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Ford Mustang



Generation 1



Since it was introduced five months before the normal start of the production year and manufactured among 1964 Ford Falcons and 1964 Mercury Comets, the earliest Mustangs are widely referred to as the 1964½ model. A more accurate description is the "early 1965" model because it underwent significant changes at the beginning of the regular model year. All the early cars, however, were marketed by Ford as 1965 models. The low-end model hardtop used a "U-code" 170 cu in (2.8 L) straight-6 engine with a three-speed manual transmission and retailed for US$2,368.

Ford Mustang


Several changes to the Mustang occurred at the start of the normal 1965 model year production, five months after its introduction. These cars are known as "late 65's," and were built after factory retooling in August 1964. The engine lineup was changed, with a 200 cu in (3.3 L) "T-code" engine that produced 120 hp (89 kW). Production of the "F-code" 260 cu in (4.3 L) engine ceased when the 1964 model year ended. It was replaced with a new 200 hp (150 kW) "C-code" 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine with a two-barrel carburetor as the base V8. An "A-code" 225 hp (168 kW) four-barrel carbureted version was next in line, followed by the unchanged "Hi-Po" "K-code" 271 hp (202 kW) 289. The DC electrical generator was replaced by a new AC alternator on all Fords (the quickest way to distinguish a 1964 from a 1965 is to see if the alternator light on the dash says "GEN" or "ALT"). The now-famous Mustang GT (Gran - Touring) was introduced as the "GT Equipment Package" and included a V8 engine (most often the 225 hp (168 kW) 289), grille-mounted fog lamps, rocker panel stripes, and disc brakes. A four-barrel carbureted engine was now available with any body style. Additionally, reverse lights were an option added to the car in 1965. The Mustang was originally available as either a hardtop or convertible, but during the car's early design phases a fastback model was strongly considered. Also in 1965 Shelby Mustang was born, it was available only in newly introduced fastback body version with its swept-back rear glass and distinctive ventilation louvers.

Ford Mustang convertible
© Michel Muller


The standard interior features of the 1965 Mustang included adjustable driver and passenger bucket seats, an AM radio, and a floor mounted shifter in a variety of color options. Ford added additional interior options during the 1965 model year. The Interior Decor Group was popularly known as "Pony Interior" due to the addition of embossed running ponies on the seat fronts, and also included integral armrests, woodgrain appliqué accents, and a round gauge cluster that would replace the standard Falcon instrumentation. Also available were sun visors, a (mechanical) remote-operated mirror, a floor console, and a bench seat. Ford later offered an under-dash air-conditioning unit, and discontinued the vinyl with cloth insert seat option, offered only in early 1965 models. One option designed strictly for fun was the Rally-Pac. Introduced in 1963 after Ford's success at that year's Monte Carlo Rally and available on other Ford and Mercury compacts and intermediates, the Rally-Pac was a combination clock and tachometer mounted to the steering column. It was available as a factory ordered item for US$69.30. Installed by a dealer, the Rally-Pac cost US$75.95. Reproductions are presently available from any number of Mustang restoration parts sources.

Ford Mustang Fastback


The 1966 Mustang debuted with moderate trim changes including a new grille, side ornamentation, wheel covers and gas cap. A cruisematic three-speed auto transmission became available for the 225-hp V8. The 289 "hipo" K code engine was offered with an automatic c4 transmission, it had stronger internals and a hipo automatic transmission can be identified by the outer casing of the servo is marked with a 'C'. The long duration solid-lifter camshaft that allowed the high revving 289 to make the horsepower it was known for, was not friendly for a non stall speed automatic torque converter. The "HiPo" could be spotted very easily by the 1-inch-thick (25 mm) vibration damper, (as compared to 1/2 inch on the 225-hp version) the absence of a vacuum advance unit on the dual point distributor. With the valve covers off, there is a large letter "K" stamped between the valve springs, that along with screw in studs (vs. a pressed in stud for other 289's) for the adjustable rocker arms. A large number of new paint and interior color options, an AM/eight-track sound system, and one of the first AM/FM mono automobile radios was also offered. It also removed the Falcon instrument cluster; the previously optional features, including the round gauges and padded sun visors, became standard equipment. The Mustang convertible would be the best-selling in 1966, with 72,119 sold, beating the number two Impala by almost 2:1.

