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First Generation Mustang (1964 - 1973)

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Radical! Widebody 1971 Ford Mustang

Radical! Widebody 1971 Ford Mustang

We’re sufficiently intrigued by Angelo’s scheme and handiwork to Read More

She’s Done! Our Project 1965 Mustang Hardtop Hits the Road Again

She’s Done! Our Project 1965 Mustang Hardtop Hits the Road Again

This is Part 4 in our series on Project Road Warrior, Courtney Read More

It’s Groovy, Baby! Rare 1969 Mustang SportsRoof Barn Find

It’s Groovy, Baby! Rare 1969 Mustang SportsRoof Barn Find

Hidden behind a horse barn in rural Pennsylvania, this 1969 Mustang Read More

The Best Mustang You Could Buy in 1971

The Best Mustang You Could Buy in 1971

Scott Skalitzky’s 1971 429 Super Cobra Jet Mach 1 is already a Read More

Rare Air: A Two-Owner 1965 K-Code Ford Mustang Convertible

Rare Air: A Two-Owner 1965 K-Code Ford Mustang Convertible

Any 1965-1966 K-code Mustang is a rare car, but a Raven Black Read More

1965 Mustang Tames the Tail of the Dragon

1965 Mustang Tames the Tail of the Dragon

This spectacular road packs 318 curves in 11 miles, and is heaven for Read More

Mustang Girl Monday: Tina MacGregor

Mustang Girl Monday: Tina MacGregor

Mustang Girl Monday is a new addition to Mustang-360.com, wherein we Read More

1967 Mustang Fastback Taken To The Next Level

1967 Mustang Fastback Taken To The Next Level

Classic Muscle Motor Company in Daytona Beach, Florida, Creates Their Read More

How To Install Holley Terminator EFI
Category: engine

How To Install Holley Terminator EFI

Another way to convert from a carburetor to modern, self-learning Read More

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500CR with the Latest 21st-Century Upgrades

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500CR with the Latest 21st-Century Upgrades

With more than 800 horsepower, Jay Jancetic’s GT500CR is certainly Read More

Check Out Original 1967 Shelby GT500 that Rolled into Donut Derelicts

Check Out Original 1967 Shelby GT500 that Rolled into Donut Derelicts

La Verne’s 1967 Shelby GT500, is not for sale and speaking for my Read More

The Recreation of the Thomas Crown Affair Movie Mustang

The Recreation of the Thomas Crown Affair Movie Mustang

In the rich and diverse history of movie Mustangs, the highly unusual, Read More

Update Your Vintage Mustang With Modern Bolt-on EFI
Category: engine

Update Your Vintage Mustang With Modern Bolt-on EFI

In the not too distant past, to add fuel injection to your vintage Read More

DIY: Put a Custom Interior in Your Mustang

DIY: Put a Custom Interior in Your Mustang

Upgrading Project Road Warrior’s stock ’65 interior with new Read More

A 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Found in a Junkyard!

A 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Found in a Junkyard!

In some cases, real Boss 429s may have indeed gone to the junkyard. 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.