• Generation: 1964-1973 Mustang

First Generation Mustang (1964 - 1973)

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A Poor Man’s Mach 1: 1969 Mustang Fastback

A Poor Man’s Mach 1: 1969 Mustang Fastback

This 1969 Mustang Fastback is a one-of-46 Mach 1 bought from the Read More

In Search of a Rare 428SCJ Drag Pack Mustang Mach 1

In Search of a Rare 428SCJ Drag Pack Mustang Mach 1

Follow along as we take you inside a real-world Rare Find to discover Read More

1965 Mustang Hardtop - Father and Sons Project for the Ages

1965 Mustang Hardtop - Father and Sons Project for the Ages

Scott Horn’s 1965 Mustang hardtop is a father/sons project done Read More

The Tenth Shelby G.T. 350 Built was a Prototype

The Tenth Shelby G.T. 350 Built was a Prototype

From test car to prototype to movie star, this ’65 Shelby G.T. 350 Read More

Who’s The Boss in 1972? That would be the R-code 351 H.O. Mach 1

Who’s The Boss in 1972? That would be the R-code 351 H.O. Mach 1

When it comes to 1972 Mustangs, that would be the R-code 351 H.O. Mach Read More

The $7,000,000 Mustang

The $7,000,000 Mustang

This 1968 California Special Mustang went into hiding for 45 years. Read More

The Large Marge 1973 Mustang Returns!

The Large Marge 1973 Mustang Returns!

Large Marge, our 1973 Mustang coupe, gets some more much-needed love. Read More

Boss 429 Drag Racing Time Capsule

Boss 429 Drag Racing Time Capsule

Bob Leenstra’s 1969 Boss 429 is a rare dragstrip warrior Read More

Richard Blackman Wanted a 1968 Mustang Fastback That Was Anything But Ordinary

Richard Blackman Wanted a 1968 Mustang Fastback That Was Anything But Ordinary

Richard Blackman lived in rural San Diego County, California, for most Read More

Rare Find: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Hiding in Plain Sight in a Plater’s Shop

Rare Find: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Hiding in Plain Sight in a Plater’s Shop

Bob Perkins first saw this Bright Yellow 1970 Boss 302 Mustang more Read More

The Mustang Date Night Project

The Mustang Date Night Project

Adam and Tabetha Hammer’s 1966 Mustang is a family heirloom that Read More

Custom Boss 429 1967 Ford Mustang

Custom Boss 429 1967 Ford Mustang

Bruce Borchers’ Mustang may look like a mildly modified 1967 Read More

1969 Mustang Body on a 2014 GT500 Chassis? Yes Please!

1969 Mustang Body on a 2014 GT500 Chassis? Yes Please!

Jim Weigle’s 1969/2014 Mustang is an exercise in mating old and new Read More

A 1967 Ford Mustang 390 Convertible for Summer Time

A 1967 Ford Mustang 390 Convertible for Summer Time

With his wife’s permission (and the promise of her own Mustang), Read More

Perfectly Paired: Combining a 1969 Mustang with a 2013 Mustang

Perfectly Paired: Combining a 1969 Mustang with a 2013 Mustang

Tom Welle envisioned a Shelby clone but he ended up with something 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.