Ford Mustang Fastback
© Michel Muller


The 1965 and 1966 Mustangs are differentiated by variations in the exterior, despite similar design. These variations include the emblem on the quarter-panels behind the doors. In 1965 the emblem was a single vertical piece of chrome, while in 1966 the emblem was smaller in height and had three horizontal bars extending from the design, resembling an "E". The front intake grilles and ornaments were also different. The 1965 front grille used a "honeycomb" pattern, while the 1966 version was a "slotted" style. While both model years used the "Horse and Corral" emblem on the grille, the 1965 had four bars extending from each side of the corral, while on the 1966, these bars were removed. 1966 saw introduction of 'High Country Special' limited edition, 333 of them were sold in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

Ford Mustang Fastback
© Michel Muller


When Ford wanted to introduce the Mustang in Germany, they discovered that Krupp company had already registered the name. The German company offered to sell the rights for US$10,000. Ford refused and removed the Mustang badge, instead naming it as T-5 (pre-production Mustang project name) for the German market until 1979 when Krupp copyrights expired.

Ford Mustang Fastback
© Michel Muller


The 1967 model year Mustang was the first model to feature a major redesign with the installation of a big-block V8 engine. The overall size, interior and cargo space were increased. Exterior trim changes included concave taillights, side scoop (1967) and chrome (1968) side ornamentation, square rear-view mirrors, and usual yearly wheel and gas cap changes. The high-performance 289 option was placed behind the newer 320 hp (239 kW) 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE engine from the Ford Thunderbird, which was equipped with a four-barrel carburetor. A 390 GT engine, and a 4-speed manual transmission recorded quarter mile times of approximately 13 seconds and trap speeds of over 105 mph (169 km/h). During the mid-1968 model year, a drag racer for the street could be ordered with the optional 428 cu in (7.0 L) Cobra Jet engine which was officially rated at 335 hp (250 kW) all of these Mustangs were issued R codes on their VIN#'s.

Ford Mustang Coupe


The 1967 and 1968 models discontinued the "Pony Interior" in favor of a new deluxe interior package, which included special color options, brushed stainless steel (1967) or woodgrain (1968) trim, seat buttons, a tilt steering wheel, and special interior paneling. The 1968 models that were produced during 1968 were also the first year to incorporate 3 point lap belts as opposed to the standard lapbelts. The air-conditioning option was fully integrated into the dash, the speakers and stereo were upgraded, and unique center and overhead consoles were options. The fastback model offered the option of a rear fold-down seat, and the convertible was available with folding glass windows. Gone too was the Rally-Pac, since the new instrument cluster had provisions for an optional tachometer and clock. Its size and shape also precluded the installation of the accessory atop the steering column.

Ford Mustang Mach - Boss


Changes for the 1968 model increased safety with a two-spoke energy-absorbing steering wheel, along with newly introduced shoulder belts. Other changes included front and rear side markers, "FORD" lettering removed from hood, rearview mirror moved from frame to windshield, a 302 cubic Inch V-8 engine was now available, and C-Stripe graphics were added.

Ford Mustang Mach - Boss


The California Special Mustang, or GT/CS, was visually based on the Shelby model and was only sold in Western states. Its sister, the 'High Country Special', was sold in Denver, Colorado. While the GT/CS was only available as a coupe, the 'High Country Special' model was available in fastback and convertible configurations in 1966 and 1967 and only as a coupe in 1968.

Ford Mustang Mach - Boss
© Michel Muller


The Mustang fastback gained popular culture status when used in the crime thriller Bullitt (1968). Lt. Frank Bullitt, played by actor Steve McQueen, drove a modified Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT fastback with 390 cu in (6.4 L) 4V engine, chasing two hitmen in a black 1968 Dodge Charger in the film's car chase through the streets of San Francisco.

