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Information about Ford MustangThe Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Production began in Dearborn, Michigan on Mar. 9, 1964 (53 years ago) and the car was introduced to the public on Apr. 17, 1964 (53 years ago) at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's second oldest nameplate currently in production, although the F-Series pickup truck line has undergone major nameplate changes over the years. It was Ford's most successful launch since the Model A.
Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, suggested the name. An alternative view was that the Mustang name was first suggested by Robert J. Eggert, Ford Division market research manager. Eggert, a breeder of quarterhorses, received a birthday present from his wife of the book, The Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie in 1960 (57 years ago). Later, the book’s title gave him the idea of adding the “Mustang” name for Ford’s new concept car. As the person responsible for Ford’s research on potential names, Eggert added “Mustang” to the list to be tested by focus groups; “Mustang,” by a wide margin, ” came out on top under the heading: “Suitability as Name for the Special Car.”
The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobile — sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks — and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Chevrolet Camaro (9 walls), AMC's Javelin, and Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracuda. It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were exported to America.
Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971-1973 models, fans of the original 1964 (53 years ago) design wrote to Ford urging a return to its size and concept.
Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car that has remained in production without interruption after four decades of development and revision.
First generation (1964–1973)1964/65 MustangAs Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey, was the head engineer for the Mustang project — supervising the overall development of the Mustang in a record 18 months — while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The Mustang prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster, later to be remodeled as a four-seat car styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster — in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca.
To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$ 2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components. Much of the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from the Ford Falcon and Ford Fairlane (North American). Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond movie Goldfinger in sep. 1964 (53 years ago), the first time the car was used in a movie.
Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year, but in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built. All of these vehicles were VIN-identified as 1965 (52 years ago) models, but several changes were made at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning Aug. 1964 (53 years ago)), including the addition of back-up lights on some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, and an upgrade of the V-8 engine from 260 to 289 cubic-inch displacement. In the case of at least some six-cylinder Mustangs fitted with the 101 hp., 170 cu. in. Falcon engine, the rush into production included some unusual quirks, such as a horn ring bearing the 'Ford Falcon' logo beneath a trim ring emblazoned with 'Ford Mustang.' These characteristics made enough difference to warrant designation of the 121,538 earlier ones as "1964½" model-year Mustangs, a distinction that has endured with purists for the past 45 years and counting.
Second generation (1974–1978)The 1970 (47 years ago) brought about more stringent pollution laws and the 1973 (44 years ago) OPEC oil embargo. As a result, large, fuel-inefficient cars fell into disfavor, and the Pony Cars were no exception. Lee Iacocca, who became president of the Ford Motor Company in 1964 (53 years ago) and was the driving force behind the original Mustang, ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974 (43 years ago). Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.
The new model was introduced two months before the first "Energy Crisis" in Oct. 1973 (44 years ago), and its reduced size allowed it to compete more effectively against smaller imported sports coupés such as the Japanese Toyota Celica and the European Ford Capri (then Ford-built in Germany and Britain, sold in U.S. by Mercury as a captive import car). First-year sales were 385,993 cars, compared with the original Mustang's twelve-month sales record of 418,812.
Lee Iacocca wanted the new car, which returned the Mustang to more than a semblance of its 1964 (53 years ago) predecessor in size, shape, and overall styling, to be finished to a high standard, saying it should be "a little jewel." However not only was it smaller than the original car, but it was also heavier, owing to the addition of equipment needed to meet new U.S. emission and safety regulations. Performance was reduced, and despite the car's new handling and engineering features the galloping mustang emblem "became a less muscular steed that seemed to be cantering."
The car was available in coupé and hatchback versions. Changes introduced in 1975 (42 years ago) included reinstatement of the 302 CID V8 option (called the "5.0 L" although its capacity was 4.94 L) and availability of an economy option called the "MPG Stallion". Other changes in appearance and performance came with a "Cobra II" version in 1976 (41 years ago) and a "King Cobra" in 1978 (39 years ago).
Third generation (1979–1993)The 1979 (38 years ago) Mustang was based on the larger Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 (39 years ago) Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr). The interior was restyled to accommodate four people in comfort despite a smaller rear seat. The trunk was larger, as was the engine bay, for easier service access.
