -- with very unliberal trade-in allowances. To Dearborn's delight, most of these sales were "plus" business, with fully 53 percent of trade-ins being non-Ford products. Even better, the average 1965-66 Mustang left the showroom with a healthy $400 in options, contributing to gross profits for Ford Motor Company estimated at $1.1 billion for those two model years. Casting a glow over the entire Ford line, Mustang was largely responsible for lifting the division's market share from 20 percent to 22.5 percent by 1966, a sizable gain. Despite this runaway success, some automotive experts could muster only qualified enthusiasm for the Mustang. After all, wasn't it basically a humble Falcon beneath that striking exterior? Perhaps, yet somehow it didn't matter, certainly not to buyers. "That was the magic of this car," Ford chief Lee Iacocca said later. "It stood out, yet it was everyman's car." He might have added that women loved -- and bought -- Mustangs as much as men did. For 1965 the Ford Mustang debuted as a simple sports car powered by a 170 cid six cylinder with a pair of V8's as options. Originally named for the fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang and later the horse Mustang became the emblem. Buyers loved its low price, long hood, short trunk styling, and its many options and Ford loved its high volume sales. In mid 1964, Ford introduced the sporty 2+2 fastback body style to go along with the hardtop coupe and convertible. Enthusiasts also cheered the new "K-code" 271bhp 289 cid V8 that finally put some performance to match the Mustang's good looks. For those that wanted more, the legendary Carroll Shelby and Ford collaborated to produce the Shelby GT-350. This was a fastback specially tuned by Shelby. The 289 V8 produced 306bhp in street tune and around 360bhp in special GT-350R race tune. These Shelby's had no back seat, were only available in white and were fully race ready.
In all, there were minimal changes to the Mustang in 1966. Production began in August of 1965 and featured a line up of fastback , convertible and coupe . In all, Ford produced 607,568 total Mustangs in 1966. The car sported additional new colors, a redesigned grille, new instrument cluster, and new styled wheels. An automatic transmission became available for the âHi-Poâ V-8. Side scoops featured chrome trim with three wind-splits, and GT models received a new gas cap and driving lamps as standard equipment. There wâs no doubt that 1966 is one of the most popular Ford Mustang model years in the history of the car. In fact, March 1966 marked the creation of the millionth Mustang. Although the first few years were definitely good for Ford and its sporty Mustang, 1966 was the year all that hard work truly began to pay off. By 1966, most people began to associate the Ford Mustang with power and performance. It was the car to have if you needed a daily driver and it was the car to have if you needed a weekend cruiser with a sporty edge. Advertisements became popular reminders of the Mustangâs youthful spirit, such as one featuring two mature adults sitting in a new Mustang with the words, âYouth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.â It was the car to have it you were seeking the fountain of youth. It was the car to have if you were looking to win over your neighbor or hit the road for fun and adventure. The rear seat returned and more colors were offered on 1966 Shelby Mustangs, making them more consumer-friendly. The vents behind the windows were replaced with quarter windows on 1966 Shelbys to allow for more visibility. The fuel door wore a Cobra logo rather than the pony & tribar from '65. The first roughly 300 1966 Shelby G.T. 350s didn't get the "G.T. 350" decklid badge, but the rest did. Hertz corporation ordered 1,001 of the G.T. 350s to offer as rentals. The side stripes read "G.T. 350H", but the cars became know as "Rent-a-Racers." Some cunning Mustang owners would rent the Shelbys, swap the motor with the motor in their Mustangs, and return them to Hertz. At $17 per day and 17 cents per mile, it was a good bargain for a Shelby engine. It was "uncool" to own a former rental car, so many of the cars were debadged after they were ecommissioned. Thanks to the Shelby American Automobile Association, however, many of these cars have been found. More than 800 were made in black, and the other 200 or so were divided between red, green, blue, and white. Only the black models and a few white ones had stripes on the hood, but many owners added them to the other cars during restoration. Only six Shelby G.T. 350 Convertibles were produced in 1966, all different colors, making them the rarest of Mustang convertibles. Shelby also produced 11 supercharged 1966 G.T.350S
1967 was the only year for the GTA, which was a Mustang GT with an automatic transmission. They were available in coupe, fastback, or convertible and with either the 289 or 390 engine. Only 400 High Country Specials were made in 1967 available in Columbine Blue, Aspen Gold or Timberline Green. Eight Mustang Stallions were produced in 1967. They came with a 289 HiPo, 390, or 427 engine, GT equipment, 4-speed manual trans or C6 Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic transmission, special side vinyl treatment, limited slip rear axle, console, power steering, power disc brakes, deluxe steering wheel, deluxe seat belts, F70x14 wide oval belted tires, fold-down rear seat, Stallion emblems, Cougar taillights, and special steel wheels.
