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Brief History of the Early Mustang

Brief History of the Early Mustang
In the early '60s the only American sports car was the Corvette at a price too high for most. The Thunderbird had grown into a large luxury car. Imported sports cars were selling well. Within a few years the post-war baby boomers would be buying their first car. The Mustang II concept car generated a lot of excitement and led directly to the first Mustang less than a year later.

Ford was not unaware of how popular the car would be. They announced when the first television commercial would be shown and 29 million people tuned in to see it. The next day, the first day of availability, Ford sold 22,000 Mustangs.

Mustang I prototype
Unveiled in 1962 at the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen.

Mustang II prototype
Debued in 1963. Similar to the production model with a 271 HP 289 V8.

Press conference at the unveiling of the Mustang

First Mustang off the assembly line

One of the first magazine ads
Mustang, introduced in April 1964, was built on the compact Falcon's platform and came with a Falcon suspension--soft springs and four-wheel drum brakes. The '64½ was actually considered a '65 by Ford, but many people now use the terms to differentiate changes made by Ford after mid-August 1964. At this time there were engine changes, the Mustang switched from a generator to an alternator.
The car was 181 inches long. It was originally offered with three engines-a 170 C.I. six cylinder, a 260 C.I. 2 bbl V8 or a 289 C.I. 4 bbl V8 and came with a three-speed, four-speed or automatic.

1965 GT

1966 Fastback

1967 GT

1968 Shelby GT350

1969 Mach I

1970 Boss 429

1970 Mach I

1971 Boss 351

1973 SportsRoof

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