Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 11, 2014
Photos By: Ford Archives

Even as Lee Iacocca’s Fairlane Committee met clandestinely during 1961 to conceive their new sporty car that would become the Mustang, the group envisioned an gala introduction for their creation at the 1964 World’s Fair, scheduled to run for two seasons – April 22 through October 18, 1964, and April 21 through October 16, 1965. By introducing the Mustang at the Ford Pavilion on April 13, 1964, on the eve of the World’s Fair opening and just four days before the April 17 public introduction, the new car would garner tremendous media exposure. The deadline for Mustang development was set.

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Ford Division General Manager Lee Iacocca and Project Planning Manager Don Frey (both at right) posed during the World’s Fair introduction with other members of the team, from left to right: executive engineer Jack Pendergast, chief engineer Hans Matthias, product planning chief Hal Sperlich, Bert Andren, and Donald Petersen.

Even better, brand-new Mustangs – three each of four different colors - would join other Ford convertibles on the Ford Pavilion’s Magic Skyway, a Disney-designed ride that took riders through time, starting with prehistoric dinosaurs and rolling into the future. Twelve of the earliest built Mustangs were prepared for the 1964 World’s Fair; they were replaced in 1965 by a new batch of convertibles. According to Ford, each convertible carried up to 40,000 people. Mustangs were also used as display cars in front of the Ford Pavilion and within the main floor entrance area.

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