• Generation: 1964-1973 Mustang

First Generation Mustang (1964 - 1973)

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Bullitt on the Outside, Shelby on the Inside

Bullitt on the Outside, Shelby on the Inside

John Jeffers has owned this 1967 Mustang since 1980. This is John’s Read More

From Garage Hermit To Gold Award Winner 1967 Ford Mustang

From Garage Hermit To Gold Award Winner 1967 Ford Mustang

Stored in the same garage for 50 years, this 1967 Springtime Yellow Read More

This 1970 Boss 302 “Barn Find” is Preserved, not Restored

This 1970 Boss 302 “Barn Find” is Preserved, not Restored

Les Baer’s 1970 Boss 302 may be the first car to which the words Read More

Three Reasons Why: This Is the Best Restored Mustang Ever

Three Reasons Why: This Is the Best Restored Mustang Ever

Bob Perkins believes this Boss 429 is the best Mustang restored Read More

He Bought His 1971 Mustang Mach 1 New as a Teenager, Sold it to his Uncle, and Bought it Back 28 Years Later

He Bought His 1971 Mustang Mach 1 New as a Teenager, Sold it to his Uncle, and Bought it Back 28 Years Later

As a kid, Mike Querio spent hours leafing through car magazines, Read More

Chip Foose Builds A Full Custom 1971 Mustang SportsRoof

Chip Foose Builds A Full Custom 1971 Mustang SportsRoof

Chip Foose melds 1971 and 2011 to create a one-of-a-kind, Read More

Original-Owner 1967 GT 390 Fastback Dug Out of the Dirt

Original-Owner 1967 GT 390 Fastback Dug Out of the Dirt

Wayne Kaiser found this original-owner, 43,000-mile 1967 GT 390 Read More

Acapulco Blue 1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Has Tasca Provenance & Date-Code Detail

Acapulco Blue 1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Has Tasca Provenance & Date-Code Detail

As Paul Rosina tells the story, he may have been one of Kevin Read More

Under-the-Radar 1969 Cobra Jet Mustang

Under-the-Radar 1969 Cobra Jet Mustang

Tim Tomezak’s 1969 Cobra Jet Mustang SportsRoof is rare to be Read More

Flashback! Pro Street 1966 Mustang for Today

Flashback! Pro Street 1966 Mustang for Today

From houses to powerhouses: Mike Devorak built a badass Pro Street Read More

A Rare Raven Black 1966 Shelby G.T. 350

A Rare Raven Black 1966 Shelby G.T. 350

Jim Wicks’ 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 was ordered by a “savvy shopper” Read More

Free Mustang for a Month!

Free Mustang for a Month!

In 1964, Lee Iacocca presided over the most successful vehicle launch Read More

Race Pacer 1970 Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet Mustang

Race Pacer 1970 Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet Mustang

This Grabber Orange 1970 Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet Mustang was used as a Read More

Dick Brannan’s “Bronco” A/FX Mustang
Category: features

Dick Brannan’s “Bronco” A/FX Mustang

Check out this color photo of Ford Drag Team’s Dick Brannan and his Read More

Dream Giveaway’s 2018 Mustangs Announced
Category: features

Dream Giveaway’s 2018 Mustangs Announced

You can win both a 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt recreation AND a 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.