Body styles included a coupé, (notchback), and hatchback; a convertible was offered in 1983 (34 years ago). Available trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT, SVO (1984-86), Cobra, and Cobra R (1993, 24 years ago).
In response to slumping sales and escalating fuel prices during the early 1980s, a new Mustang was in development. It was to be a variant of the Mazda MX-6 assembled at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enthusiasts wrote to Ford objecting to the proposed change to a front-wheel drive, Japanese-designed Mustang without a V8 option. The result was a major facelift of the existing Mustang in 1987 (30 years ago), while the MX-6 variant became the 1989 (28 years ago) Ford Probe.
Fourth generation (1994–2004)In 1994 (23 years ago) the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. Code named "SN-95" by Ford, it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel drive Fox platform called "Fox-4." The new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporated several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time a hatchback coupe model was unavailable.
The base model came with a 3.8 OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at 145 hp (108 kW; 1994-1995) or 150 hp (112 kW; 1996-1998) and was mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Though initially used in the 1994 (23 years ago) and 1995 (22 years ago) Mustang GT, Ford retired the 302cu overhead-valve small-block V8 after nearly 40 years of use, replacing it with the newer Modular 4.6 L (281 cid) SOHC V8 in the 1996 (21 years ago) Mustang GT. The 4.6 L V8 was initially rated at 215 hp (160 kW; 1996-1997) but was later increased to 225 hp (168 kW; 1998 (19 years ago)).
For 1999 (18 years ago), the Mustang received Ford's New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork, but its basic proportions, interior design, and chassis remained the same as the previous model. The Mustang's powertrains were carried over for 1999 (18 years ago) but benefitted from new improvements. The standard 3.8 L V6, thanks to a new split-port induction system, now produced 190 hp (142 kW; 1999-2004) while the Mustang GT's 4.6 L V8 saw an increase in output to 260 hp (194 kW; 1999-2004), thanks to a new head design and other enhancements. There were also two alternate models offered in this generation that included the 2001 (16 years ago) Bullitt GT and the 2003 (14 years ago) and 2004 (13 years ago) Mach 1.
Fifth generation (2005–Present)At the 2004 (13 years ago) North American International Auto Show, Ford introduced a completely redesigned Mustang, codenamed "S-197," that was based on an all-new D2C platform for the 2005 (12 years ago) model year. Developed under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer Sid Ramnarace, the fifth-generation Mustang's styling echoes the fastback Mustangs of the late 1960 (57 years ago). Ford's senior vice president of design, J Mays, called it "retro-futurism."
The fifth-generation Mustang is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. The base model is powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC V6, which replaces the 3.8 L pushrod V6 used previously. The Mustang GT features an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft timing (VCT) that produces 300 hp (224 kW). The 2005 (12 years ago) Mustang GT has an approximate weight to power ratio of 11.5 lb/bhp. The base Mustang comes with a standard Tremec T-5 5-speed manual transmission while Ford's own 5R55S 5-speed automatic, a Mustang first, is optional. Though the Mustang GT features the same automatic transmission as the V6 model, the Tremec T-5 manual is substituted with the heavier duty Tremec TR-3650 5-speed manual transmission to better handle the GT's extra power.
For 2010 (7 years ago), Ford unveiled a redesigned Mustang prior to the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The 2010 (7 years ago) Mustang remains on the D2C platform and mostly retains the previous-year's drivetrain options. The Mustang received a thoroughly revised exterior, with only the roof panel being retained, that is sculpted for a leaner, more muscular appearance and better aerodynamic performance (coefficient of drag has been reduced by 4% on V6 models and 7% on GT models ).
The V6 for base Mustangs remains unchanged, while the Mustang GT's 4.6 L V8 has been revised to specifications similar to that of the 2008-2009 Mustang Bullitt's 4.6 L V8, resulting in 315 hp (235 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque @ 4250 rpm. Other mechanical features for the 2010 (7 years ago) Mustang include new spring rates and dampers to improve ride quality and control, standard traction control system and stability control system on all models, and new wheel sizes. For the Mustang GT, two performance packages were made available. Other new features and options for the 2010 (7 years ago) Mustang include Ford SYNC, dual-zone automatic climate control, an updated navigation system with Sirius Travel Link, a capless fuel filler, and a reverse camera system to aid in backing up.
