The Ford Mustang is noted as one of the most iconic pony cars ever to go down in history. This beauty has been around since the first Mustang ever graced our tv screens in 1964 fifty years ago. Still to this day, the model continues to thrill us!
With the new year coming up, Ford fans are getting hyped for the new and exciting models, especially the all-new 2021 Mustang. A souped up, horse-powered, all-electric Crossover to be exact! Since everyone knows everything about the Ford Mustang, what’s there really left to discover? After reading these 10 unknown truths about the pony car, people will be surprised!
10 Whose Car Is It Anyway?
Since the 1800’s Ford has always borne Henry Ford’s name. Even the term Fordism was coined after him. Ford may have changed the world of American transportation forever but he wasn’t the mastermind behind the Ford Mustang. Italian immigrant, Lido Anthony Lee Iacocca helped create and promote the iconic pony car in 1964. As an employee at the Ford Motor Company, Iacocca worked his way up the latter. Starting out, he worked as an engineer, then in sales, product development, and eventually became the President of Ford in 1970. For eight years Ford Motor Company belonged to Iacocca! Of course, Henry Ford II would never admit to that, since he fired him in 1978. Clearly Senior Ford’s grandson doesn’t play nice with others.
9 What’s In A Name?
The Mustang hasn’t always been the prized pony it claims to be, either. In fact, the model went through several name changes, two of which included Cougar. These names eventually became a nameplate for other Ford models, such as the Mercury Cougar. Eventually, creators came to the decision to give their top-secret, muscle car the name Mustang.
The proposal was almost entirely rejected because one of the designers borrowed the name to honor the late P-51 Mustang, a World War II fighter plane. Later, that same designer proposed the name again, this time attributing it to the actual horse breed. The executives at Ford immediately said yes and the dawn of the pony car was born!
8 It’s A Chess Piece! It’s A Horse!
Choosing a name fit for the iconic car wasn’t the only problem designers faced. Everything down to even the simplest of details, such as the orientation of the logo, was radically changed. Nowadays, the logo features the recognizable galloping silver horse, but years ago it resembled something quite generic. Originally, designers made the logo appear as the horse chess piece, which was by far a cliché and unoriginal. One of the designers argued that “the Mustang is an untamed breed, not a domesticated one.” Apparently, what the creator said stuck with Ford. If it wasn’t for him, no one would’ve realized the Mustang’s true potential!
Henry Ford’s great-grandson Walter Buhl Ford III certainly saw the vehicle’s star quality. In the spring of 1964, Walter seemingly abandoned an early model of the Mustang in a Detroit parking lot. Soon after, The Detroit Free Press snagged photos of the model before the car’s official unveiling!
In April of that same year, Ford stirred up more buzz by airing Mustang commercials on three major tv networks, all simultaneously! Reports say that 29 million tuned into the commercials the day before its public unveiling in New York. Let’s see some of the biggest Hollywood stars today try and compete with those tv ratings.
6 Lights, Camera, Drive!
With the Mustang having spent five decades in the spotlight, there’s sure to be a long list of film credentials lying around! The legendary model has had between 500 to 3,300 cameo appearances in tv and film, making it one of the most high-profile stars in Hollywood. Bob Witter, a representative from Ford Global Brand Entertainment made this following statement during an interview: “Mustang has had the most roles of any Ford vehicle, and there are no competing cars that come close.” As someone who makes a living from “casting” Ford vehicles in movies, that has to be one of the coolest jobs around. This car has had the longest acting career out of any vehicle!
5 The Myth No One Can Get Over!
Not only does the Mustang’s knockout looks catch the eye of every film director out there, but the vehicle is surrounded by tons of press. Even some that is just totally not true! For a while, Mustang fanatics believed Ford had a 1964 ½ model hidden in his “secret garage.”
Not to burst any bubbles but research confirms there’s no such thing as a half pony car. All the cars produced during that time had 1965 VIN codes. The confusion came about when the sportscar was first introduced in 1964 but was promoted by Ford as an early 1965 model. Sorry, Mustang aficionados!
4 Ford’s Dream
What Mustang fanatics can believe in is that Henry Ford II had a dream for a sleeker Mustang model since the 1970s. Back then, it was clear to the head designers that Henry Ford II wanted the third-generation Mustangs to be better, faster and bolder. In in the words of Ford’s longtime head designer Gene Bordinat the house rule was that “Henry Ford II only wants vertical front ends, and he’ll show us the door if we ever try anything like a slantback.” Everyone got the message and the final design resulted in a model with a lean, 2,700-pound curb weight and improved outward visibility. The Mustang’s new European-influenced shape was Ford’s first attempt at aerodynamics. Fast-forward 50 years later and now Ford’s dream for a European version of the Mustang is now a reality. Everyone always says dream big!
3 Candy Red Mustang
What better way to dream big than to do it in a red sports car? There’s no denying that the color looks best on a Mustang. It’s even been said that red is the most popular exterior color on any pony car. There’s just something so tantalizing about a cherry red sports car! There’s a list of other colors that Mustang fans love but usually enough, customers have even requested the color pink.
During the 1950s to 1970s, only a select few Mustangs were available in Dusk Rose and Playmate Pink. Even stranger than pink, is the fact that yellow has been the least favorite color among buyers. It even led to the 2001 organization of the Yellow Mustang Registry, a fellowship of yellow Mustangs lovers. It’s serious enough that the automotive color with the least votes needs a moral support team? Wow.
2 The New Suspension System
The Ford Mustang is known for so much more than its looks and color palettes. The model spun the automotive industry on its head, introducing new and innovative features that were unheard of, such as a new suspension system. While most cars come equipped with an independent rear suspension today early models like the 1999 to 2004 Mustang SVT Cobras were the first cars to even have the system. The independent rear suspension returned on the 2015 Mustang and has since stuck with the model. Though Ford wasn’t the first to own this technology, it was still an added success for the automotive giant.
1 A Hot Car With Even Hotter Prices!
Changing the course of history is what Ford is best known for! The company prides itself on mass-producing a muscle car that not only is unique and exciting but affordable. Though a trip back to the past will reveal that the Mustang was way cheaper than it is today. Nowadays, a new Ford Mustang cost anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000, depending on the specifications chosen. Back then, people could drive away in a shiny Mustang for less than $10,000! When the first 22,000 Mustangs hit the scene at the World’s Fair in 1964, the cost for each was only $2,368. Even with the additional inflation, that’s still cheaper than most new Mustangs! Translate that into today’s dollars and $2,368 would cost us about $19,000. How crazy is that?