The first Ford Mustang, brainchild of Lee Iacocca (part two, final)

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Purchasing classics there

On Tuesday 2 July 2019 Lee Iacocca died in his home in Bel Air. The son of an Italian immigrant made a name for himself in the car industry, caused a true marketing revolution at Ford (56 for '56) and was the spiritual father of the Ford Mustang. He unleashed a huge sales success. On 9 July we described 2019 part One of the history of the primordial Mustang. In this second and last part we describe the further developments of the first generation.

Bearing in mind the American custom, the first adjustments were made shortly after the debut. In addition to adding the Fastback 2 + 2 variant for the 1964 model year announced in August 1965, adjustments were also made to the Ford Mustang's calling card: the grille changed. The emblem was now "worn" by four chrome strips. More important was the divergence of the 2.8 block. An 3.273 cc measuring power source found its way into the most basic Ford Mustang from now on. The basic Fastback - the new model variant - was also equipped with it. Furthermore, a line was drawn through the 4.3 block.

289 cu block

That was already upgraded to the 1964 V4.7 Windsor block in the course of 8, better known to experts as the 289cu block. This power source also received several power variants, ranging from 203 to 275 PK. The latter variant is also known as Windsor HiPo (High Performance) and has already found its way into the Fairlane. In the lower power scales, the block was fitted with a dual carburetor. The strongest sources of power were fitted with a four-fold carburetor. Another technical adaptation of applying a dynamo instead of an electric generator.

Increasingly complete

A floor poker that is available in multiple colors also found its way to the Ford Mustang, which from AM model 1965 was also fitted with an AM radio as standard. For the 1966 model year, the dashboard (the tire speedometer was replaced by round clocks) and safety features were adjusted. In addition, the 4.7 V8 in 228 PK variant could be equipped with the Ford "cruise-o-matic", a new three-speed automatic. The grille, which was changed from honeycomb to slot construction, lost its four chrome strips. The quarter panel behind the door did get extra chrome. The 1966 model variant is the best-selling product to this day - and probably for years to come: 607.568 units found their way to the buyer.

Personalization avant la lettre

With the Mustang, Ford also proved to be ahead of its time at the equipment level. The Ford Mustang, after all - certainly from the model year 1965 - also became the symbol of a largely personalizable car and could be equipped with numerous options (such as air conditioning, center console, wood accents, high-quality materials) and packages. The most popular addition was the GT equipment package. The Mustang received a sporty clock shop, a grille with fog lamps, a V8 block (usually the 228 PK variant) and disc brakes.


The variant that unmistakably belongs to the primal Mustang is the Shelby Mustang GT 350. Ford could not resist Caroll Shelby's offer to build Mustangs. The Shelby was partly designed for racing purposes. In order to be admitted to the world of competitive driving, people were forced to build at least 100 units. That succeeded in a period of a few days. The GT-350 was fitted with the Windsor V8 block with a displacement of 4.736 cc and a power of 310 PK. He ran the Shelby GT-350 to a top of 225 kilometers per hour. 1965 units of this variant were built in 562. 1966 followed in 1.444, six of which were convertibles. A large part was intended for car rental company Hertz (black with gold striping) and was not built for sales purposes. All GT-350 models - with the exception of the six convertibles - were based on the Fastback 2 + 2.

Primordial Mustang: incredibly successful and breeding ground for the new generation

The very first series of the Ford Mustang was built from 1964 to 1966 in total almost 1,3 million times. That was an unimaginable achievement that even the Ford leadership thought was impossible. It placed the introduction loop “The Unexpected” in a glorious perspective. And not only that. The enormous success of the Ford Mustang is the breeding ground in everything for the popularity that the historic Ford enjoys to this day.


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