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The Legend Of The Ford Mustang

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Ford Mustang

The Legend Of The Ford Mustang

William Jason
May 7, 2011


There will always be that one car that will stand out among the rest. And in the middle of the 1960s, the Ford Mustang started a whole generation of sports coupes battling for supremacy in the market. Called a pony car, the Mustang had a very auspicious beginning. The designers of Ford wanted to create a performance car that would stamp its class in the market. At the same time, they wanted to make the car as unique as possible. So in 1964, the car began to take form and was released a year later in a New York car show later that year. After the Mustang gained great press, other brands also began creating versions of the pony-type. Cars like the GM Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda and the AMC Javelin were one of the bigger competitors that later came out.

There were speculations about the name of the car. It was rumored that Pres Harris, the executive stylist of Ford coined the name because he had such adoration for the P-51 Mustang fighter planes which were extensively used during World War II. Another theory was that it came from Robert Eggert, the marketing manager of Ford, suggested the name after his wife gave him the book The Mustangs. He was also a known horse breeder during that time. But no matter where the name came from, it is as recognizable as any brand in the market. The Mustang name is the third oldest nameplate that Ford has sustained.

Perhaps the grand daddy of pony cars, the Mustang had a distinguishable look due to its elongated front and shortened back. This was an instant hit to the public at it made the car gain the notoriety of being fast and elegant. In a way, the Mustang was the updated version of the Ford Falcon. Its chassis, suspension and interior was originally from the latter, making it an easy car to mass produce for the workers. The body had an uncanny resemblance to the Falcons, but it had a lot more in terms of aesthetic value.

The Ford Mustang ran on a Taunus V4 engine, a fit for Ford sports cars during that time. Initially, the car was designed as two-seater, figuring that it is only applicable for the sports cars nature. But after reassessing the situation and looking at the of sales of the two-seater Ford Falcon, the Mustang was transformed into a four-seater before its release in 1965. Truly an iconic car, the Ford Mustang continues to update its model even up to this day. And as the years have gone by, the love of the people for the Mustang have never faded.

William Jason is an avid muscle car collector. You can view his personal blog at: http://musclecarmonster.com/

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