The Shelby G.T. 350 packed a 289cid Hi-Po, and the G.T. 500 got the 428. The cars were all fastbacks, but Shelbys got more body treatment than Shelbys of 1965 and 1966. The grille wore its bright lights in the middle with a Shelby logo on the passenger side. Some states' laws required that the fog lamps be moved to the outer edges of the grille, which actually allowed the car to breathe better by opening up the radiator. A few 1967 Shelbys had red marker lights inside the upper side scoops. Many states' laws didn't allow this either, and only 200 models left the factory with them. The trunk had a "ducktail" spoiler, and taillights off the Mercury Cougar ran nearly the full width of the car. The G.T. 500 models featured a padded roll bar and optional racing-style shoulder harnesses. A few Shelby coupes were made for TransAm racing because they were lighter than the fastbacks. Only one Shelby Super Snake was made in 1967. It was intended to be the first of 50, but no other Super Snake was built due to the retail price was $7,500 and a 427 Cobra could be bought for roughly the same amount. It was driven by Carroll Shelby at Goodyear's test track in Texas for tire promotion film production. Carroll recorded lap speeds over 150 mph and top speed of 170 mph! It was factory equipped with a unique blue narrow-wide-narrow Lemans Stripes; powered by a 520-horsepower lightweight 427 medium-riser engine with aluminum heads, tuned headers, 780 CFM Holley 4V carb, aluminum intake, oil cooler, remote filter, 4 speed trans backed up by a 4.11 Detroit locker rear end. It appeared on Ebay twice in late 2002, but the reserve was not met. Bids reached $169,100. Shelby de Mexico produced 169 1967 Shelbys, which were nearly identical to the U.S. versions. They were all powered by 289 V8s.Chevrolet Camaro, Mercury Cougar, Pontiac Firebird, and Plymouth Barracuda were all in Mustang's class in 1967, cutting into Mustang's sales figures. Still, Mustang outsold its nearest competitor, Cougar, by a three-to-one margin.
The 1968 Mustang received minor grille and trim changes to set it off from the 1967 model. Most obvious was the deletion of the horizontal grille bars and the deletion of the fake side scoops. New were the two side marker lights, thereby putting the Mustang in compliance with new government safety rules. Also new, in terms of safety was the use of a collapsible steering column. In the interior, a redesigned steering wheel was used along with different upholstery patterns. The 1968 models discontinued the "Pony Interior" in favor of a new deluxe interior package, which included special color options, brushed stainless steel or woodgrain trim, seat buttons, a tilt steering wheel, and special interior paneling. The 1968 models that were produced during 1968 were also the first year to incorporate 3 point lap belts as opposed to the standard lapbelts The air-conditioning option was fully integrated into the dash, the speakers and stereo were upgraded, and unique center and overhead consoles were options. The fastback model offered the option of a rear fold-down seat, and the convertible was available with folding glass windows. Gone too was the Rally-Pac, since the new instrument cluster had provisions for an optional tachometer and clock. Its size and shape also precluded the installation of the accessory atop the steering column. The GT/CS, or California Special , was visually based on the Shelby model and was only sold in Western states. Its sister, the 'High Country Special', was sold in the Denver area of Colorado . While the GT/CS was only available as a coupe, the 'High Country Special' model was available in fastback and convertible configurations in 1966 and 1967 and only as a coupe in 1968. The Mustang fastback gained popular culture status when used in the crime action - thriller , Bullitt (1968). Steve McQueen , as Lt.Frank Bullitt , drove a modified Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT fastback with 390 cu in (6.4 L) 4V engine, chasing two hitmen in a black 1968 Dodge Charger in the film's car chase through the streets of downtown San Francisco .
