Is this the best way in which american muscle can be defined as? Well, the Mustang just might be it. It's got a legacy which is very unique, it's such a great car that wherever you take it, it still turns a lot many heads.
The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced early on April 17, 1964, dubbed as a "1964½" model by Mustang fans, the 1965 Mustang was the automaker's most successful launch since the Model A. The model is Ford's third oldest nameplate in production and has undergone several transformations to its current fifth generation.Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobiles—sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks—and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Chevrolet Camaro, AMC's Javelin, and Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracuda. It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Mercury Capri, which were exported to the United States.
Production of the 1965 Mustang (VIN coded by Ford and titled as 1965 models) began in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's third oldest nameplate currently in production next to the F-Series pickup truck line (which has undergone major nameplate changes over the years) and the Falcon that is still in production in Australia.
Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is credited by Ford to have suggested the name. He was involved in design work on the prototype Ford Mustang I. An alternative view was that Robert J. Eggert, Ford Division market research manager, first suggested the Mustang name. Eggert, a breeder of quarterhorses, received a birthday present from his wife of the book, The Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie in 1960. Later, the book’s title gave him the idea of adding the “Mustang” name for Ford’s new concept car. The designer preferred Cougar or Torino (and an advertising campaign using the Torino name was actually prepared), while Henry Ford II wanted T-bird II. As the person responsible for Ford’s research on potential names, Eggert added “Mustang” to the list to be tested by focus groups; “Mustang,” by a wide margin, came out on top under the heading: “Suitability as Name for the Special Car.” The name could not be used in Germany, however, because it was owned by Krupp, which had manufactured trucks between 1951 and 1964 with the name Mustang. Ford refused to buy the name for about US$10,000 from Krupp at the time. Kreidler, a manufacturer of mopeds, also used the name, so Mustang was sold in Germany as the "T-5" until December 1978.
Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971–1973 models, Ford returned the car to its original size and concept for 1974. It has since seen several platform generations and designs. Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production over five decades of development and revision.
First generation (1964½–1973)
As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project—supervising the overall development of the car in a record 18 months—while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed the German Ford Taunus V4 engine and was very similar in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero.
It was claimed that the decision to abandon the two-seat design was in part due to the low sales experienced with the 2-seat 1955 Thunderbird. To broaden market appeal it was later remodeled as a four-seat car (with full space for the front bucket seats, as originally planned, and a rear bench seat with significantly less space than was common at the time). A "Fastback 2+2" model traded the conventional trunk space for increased interior volume as well as giving exterior lines similar to those of the second series of the Corvette Sting Ray and European sports cars such as the Jaguar E-Type. The "Fastback 2+2" was not available as a 1964½ model, but was first manufactured on August 17, 1964.
The new design was styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster—in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca.
Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie.
To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components, many of which were already in production for other Ford models. Many (if not most) of the interior, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from those used on Ford's Falcon and Fairlane. This use of common components also shortened the learning curve for assembly and repair workers, while at the same time allowing dealers to pick up the Mustang without also having to spend massive amounts of money on spare parts inventories to support the new car line.
Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed in three months from rollout. Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year (a record), and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built. Several changes were made at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning August 1964), including the addition of back-up lights on some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, and an upgrade of the V8 engine from 260 cu in (4.3 l) to 289 cu in (4.7 l) displacement. In the case of at least some six-cylinder Mustangs fitted with the 101 hp (75 kW) 170 cu in (2.8 l) Falcon engine, the rush into production included some unusual quirks, such as a horn ring bearing the 'Ford Falcon' logo beneath a trim ring emblazoned with 'Ford Mustang.' These characteristics made enough difference to warrant designation of the 121,538 earlier ones as "1964½" model-year Mustangs, a distinction that has endured with purists.
All of the features added to the "1965" model were available as options or developmental modification to the "1964½" model, which in some cases led to "mix-and-match" confusion as surprised Ford execs hurriedly ramped up production by taking over lines originally intended for other car models' 1965 years. Some cars with 289 engines which were not given the chrome fender badges denoting the larger engine, and more than one car left the plant with cutouts for back-up lights but no lights nor the later wiring harness needed to operate them. While these would today be additional-value collectors' items, most of these oddities were corrected at the dealer level, sometimes only after buyers had noticed them. The 1966 model was basically unchanged, but featured revised side scoops, grill and gas cap, as well as the deletion of the four bars protruding from the Mustang emblem in the grille. The Falcon-based instrument cluster was replaced with a sportier unit designed specially for the Mustang.
