The Birth of the Mustang ILee Iacocca, the man who would later become famous for spearheading the resurrection of Chrysler in the 1980s, served as the general manager of the Ford Division of the Ford Motor Company in the early 1960s. Iacocca was tasked with creating a concept car that would capture the imagination of America’s youth. Leading a committee of Ford managers known as the Fairlane Group, Iacocca went to work designing a vehicle that combined sporty styling, superior performance and an affordable price.
Tireless Efforts Led to a Variety of Design ConceptsIn order to stimulate the creative process, Iacocca and a Ford VP named Gary Bordinant, who also served as Ford’s director of styling, decided to stage a competition in the summer of 1962 to challenge the designers to come up with an acceptable concept. The tireless efforts of the design team eventually led to a total of seven clay models being produced. The winning version featured a racecar-type design that was far different than the Mustang that eventually hit the streets in 1964. A number of names were considered for the original car, including Special Falcon, Cougar and T-Bird II before Ford finally settled on the Mustang I.
The Unveiling of the Mustang IThe 1962 Mustang concept car made its debut on October 7, 1962 at the United States Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York. The new vehicle had limited appeal to the general public, leading to the introduction of a redesigned concept car a year later. Ford continued to tweak the design until it arrived at the model that became known as the 1964.5.
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