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First Generation Mustang (1964 - 1973) Page:3

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The Best 1970 Boss 429 Mustang in the World

The Best 1970 Boss 429 Mustang in the World

This Grabber Blue 1970 Boss 429 is the one and only 1970 Boss 429 to Read More

This 1969 Ford Mustang Has Worn Several Hats Over 3 Decades

This 1969 Ford Mustang Has Worn Several Hats Over 3 Decades

If you have ever torn into a Mustang for a restoration or paint and Read More

One-Off: The Mustang II Styling Exercise That Set the World on Fire

One-Off: The Mustang II Styling Exercise That Set the World on Fire

The 1963 1/2 Mustang II show car was the work of marketing genius Read More

A 700hp 1965 Mustang Fastback Built to Thrill

A 700hp 1965 Mustang Fastback Built to Thrill

While we don’t cover Mustangs made after 1978, it is still fairly Read More

The Saga of the Polaris Racing 1971 Mustang

The Saga of the Polaris Racing 1971 Mustang

The Kawneer Corporation was a metal fabrication shop that specialized Read More

10 Fastest Production Mustangs

10 Fastest Production Mustangs

With all the great Mustangs built over the years, which is the Read More

Wow! 1967 Shelby GT500 Left for Dead?

Wow! 1967 Shelby GT500 Left for Dead?

I’d also been told that there was something beyond belief on the way Read More

“Barn Find” Shelby KR Convertibles in Iowa Cornfield

“Barn Find” Shelby KR Convertibles in Iowa Cornfield

The cars you see in this story don’t live up to the true “barn Read More

Craigslist Gold! 1966 Shelby G.T. 350H Rare Find

Craigslist Gold! 1966 Shelby G.T. 350H Rare Find

The 1966 Shelby G.T. 350H was collaboration between Carroll Shelby and Read More

Nicest and Most Original 1969 Boss 429 Mustang on the Planet

Nicest and Most Original 1969 Boss 429 Mustang on the Planet

Hoards of car lovers insist that a person cannot enjoy a car unless Read More

Incredible Find! 1968 Hertz Shelby G.T. 350 Uncovered After 24 Years in Storage

Incredible Find! 1968 Hertz Shelby G.T. 350 Uncovered After 24 Years in Storage

Dave Tadder felt a jolt of depression course through his body when the Read More

Project Large Marge: How to Bend and Flare Brake Lines

Project Large Marge: How to Bend and Flare Brake Lines

Find out how we bend and flare brake lines on a 1973 Ford Mustang. Read More

This Week’s Mustang Girl Monday is Paige Seaman and her 1969 Mustang
Category: features

This Week’s Mustang Girl Monday is Paige Seaman and her 1969 Mustang

It's Mustang Girl Monday brought to you by Team Mustang Girls. This Read More

A True Father/Daughter Project Car Build: 1966 Mustang Convertible

A True Father/Daughter Project Car Build: 1966 Mustang Convertible

Paul Fix wanted to do a Mustang buildup with his daughter Shelby, so Read More

Amazing Rare Find! 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 “Carryover” Stored Since 1976

Amazing Rare Find! 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 “Carryover” Stored Since 1976

Those were the words of Coy Harvey, who works for a pest control 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.