First introduced in 1964, the American Ford Mustang inspired a whole new class of sports coupes. The Ford Mustang was born out of the vision of Ford’s Vice President and General Manager, the legendary Lee Iacocca. He wanted to design a sports car that was nearly 4.5 metres long, could seat four people, had a floor-mounted gearshift and weighed less than 1,100 kilograms, all for less than $2,500. After months of meetings, discussions and market research, financing for the Mustang was finally approved in September 1962. On March 9, 1964, the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line, with the success it has become known for.
The first generation of Mustang engines
The choice of engines for Ford’s first generation muscle car began with :
- a 2.8-liter inline-six that developed only 101 horsepower;
- a 3.3-liter inline-six with 116 horsepower;
- a 4.7-litre in-line four-cylinder with 210 horsepower,
- a 220-horsepower 4.0-litre V8
- and, finally, the famous high-compression, high-power V8, the famous “K-code”, which develops 271 horsepower. Cars equipped with the “K-code” received a special badge on their front fenders indicating that it was the “High Performance” version.
Purists appreciated the standard three-speed manual transmission on each engine. However, a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission was also available.
The first Ford Mustangs
When the Mustang was conceived in the early 1960s by Ford’s design team, it had to meet very specific requirements. First and foremost, it had to be able to comfortably accommodate four adults. It also had to be equipped with a floor-mounted shift lever to appeal to those who wanted to race, but most importantly, it had to cost less than $2,500 to purchase.
The very first Mustang, which we now call 1964½, was available as a coupe or convertible. In total, close to 122,000 units were produced, and their popularity was undeniable. In 1965, the first full year of production, the 2+2 fastback was introduced with a more powerful V-8 289 engine. Nearly 560,000 units were sold that year, much to Ford’s surprise. However, the 1966 model year was the largest in Mustang history, with 607,568 cars sold in total. But this did not prevent the manufacturer from launching the 1967 Ford Mustang: the Ford Mustang Shelby!
In the years following the success of the first Mustang, its evolution was towards larger engines and a longer body. There were also special edition Mustangs and more options to choose from. In the late 1960s, competition from cars like the Camaro and Firebird made itself felt, so the Mustang was given more aggressive styling and more powerful engines, like the Boss 429.
Want to drive a Mustang? We have selected 3 ford mustang agents for you: elite auto, auto ies and lb automobiles. For an American ford mustang, prices generally run around €55,000, depending on the version.