For 1967, The Mustang retained the original body structure but styling was refreshed, giving the Mustang a more massive look overall. Front and rear end styling was more pronounced, and the "twin cove" instrument panel offered a thicker crash pad, and larger gauges. Hardtop, fastback and convertible body styles continued as before. A host of Federal safety features were standard that year, including an energy-absorbing steering column and wheel, 4-way emergency flashers, and softer interior knobs. For 1968 models, the 1967 body style continued, but with revised side scoops, steering wheel, and gas caps. Side marker lights were also added that year, and cars built after January 1, 1968 included shoulder belts for both front seats. The 1968 models also introduced a new V8 engine, the 302. This small-block engine was designed for Federal emissions standards that were to take effect, and ended up being used in a large number of other Ford vehicles for many decades.
For 1969 and 1970 models, the Mustang received a larger body, a more aggressive stance, and a wider grille. The 1969 models featured "quad headlamps" which disappeared to make way for an even wider grille in the 1970 models. A variety of performance and decorative options were available including functional (and non-functional) air scoops, cable and pin hood tie downs, and both wing and chin spoilers. Additionally, the Boss 302 and 429 models were introduced to homologate the engines.
The Mustang evolved from "from speed and power" to the growing consumer demand for bigger and heavier "luxury" type designs. "The result were the styling misadventures of 1971 — 73 ... The Mustang grew fat and lazy." This was the last major restyling of the first-generation Mustang. The cars grew in every dimension except height, and they gained about 800 pounds (363 kg). The restyling also sought to create the illusion that the cars were even larger.
Second generation (1974–1978)
Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became President of Ford Motor Company in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974. Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.
The new model, called the "Mustang II", was introduced two months before the first 1973 oil crisis, and its reduced size allowed it to compete against imported sports coupés such as the Japanese Toyota Celica and the European Ford Capri (then Ford-built in Germany and Britain, sold in U.S. by Mercury as a captive import car). First-year sales were 385,993 cars, compared with the original Mustang's twelve-month sales record of 418,812.
Lee Iacocca wanted the new car, which returned the Mustang to its 1964 predecessor in size, shape, and overall styling, to be finished to a high standard, saying it should be "a little jewel." However not only was it smaller than the original car, but it was also heavier, owing to the addition of equipment needed to meet new U.S. emission and safety regulations. Performance was reduced, and despite the car's new handling and engineering features the galloping mustang emblem "became a less muscular steed that seemed to be cantering."
The car was available in coupé and hatchback versions, including a "luxury" Ghia model designed by Ford's rececently acquired Ghia of Italy. Changes introduced in 1975 included reinstatement of the 302 CID V8 option (after being without a V8 option for the 1974 model year) and availability of an economy option called the "MPG Stallion". Other changes in appearance and performance came with a "Cobra II" version in 1976 & 1977 and a "King Cobra" in 1978.
Third generation (1979–1993)
The 1979 Mustang was based on the longer Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr). The interior was restyled to accommodate four people in comfort despite a smaller rear seat. Body styles included a coupé, (notchback), hatchback, and convertible. Available trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT (1983–84), SVO (1984–86), Cobra (1979–81; 1993), and Cobra R (1993).
In response to slumping sales and escalating fuel prices during the early 1980s, a new Mustang was in development. It was to be a variant of the Mazda MX-6 assembled at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enthusiasts wrote to Ford objecting to the proposed change to a front-wheel drive, Japanese-designed Mustang without a V8 option. The result was a major facelift of the existing Mustang in 1987, while the MX-6 variant became the 1989 Ford Probe.
Fourth generation (1994–2004)
In 1994 the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. Code-named "SN-95" by the automaker, it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel drive Fox platform called "Fox-4." The new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporated several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time since 1974, a hatchback coupe model was unavailable.