The previously optional 289 c.i. 225hp V-8 was replaced by a 302 c.i. version rated at 230 hp. Increased displacement was achieved by increasing the stroke of the 289 from 2.87 inches to 3.00 inches. The 2 barrel carburetor 289 (rated at 195 hp for 1968) was replaced mid-year by a 2 barrel 302 rated at 210 hp. Thus both 289 and 302 V-8 powered Mustangs were available in 1968. The base motor, the 200 c.i. six, remained unchanged while the 390 c.i. V-8 was rated at 325 hp., an increase of 5hp. Top engine option, was a version of Ford's famous 427 c.i. V-8. Featuring a Holley 600 cfm carburetor and available only with an automatic transmission, it was rated at 390 hp, quite a bit more than the 390 c.i. V-8. Few were sold as it was an expensive-$622.00- option. It was deleted from the option list in December 1967. To counter criticism that the Mustang couldn't hold its own against more powerful competitors, Ford, on April 1, 1968 Ford introduced a special version of the 428 c.i. V-8 for use in the Mustang, known as the 428 Cobra Jet. The Cobra Jet 428 was basically a production 428 V-8 but it was modified to produce more power. Rated at 335 hp, it actually produced more than 400hp. Available only with the GT Equipment Group, 428 CJ Mustangs also came with functional Ram Air, power front disc brakes and staggered rear shocks for 4-speed transmission cars. The C-6 three speed automatic was also available. A total of 2,253 fastbacks and 564 hardtops were built along with an unknown small number of convertibles. Goodyear Polyglas F70x14 tires made their debut on the 428CJ Mustangs. The GT Equipment Group was still available on the 230/325/390 hp Mustangs. Differences from the previous year were the new 14" styled steel wheels, (chromed or painted argent) with GT hubcaps, a new pop-open GT gas cap, new side "C" stripes and new quarter panel GT emblems. There was no separate GTA designation to differentiate automatic transmission equipped GTs. arger in the film's car chase through the streets of downtown San Francisco .
Though recognizably Mustang, the '69s somehow looked more "adult," more serious. Surprising many, the galloping horse and "corral" were gone from the grille, replaced by a small pony tri-color on the port side. The grille itself was visibly vee'd and made broader to cradle high-beam headlights at its outboard ends -- the first quad-lamp Mustang. Low beams nestled in the flanking "sugar scoops." The hood was also vee'd and slightly domed between newly peaked front fender lines leading to a more exaggerated hop- up. Instead of the signature body side sculpturing, hardtops and convertibles wore a more subtle "character" line trailing back and slightly downward from the nose to end just behind the door, with a slim, reverse-facing dummy air vent below. SportsRoofs capped the sideline with a simulated scoop faired into the hop-up, an echo of the discarded shorty fastback. Taillights again grouped into two clusters of three vertical lenses, but the back panel reverted from concave to flat. Rooflines changed too, with more steeply raked windshields and, for hardtops and convertibles, wider "formal" rear-roof quarters. The SportsRoof sported a "faster" roof sloping down to a vestigial spoiler, plus first-time rear-quarter windows, which flipped out instead of rolling down. All models lost front vent windows, adopting a new forced-air ventilation system with hidden extractor outlets. A big, round Mustang medallion replaced roof louvers on fastbacks. The instrument panel was naturally redesigned, still a "twin cowl" affair, but the cowls were more prominent. Lower surfaces on either side of the console were angled forward, which at least gave the illusion of extra leg space. Gauges sat ahead of the driver in four large, round recesses; a fifth hole ahead of the front passenger was used to house the clock. A debatable new extra was the "Rim-Blow" steering wheel ($66). Instead of pushing the wheel hub to sound the horn, you simply squeezed anywhere on the rim. Though supposedly a "blow" for convenience, the device worked a bit too well. Fast wheel twirling was often a comically noisy affair. Knudsen's comment about "models for specific segments of the market" only parroted a previous Ford decision to expand the Mustang line. The model year opened with two additions. One was the Grande, a personal-luxury hardtop pitching the same buyers as cousin Mercury Cougar and the Pontiac Firebird. Priced about $230 above the $2635 standard issue, the Grande featured a vinyl-covered roof with identifying name script; pointy color-keyed "racing" door mirrors; wire wheel covers; two-tone paint stripes beneath the beltline; and bright wheelwell, rocker panel, and rear-deck moldings. The interior was upgraded with standard clock, convincing imitation teakwood accents on the dash and door panels, and seats with "hopsack" cloth inserts and vinyl bolsters. Appropriate for its upscale character, the Grande got a slightly softer suspension than the base hardtop and an extra 55 pounds of sound insulation. Besides a more expansive package, the '69 Mustangs offered the widest choice of models and powertrains yet, with some introduced after the late-August 1968 showroom debut. The stalwart 200- and 250-cubic-inch sixes returned with 115 and 155 horsepower, respectively. The base 302 V-8 option remained at 220 horsepower, but the big-block 390 was back to 320, down five from '68. In between these was a pair of important new 351 small-blocks, more of which shortly. Again topping the list was the muscular Cobra Jet 428, available with and without ram-air induction but conservatively rated either way at 335 horsepower. The ansmissions were the usual three- and four-speed manuals and Cruise-O-Matic, but Ford actually used two different four-speeds and three different automatics depending on engine.
The Boss 302 Mustang was designed by Mr. Larry hinoda , a former GM em-ployee. He placed the unique reflective "c-stripe" strips on the car, and eliminated the fake rear fender scoops found on the 1969 Mustang model. The distinctive styling included optional black horizontal rear window shades, blackout hood, and was one of the first production cars with a front spoiler and rear deck wing. The name "Boss" came about when Shinoda was asked what project he was working on, he answered "the boss's car" because the project was a secret. Also Shinoda had called it the "Boss" as an homage to the new President of Ford Motor Co. , Semon E. Knutsen , who had brought Shinoda over from GM when Knudson had left. When the Mustang won the 1970 Trans-Am title, the name "Boss" was kept. A total of 7,013 were produced of the better-known 1970 model which was offered for $3,720. It is recognized by the side "hockey" stripes which started along the top of the hood, along with the 1970 grille which replaced the 4 headlights with two vents in the outside position, retaining two headlights within the grille opening. The dual exhaust system was redesigned, along with the competition suspension and a standard Hurst shifter. The intake valves were smaller, and aluminum valve covers replaced the chrome . Standard were disc brakes on the front, larger sway bars, heavier duty spindles, reinforced shock towers, a four speed manual trans, and the solid-lifter Boss 302 engine with its free-breathing Cleveland style heads, which had valves larger than most motors over a third larger in displacement.This "G Code" engine was rated at 290 hp (216 kW).[The 1970 car could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.9 seconds. The quarter mile (~400 m) took 14.6 seconds at 98 mph (158 km/h).[1970 saw a slight design change. Up front, the Mustang now had it's head lights stuck into the grille with scoops on the outer area of the grille set up in a three-line horizontal fashion. Going into the interior, the steering wheel was changed, but the Decor Group option was available for an extra nudge of comfort and beauty. Besides that, not much changed inside or anywhere on the car. As with the 1969 model year, the Boss 302 and 429 were offering such great performance that the Shelbys were becoming "less-needed" and not as exciting. This was the final year of Shelby Mustang production , though most were re-titled 1969 models . Ford made 96 Twister Specials for Kansas Ford dealers. They were Grabber Orange Mach 1s with special decals. Ford also made a few Sidewinders, which were built in Dearborn, shipped to Omaha, and sold in Iowa and Nebraska. They were available in Grabber Green, Grabber Blue, Calypso Corral, and Yellow. The stripes came in the trunk and the dealers had the option of installing them on the car. Boss 429 models , sported a 429 cubic inch hemi-head V-8 that required suspension modif - ications so it would fit. Only 499 Boss 429s were made in 1970. They were available in Grabber Blue, Grabber Green, Grabber Orange, Calypso Coral, and Pastel Blue. Interiors were black or white.
