Red Ford Mustang: made in 1970
The Ford Mustang is a series of American automobiles manufactured by Ford. In continuous production since 1964, the Mustang is currently the longest-produced Ford car nameplate. Currently in its sixth generation, it is the fifth-best selling Ford car nameplate. The namesake of the “pony car” automobile segment, the Mustang was developed as a highly styled line of sporty coupes and convertibles derived from existing model lines, initially distinguished by “long hood, short deck” proportions.
First generation (1965)
Lee Iacocca’s assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project—supervising the overall development of the car in a record 18 months—while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed the German Ford Taunus V4 engine.
The original 1962 Ford Mustang I two-seater concept car had evolved into the 1963 Mustang II four-seater concept car which Ford used to pretest how the public would take interest in the first production Mustang. The 1963 Mustang II concept car was designed with a variation of the production model’s front and rear ends with a roof that was 2.7 in (69 mm) lower. It was originally based on the platform of the second-generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Gale Halderman’s side view design is the basis for the first clay model.
Several changes were made at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning August 1964), including the addition of back-up lights on some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, an upgrade of the six-cylinder engine from 170 to 200 cu in (2.8 to 3.3 L) with an increase from 101 to 120 hp (75 to 89 kW), and an upgrade of the V8 engine from 260 to 289 cu in (4.3 to 4.7 L) with an increase from 164 to 210 hp (122 to 157 kW). The rush into production included some unusual quirks, such as the horn ring bearing the ‘Ford Falcon’ logo covered by a trim ring with a ‘Ford Mustang’ logo. These characteristics made enough difference to warrant designation of the 121,538 early versions as “1964½” Mustangs, a distinction that has endured with purists.