The 2010 (7 years ago) Mustang was released in the spring of 2009 (8 years ago).
RacingThe Mustang made its first public appearance on a racetrack little more than a month after its Apr. 17 introduction, as pace car for the 1964 (53 years ago) Indianapolis 500.
The same year, Mustangs achieved the first of many notable competition successes, winning first and second in class in the Tour de France international rally. The car’s American competition debut, also in 1964 (53 years ago), was in drag racing, where private individuals and dealer-sponsored teams campaigned Mustangs powered by 427 cu. in. V8s.
In late 1964 (53 years ago), Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 (52 years ago) drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs made their competition debut at the 1965 (52 years ago) NHRA Winternationals, where they qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the class.
A decade later Bob Glidden won the Mustang’s first NHRA Pro Stock title.
Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) six divisions in 1965 (52 years ago). Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-Production national championship. GT 350s won the B-Production title again in 1966 (51 years ago) and 1967 (50 years ago). They also won the 1966 (51 years ago) manufacturers’ championship in the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am series, and repeated the win the following year.
In 1969 (48 years ago), modified versions of the 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302 took 295 United States Auto Club-certified records at Bonneville Salt Flats. The outing included a 24-hour run on a 10-mile course at an average speed of 157 miles an hour. Drivers were Mickey Thompson, Danny Ongais, Ray Brock and Bob Ottum.
Boss 429 engines powered Ford Torinos in 1969 (48 years ago) and 1970 (47 years ago) NASCAR racing.
In 1970 (47 years ago) the Mustang won the manufacturers’ championship in the Trans-Am series once again, with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer driving. Jones won the drivers’ title. Two years later Dick Trickle won 67 short-track feature races, a national record for wins in a single season.
In 1975 (42 years ago) Ron Smaldone's Mustang became the first-ever American car to win the Showroom Stock national championship in SCCA road racing.
Mustangs also competed in the IMSA GTO class, with wins in 1984 (33 years ago) and 1985 (32 years ago). In 1985 (32 years ago) John Jones also won the 1985 (32 years ago) GTO drivers’ championship; Wally Dallenbach Jr., John Jones and Doc Bundy won the GTO class at the Daytona 24 Hours; and Ford won its first manufacturers’ championship in road racing since 1970 (47 years ago). Three class wins went to Lynn St. James, the first woman to win in the series.
1986 brought eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers’ title. Scott Pruett won the drivers’ championship. The GT Endurance Championship also went to Ford.
In drag racing Rickie Smith’s Motorcraft Mustang won the International Hot Rod Association Pro Stock world championship.
In 1987 (30 years ago) Saleen Autosport Mustangs driven by Steve Saleen and Rick Titus won the SCCA Escort Endurance SSGT championship, and in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing a Mustang again won the GTO class in the Daytona 24 hours. In 1989 (28 years ago), its silver anniversary year, the Mustang won Ford its first Trans-Am manufacturers’ title since 1970 (47 years ago), with Lynn St. James winning the drivers’ championship. In 1997 (20 years ago), Tommy Kendall’s Roush-prepared Mustang won a record 11 consecutive races in Trans-Am to secure his third straight driver’s championship.
In 2002 (15 years ago) John Force broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national championship in his Ford Mustang Funny Car, Force beat that record again in 2007 (10 years ago), becoming the first ever 14-time champion, again, driving a Mustang.
Currently Mustangs compete in several racing series, including the Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup and the KONI Challenge, where it won the manufacturer's title in 2005 (12 years ago) & 2008 (9 years ago), and the Formula Drift and D1 Grand Prix series. They are highly competitive in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT Series.
As reported by Jayski.com, the Ford Mustang will be Ford's Car of Tomorrow for the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 (7 years ago), opening a new chapter in both Mustang's history and Ford's history.
AwardsThe 1965 (52 years ago) Mustang won the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design, the first automobile ever to do so.
The Mustang was on the Car and Driver Ten Best list in 1983 (34 years ago), 1987 (30 years ago), 1988 (29 years ago), 2005 (12 years ago), and 2006 (11 years ago). It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 1974 (43 years ago) and 1994 (23 years ago).
In 2005 (12 years ago) it was runner-up to the Chrysler 300 for the North American Car of the Year award and was named Canadian Car of the Year.
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