A true American icon, the Ford Mustang has been immortalized in film, music and even a postage stamp since it debuted nearly 50 years ago. The original pony car, the Mustang has continued to inspire drivers even as it has undergone several changes over the years.
The first Mustangs rolled off the line in Dearborn, Michigan on April 17, 1964. The car was instantly popular, going on to sell over 100,000 units in the first three months of production. The introduction of the convertible the following year only stoked the fires. Ford spent much of the '60s trying to top itself with increasingly powerful big block engines until the global fuel crisis forced the company to change direction.
1974-1993: The Pinto/Fox Years
While its competitors struggled or ceased production, the Mustang soldiered on with a series of designs more focused on fuel economy than speed. Intended to be a 'little jewel,' the 1974 Mustang, based on the Ford Pinto, was in fact both smaller and more sluggish than its predecessors. A second redesign followed in 1978, this one based on the Fox platform. 1983 saw the return of the Mustang convertible after 9 years out of production.
1994: Rebirth of a Classic
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Mustang underwent a major makeover that, some claim, returned it to its roots as a serious performance car. With a new emphasis on speed, as well as improved handling, a number of high-displacement engines were available, including the iconic 5.0, available on the reintroduced GT model.
2005: Mustang History Repeats Itself
The history of the Mustang came full circle in 2005 when the car was given a major facelift, taking styling and performance cues from the first generation pony cars, while incorporating a number of modern technological upgrades. With a new model set to debut for the 2014 model year, it's an exciting time to be a Mustang driver!