The Mustang was re-designed for 1971 , with reprised base and Grande hardtops, a new convertible, and Sportsroof fastbacks in regular and Mach 1 trim, plus a new Boss 351 version. Stylists didn't try to hide the expanded dimensions that Ford president Bunkie Knudsen and his product planners ordained. If anything, the new look seemed to emphasize the sudden growth spurt. Though wheelbase was stretched just an inch to 109 inches, overall length tacked on 2.1 inches to 189.5. More significant was a near three-inch gain in overall width, to 74.1 inches, matched by broader front/rear tracks of 61.5/61.0 inches. Height was fractionally reduced to 50.1 inches on SportsRoofs, 50.8 on other models. Though each of these changes was hardly colossal in itself, they collectively helped fatten the '71 Mustangs by some 500-600 pounds over comparable 1970s, with the heaviest models flattening the scales at over 1.5 tons. All very different from the lithe compact Ford started with just seven years before, which author Brad Bowling pointed out was some seven inches shorter and narrower, plus a good deal lighter. If the '71s were heavier by design, at least they were quite tasteful per Mustang tradition. All models wore a higher beltline swept up behind the door, rounded body sides relieved by a simple half-length crease line, and neatly cropped tails with the trademark triple taillamps, albeit squashed a bit and rounded at the corners. Bumpers were slim U-shaped beams snugged close to the body. Grilles were blunted and full-width, with a dual-beam headlamp at each end. Base models and the Grande capped hoods and fenders with a bright inverted-U molding curved down to meet the bumper ends as a sort of frame. Within the grille was a bright, broad rectangle bisected by a chrome horizontal bar carrying a corralled running horse -- back after a two-year absence. The Mach 1 and Boss 351 had their own face, with a black, honeycomb-texture grille insert, a small "pony tricolor" emblem in the middle, and flanking "sportlamps" -- amber running lights wired in with the headlamps. All models wore more steeply angled windshields, and hoods were extended back over the cowl to hide the windshield wipers, a dubious General Motors idea doubtless decreed by Knudsen and designer Larry Shinoda , both of whom had defected to Ford from GM with knowledge of the General's upcoming product line. Hardtops wore bulkier "buttressed" rear-roof quarters and shared a higher rear deck with convertibles. Luggage space, however, actually decreased to 8.1 cubic feet on those body styles. Exterior door handles shifted from pushbutton grips to a flush-mount pull-up style. Grande retained a standard vinyl roof covering (available in five colors), twin "racing" mirrors keyed to body paint, bright wheel-lip and rocker moldings, and body side pinstripes. Convertibles were upgraded to a standard power top with glass rear window and color-keyed boot, plus tinted windshield. The Mach 1 borrowed another contemporary GM styling gimmick: a front bumper covered in body-color polyurethane plastic (with matching upper grille frame). Though not as "squashable" as the similar Endura-covered noses of recent Pontiacs, the plastic wrap did ward off dings while lending a purposeful look appropriate for the model. Mach 1s also carried an angled chin spoiler; domed hood; honeycomb back-panel appliqué; bold body side tape stripes in black or argent (silver); and contrasting perimeter lower-body paint, again black or argent depending on main paint color. A freestanding Boss 302-type rear spoiler was available. A double-dome hood with simulated air scoops was a no-charge option. The scoops were functional when ordered with one of the top-power engines. GM cues were evident inside the new Mustang as well.
