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First Generation Mustang (1964 - 1973)

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One of the Rarest 1966 Ford Mustangs Ever Built

One of the Rarest 1966 Ford Mustangs Ever Built

One look at the car shown here along with its list of attributes makes Read More

Check Out the Subtle Custom Bodywork on This 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible

Check Out the Subtle Custom Bodywork on This 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible

Imagine if you had the resources and talent to build the Mustang of Read More

Rare Barn Find: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Rare Barn Find: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

VanDyne’s barn find was a ’70 Boss 302, white like the famous Read More

A 1967 Ford Mustang for a Champion Skier

A 1967 Ford Mustang for a Champion Skier

The car is Paul’s driver when the Canadian summer comes around, and Read More

Screaming Red 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback That Gets Driven, and Driven Fast

Screaming Red 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback That Gets Driven, and Driven Fast

Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story. This isn’t one of them, but Read More

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Illustrates How a Project Can Snowball

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Illustrates How a Project Can Snowball

If you’re into instant gratification, restoring a car might not be Read More

Reviving a 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 500 SCJ Convertible

Reviving a 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 500 SCJ Convertible

This time the car had to be special: it had to be rare, and it had to Read More

Factory Purple 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Factory Purple 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

How did Anghel document and match the original purple color? The Marti Read More

Rare 1971 Ford Mustang 429 CJ Ram Air Convertible

Rare 1971 Ford Mustang 429 CJ Ram Air Convertible

They only made 42 Mustang convertibles with the 429 Cobra Jet in 1971, Read More

The Playmate’s 1968 Ford Mustang G.T. 500KR Convertible

The Playmate’s 1968 Ford Mustang G.T. 500KR Convertible

Playmate of the Year Patti McGuire was given this Shelby G.T. 500KR Read More

Lowest-Mileage 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Found?

Lowest-Mileage 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Found?

We can’t wait to see this car done and on display at the 2016 MCA Read More

Barn Find 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 500 is a Diamond in the Rough

Barn Find 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 500 is a Diamond in the Rough

The barn find is a romanticized notion. You’ve heard the story a Read More

This 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback Will Never Be “Done”

This 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback Will Never Be “Done”

Most folks realize that their cars, while complete, will always be Read More

Ringbrothers’ Latest is a 1965 Ford Mustang Named Blizzard

Ringbrothers’ Latest is a 1965 Ford Mustang Named Blizzard

Owned by Dominick and Becky Farbo of Buffalo, New York, Blizzard is, Read More

Survivor 1973 Ford Mustang Convertible

Survivor 1973 Ford Mustang Convertible

We’re inspired by good survivor car stories at Mustang Monthly and Read More


About

In the early 1960s in response to the success of the Corvair Monza, Ford president Lee Iacocca formed a clandestine "Fairlane Committee" with other executives to explore the feasibility of developing a sporty compact car for the emerging Baby-Boomer generation. Knowing that Henry Ford II was still bitter about the recent failure of the Edsel, Iacocca and his group kept development costs low by utilizing existing drivetrains and basing the new car on the Falcon platform. After much debate about a name, "Mustang" was finally chosen, initially for the World War II fighter plane but later taking on an equestrian identity as a "wild horse of the western plains.

Ford introduced the '65 Mustang on April 13, 1964, at the New York World's Fair, followed by an elaborate marketing and advertising campaign prior to the car's public introduction on April 17. The new car was an immediate success, with dealers taking orders for 22,000 on the first day. Over 400,000 were sold in first 12 months; sales topped one million in the first two years. It remains one of the most successful car launches of all-time.

Based on evolving variants of the Falcon chassis, Mustangs produced from '65-'73 are recognized as the "first generation." When first introduced, '65 Mustangs were available as hardtops and convertibles with a fastback joining the line-up in August 1964. Cars built from March to mid-August 1964 are known as "'64½" models because they were produced during Ford's 1964 production cycle, although all first-year Mustangs carry a '65 Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

The first Mustang was a long hood, short rear deck design, providing a sports car profile in a four-seat configuration. A number of design cues – open grille, side sculpting to emulate rear brake scoops, and tri-bar taillights – would become Mustang styling features for the future.

In late 1964, Ford asked Carroll Shelby to prepare Mustang fastbacks for sports car racing. By removing the back seat and modifying the engine/suspension, Shelby created the GT 350, both as a street model and an SCCA race car, known as the "R-Model," which went on to win the 1965 B-Production championship. Shelby Mustangs were offered through '70.

Evolution

Marking the Mustang's first anniversary on April 17, 1965, Ford added a pair of packages to the Mustang's option list. To create the first GT Mustang, the GT Equipment Group included fog lamps, side stripes, "trumpet" exhaust tips, and heavy-duty suspension. A Décor Interior Group came with woodgrain trim, molded door panels, and unique bucket seats with embossed running horses, inspiring the name "Pony interior."

For 1967, the Mustang was updated for the first time with new, more sculpted sheetmetal and its own interior, as opposed to the Falcon-style interior of the earlier models. The Mustang also grew in size to accommodate the 390 big-block engine as an option. Shelby added a new GT 500 model with a dual-quad 428 engine. Mustang joined the musclecar ranks with the introduction of the 428 Cobra Jet engine for the GT on April 1, 1968. Earlier in 1968, Cobra Jet Mustangs won the Super Stock class at the NHRA Winternationals.

The 1969 Mustang grew once again, becoming more muscular in appearance. Two new models debuted – the Mach 1 for the fastback, now called "SportsRoof," and a luxury Grande for the hardtop. A Ram-Air option for the 428 Cobra Jet added a "Shaker" hood scoop that protruded through the hood. The Boss models were introduced at mid-year to homologate special engines for racing – the Boss 429 for NASCAR and the Boss 302 for Trans-Am. Parnelli Jones and George Follmer won the 1970 Trans-Am championship in Boss 302 Mustangs prepared by Bud Moore.

With larger engines predicted for the future, the '71 Mustang grew larger still, reaching almost intermediate size. The 428 Cobra Jet was replaced by the 429 Cobra Jet, while the Boss 302 gave way to the Boss 351 when Ford discontinued racing activities in the summer of 1970. With increasing insurance rates and stricter emissions requirements, the 429 disappeared in '72, leaving the four-barrel 351 as the top performance engine for '72-'73.