The base model came with a 3.8 OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at 145 bhp (108 kW) in 1994 and 1995, or 150 bhp (110 kW) (1996–1998), and was mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Though initially used in the 1994 and 1995 Mustang GT, Ford retired the 302 cid pushrod small-block V8 after nearly 40 years of use, replacing it with the newer Modular 4.6 L (281 cid) SOHC V8 in the 1996 Mustang GT. The 4.6 L V8 was initially rated at 215 bhp (160 kW), 1996–1997, but was later increased to 225 bhp (168 kW) in 1998.
For 1999, the Mustang received Ford's New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork, but its basic proportions, interior design, and chassis remained the same as the previous model. The Mustang's powertrains were carried over for 1999, but benefited from new improvements. The standard 3.8 L V6 had a new split-port induction system, and was rated at 190 bhp (140 kW) 1999–2004, while the Mustang GT's 4.6 L V8 saw an increase in output to 260 bhp (190 kW) (1999–2004), due to a new head design and other enhancements. There were also three alternate models offered in this generation: the 2001 Bullitt, the 2003 and 2004 Mach 1, as well as the 320 bhp (240 kW) 1999 & 2001, and 390 bhp (290 kW) 2003–2004 Cobra.
Fifth generation (2005–present)
Ford introduced a redesigned 2005 model year Mustang at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, codenamed "S-197," that was based on the new D2C platform. Developed under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer Sid Ramnarace, the fifth-generation Mustang's styling echoes the shineback Mustangs of the late 1960s. Ford's senior vice president of design, J Mays, called it "retro-futurism." The fifth-generation Mustang is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
For the 2005 to 2009 production years, the base model was powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC V6, while the GT used an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft timing (VCT) that produced 300 hp (224 kW). Base models had a Tremec T-5 5-speed manual transmission with Ford's 5R55S 5-speed automatic being optional. Automatic GTs also featured this transmission, but manual GTs had the Tremec TR-3650 5-speed.
Ford announced in July, 2007 that all 2008 Mustangs would have seats containing material derived from soybeans. A new option for the 2009 Mustang was a $1,995 glass roof.
The 2010 model year Mustang was released in the spring of 2009 with a redesigned exterior and a reduced drag coefficientof 4% on base models and 7% on GT models. The engine for base Mustangs remained unchanged, while GTs 4.6 L V8was revised resulting in 315 hp (235 kW) at 6000 rpm and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque at 4255 rpm. Other mechanical features included new spring rates and shiners, traction and sineability control system standard on all models, and new wheel sizes.
All the Mustang's engines were revised for 2011, and transmission options included the Getrag-Ford MT82 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Electric power steering replaced the conventional hydraulic version. A new 3.7 L (3.72 L or 227 cu. in.) aluminum block V6 engine shaved 40 lb (18 kg) from the outgoing version. With 24 valves and Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (TiVCT), it produced 305 hp (227 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) of torque. GT models included a 32-valve 5.0 L engine (4.95 L or 302.15 cu. in.) (also referred to as the "Coyote" engine) producing 412 hp (307 kW) and 390 lb·ft (530 N·m) of torque on "premium fuel" (91 octane). Power dropped to 402 hp (300 kW) and 377 lb·ft (511 N·m) when using "regular fuel" (87 octane). Brembo brakes are optional along with 19-inch wheels and performance tires. There is much speculation to the actual output of Ford's 5.0 powerplant. Various dynometer tests have revealed that Ford Motor Company underrated the engine, according to the tests the engine is closer to a power of 435hp and 404 ft. lbs tq.
The Shelby GT500's 5.4 L supercharged V8 block was made of aluminum making it 102 lb (46 kg) lighter than the iron units in previous years. It was rated at 550 hp (410 kW) and 510 lb·ft (690 N·m) of torque.
For 2011, a new Mustang Boss 302, based on the original 1969 model, was introduced. It has an upgraded engine, with a 444 bhp output. It includes stiffer springs and a bigger stabilizer bar at the rear, among other things. Only 4000 Boss 302s will be produced. Most of these are 'regular' Boss 302s, but the other 750 of them will be Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Edition. These extra special editions run about one second faster around Laguna Seca compared to the base Boss 302. The Laguna Seca edition includes a large adjustable splitter in the front, and a X-brace where the rear seats used to be, making it a 2-seater. It also includes R-compound Pirelli Corsa tires, oil, and water temperature gauges. There are also other changes to the Laguna Seca Edition. The package is $6995 more than a base Boss.