The 1972 Mustang continued to remain an excellent value with the basic six cylinder hardtop listing at $2,760 while the eight convertible sold for approximately $3,189. This reasonable pricing structure may have been partly the result of sales slipping to 150,000 units for the 1971 model series. These low sales figures convinced Ford that they had to return to the basic Mustang pony car design but the final execution known as the Mustang II was considered by many to be the worst Mustang series. In 1972, the 429CJ & SCJ's were dropped from the lineup, and horsepower dropped across the board. The following year also produced the fewest Mach 1 sales of the 1971-73 generation. There are no major differences in the '71 and '72 Mustangs externally, other than different script on the trunk panel. The only difference externally on the '72 Mach 1 was the deletion of the 71-only pop-open gas cap on the Mach 1 for the standard Mustang twist-on gas cap for '72 Mach 1s. Apparently, the pop-open gas caps were prone to spilling fuel in a rear end collision, so Ford discontinued their use across the board. The 302 was still the base engine, with 2 barrel or 4 barrel 351 Clevelands being the only options in the Mach 1 lineup. While the 1971 Mustang had "MUSTANG" in block letters across the width of the decklid, the 1972 model had a small "Mustang" script on the right side of the decklid. Government regulations required changes in the way engines were rated, and while the output remained the same from 1971, the horsepower ratings dropped damaging the image of the Mustang as a muscle car.
1972 onward would be a nonexistent time for performance Mustangs. An interesting elements during this time is how the auto manufacturers recalculated horsepower figures from gross to net horsepower. This meant that comparative horsepower's numbers would be reduced but pollution controls played a much stronger role in horsepower reduction, reducing the six cylinder model to 95 horsepower, the 302 cubic inch model to 136 horsepower and the 351 Cleveland to less than 275 horsepower. By this time the muscle car was dead - a victim of car manufacturers inability to cope with pollution control requirements. An interesting side note is the fact that today's six cylinder Mustang produces over twice the horsepower using substantially less fuel and reducing pollution by over 90 percent and at the same time delivering 50 percent better fuel efficiency. (The Ford engineers should be credited) . Mustang celebrated the 1972 Olympics iwith the Mustang Sprint. Sprints were white with blue rocker panel paint, hood stripes, and seat inserts and a USA shield on the rear quarter panel. All of the cars came with the standard "dog dish" hubcaps, but most owners have replaced them with Magnum 500 wheels. Ford made 800 Sprint fastbacks, and 50 convertibles were made for the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival. It was recently learned that 6247 Sprint coupes were also offered. Ford also offered Sprint models of their smaller Mavericks and Pintos.
The 1973 Mustang marked the end of the first generation. The 1973 grille was designed with larger "egg crate" holes, the turn-signals where integrated into the grille, and the headlight and taillight bezels where chrome. The front and rear bumpers were redesigned to handle the required Federal standards and the front bumper color matched. The engine choices of 1972 were back but with slightly better performance due to overall suspension and handling changes. The 1973 model year marked the end of the muscle Mustang with the last of the large engines and Mach 1 option. The fuel crisis had moved buyers' preferences from large, gas-guzzling muscle cars to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Due to government regulations, the 1973 Mustang would be the last Mustang convertible until 1983 . 1973 would be the last year for Mustang Grande . The Mach 1 lost it's pop-open fuel door, and the side stripes were lowered and thicker, with "Mach 1" written inside the stripe in front of the rear wheel rather than on the front fender behind the front wheel. Many forces converged by 1973 that signaled a change from the fast-and-furious start of the 2+2. Soaring gas and insurance costs and the addition of emissions and safety equipment brought the muscle car era to an end, and Ford began positioning the Mustang as a luxury car. The end of 1973 would begin a hiatus for both the V-8 engine and the convertible. The following year , the Mustang would be downsized to the Pinto platform , with power supplied by 4 cylinder and v-6 engines. Powerful Mustangs would not return until thr early '80s .
1964 TV Commercial ..... www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBot2MAewpY
1966 TV Commercial...... www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UKfaUisAYE&feature=related
1968 TV Commercial.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fm7y64UQbE&NR=1&feature=endscreen
1969 TV Commercial ... www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-de6iZFKq0&feature=related
1969 TV Commercial .... www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qSNtC3rHI&feature=related
1967 TV Commercial .... www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYD8w-nP89s&feature=related
1968 - ''Bullitt '' ........... www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=b4mLNnxZM38
1971 - ''Diamonds Are Forever'' ..... www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYCjjlOO5Dg
1973 - '' Gone In Sixty Seconds'' .... www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-TlxADdA4
2000 - '' Gone In Sixty Seconds'' .... www.youtube.com/watch?v=242ixkBIz8w&feature=related
Remember , when in doubt....
... Drive it like you're Steve Mc Queen !!