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2022 07 05 CCC Blog Post - A Short History of the Ford Mustang - Collector Car Canada

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2022 07 05 CCC Blog Post – A Short History of the Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang 5th Generation

Ford Mustang Fifth Generation

2022 07 05 CCC Blog Post – A Short History of the Ford Mustang

The origins of the Ford Mustang can be traced back to the early 1960s, when Lee Iacocca, then-VP and GM of Ford was charged with developing a new car that would appeal to younger generations to boost Ford Sales. Iacocca wanted to focus on 3 main distinguishing features for the Mustang: he wanted the car to be fun to drive, look great, and have a powerful engine. These three pillars of the Mustang are not only the link between the Mustangs of the past and present, but they are also what makes the car stand out from the competition. Upon unveiling the Mustang was instantly a fan favorite, the first of the “pony cars” was expected to sell 100,000 units in the first year; What ended up happening was completely unexpected as the Mustang sold 22,000 units in its first day of sales, then went on to sell almost 700,000 units of 1965 models, almost seven times the expected amount.
The first generation of the Mustangs ran from mid-1964 till 1973. Although the first generation Ford Mustangs were marketed as 1965 models, in late 1965 the model that had sold 120,000 was subject to change. Hence, enthusiasts refer to the two models of 1965 as the 1964 ½ model along with the later models as 1965. The fastback body style was added to the Mustang lineup in late 1965 after the convertible and notchback models were introduced at launch. Customers could configure their Mustang as anything from a base runabout to a weekend race vehicle because of the abundance of options and powertrain choices. The Mustang had changes happening to the first generation in 1966, 1967, 1969, & 1971, all of which made the car bigger and heavier, negatively impacting sales.

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Ford Mustang 1st Generation

We are currently auctioning a first-generation Mustang, with loads of pictures and videos – click here to see and bid on it.

The second generation of the Mustang had a relatively short-lived production span ranging from 1974 to 1978. However, it did address many complaints that people had with the original Mustang line getting wider and heavier. The second-generation Ford Mustang was a light subcompact car that came with either a notchback or a hatchback design, these Mustangs rejuvenated the line and made the Mustang II MotorTrend’s car of the year in 1974, boosting sales. In the end, the hype was short-lived and the car couldn’t sell 200,000 units annually from 1975-‘78.
The third generation of Ford’s storied muscle car, the Fox Body Mustang, ran from 1979 until 1993. Since it utilized the Fox platform, these examples became known as the Fox Body Mustangs. The Fox Body is one of the longest-lasting generations, undergoing a number of significant alterations over time.Many people view the Fox Body as a return to what made the original Mustang successful. It improved upon the shortcomings of the Mustang II. The Fox Bodies were well-liked at the time, in recent years their appeal has increased even further.

Ford Mustang 2nd Generation
Ford Mustang 3rd Generation

Second-generation Mustang II, above, and Third-generation Fox body, right

The Ford Mustang underwent its first significant redesign since 1979 with the fourth generation of the car. The 1994 Mustang was given the codename “SN-95” before making its debut in the fall of 1993. This generation of Mustang was the first to not feature a “notchback” coupe type since the original Mustang. The fourth generation Ford Mustang was in production from 1994 till 2004.  Ford gave the Mustang a facelift in 1999 stepping away from the 1994 Jelly Bean design using the “New Edge” stylistic theme. The V-6 was increased to 190 horsepower, while the V-8 generated a more prodigious 260 horsepower. The first Mustang with an independent rear suspension was the 1999 SVT Cobra.
At the 2004 North American International Auto Show, Ford unveiled the redesigned 2005 model Mustang.  J Mays, senior vice president of design at Ford, described this new generation as “retro-futuristic” because it has a retro feel combined with period modern looks. The fifth generation of the Ford Mustang ran from 2005 till 2014. In 2010 The Mustang did get a reskin which featured sequential tail lights, as used on the 1964 Thunderbird, 1967 Mercury Cougar, and 1968 Shelbys – though not on the original Mustang. The Mustang also got a new 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower and a brand-new 5.0-liter V-8, producing an impressive 412 horsepower in 2011.

Ford Mustang 5th Generation

Fourth-generation Mustang “New Edge”, above, and Fifth-generation Mustang “Retro-Futuristic”
(Fourth-gen. 
photo credit: Motor Trend)

The sixth generation Mustang began life as a 2015 model, offering a slightly wider body, a trapezoidal grille, a 2.75-inch lower decklid, and new colors. Some of these were major design updates from the fifth generation, there were also three different engine choices for the 2015 model: a 2.3L I4 ecoBoost,a V6 and a V8 . The Car trim levels were updated for 2018 and the V-6 was cancelled.

As with any profile of the history of Mustang we are limited by space.  Two versions we ran out of space to discuss are the Shelbys, universally revered by Mustang lovers as well as the modern-day Mach E, which, well…

Ford Mustang 6th Generation

Sixth-generation Mustang

Are you a Mustang lover?  What generation do you like best?  What specific year and trim?  Please post a comment, we read all of them and value your opinions.

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