Ford Mustang Mach - Boss


The 1969 restyle increased body length by 3.8 inches (97 mm) (with the wheelbase remaining at 108 inches) and width by almost half an inch. This was the first model to use quad headlamps placed inside and outside the grille opening. The corralled grille pony was replaced with the pony and tribars logo, set off-center to the drivers side.

Ford Mustang Fastback
© Michel Muller


It featured a 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8 engine with 220 hp (164 kW). The 351cid V-8 was introduced in 1969, and was available with 250 or 290 hp. For those wanting more power, the 335-hp 428cid Cobra Jet V-8 big block was available with or without Ram-Air.

The car was longer than previous models and sported convex rather than concave side panels. The new Mach 1, with a variety of new powerplants, added many car styling and performance features. It used dual exhausts and steel wheels with bold-lettered Goodyear Polyglas tires. Reflective striping was placed along the body sides, with a pop-off gas cap, matte-black hood with simulated air scoop and NASCAR-style cable and pin tiedowns. A functional "shaker" hood scoop which visibly vibrated by being attached directly to the air cleaner through a hole in the hood was available, as were a tail-mounted wing and chin spoilers and rear window louvered blackout shade. The Boss 302 Mustang was created to meet Trans Am rules and the Boss 429 was created to homologate that engine for NASCAR use, it featured distinctive hockey-stick stripes. Also for the first time Grande appeared - it was deluxe trim available for hardtop only. Fastback body version was renamed Sportsroof.

Ford Mustang Coupe


The 1970 model moved the headlamps inside the grille opening, added vent looking front corners on the outside of the headlamps, and removed the rear fender air scoops.

In 1969 Ford introduced (it was conceived by Ford) new Shelby Mustang, it was drastically different looking than serial Mustang. There were two models; GT-350 and GT-500, offered as sportsroof and convertible. All 1969–1970 Shelby Mustangs were produced in 1969 as sales were falling down and 789 remaining 1969 cars were titled as 1970 models. They had modified front air dam and a blackout point treatment around the hood scoops.

Ford Mustang Coupe
© Michel Muller


Ford made 96 'Mustang Twister Special' cars for Kansas Ford dealers in 1970. The Twister Specials were Grabber Orange Mach 1's with special decals. Ford also made a few 'Sidewinders', which were built in Dearborn, shipped to Omaha, and sold in Iowa and Nebraska. They were available in Grabber Green, Grabber Blue, Calypso Corral, and Yellow. The stripes came in the trunk to be installed by dealers.

Ford Mustang Coupe
© Michel Muller


The Mustang became larger and heavier with each revision, culminating with the 1971 to 1973 models designed under the supervision of Ford's new product design manager, Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen, originally of General Motors. Introduced in September 1970 Mustang MY 1971 saw the last high-performance big-block Mustang, 375 hp (280 kW) 429 Super Cobra Jet. The body style designed for the purpose of big-block installation versions was limited to a maximum of 351 cu in (5.8 L) in 1972 and 1973 due to stricter U.S. emission control regulation, as well as the low demand for big block muscle cars because of high insurance premiums. Two more high-performance engines were introduced in 1972; the 351 "HO" and the 351 Cobra Jet. Both versions were high performers for their era, but nowhere near the level of the Boss cars and original Cobra Jet. Automakers in the U.S. switched from "gross" to "net" power and torque ratings in 1972, which coincided with the introduction of low-compression engines with different, far more restrictive induction systems. Thus, it is difficult to compare power and torque ratings.

Ford Mustang Coupe


As before there were three body styles; hardtop, sportsroof and convertible. On hardtops there was 'Grande' trim offered, it was meant as an luxury version. Sportsroof models were performance oriented, as it was only body version with 'Mach 1' option available, which was distinguishable by decals, hood with scoops (nonfunctional in most models), color keyed; side mirrors, strip on the edge of the front fenders and hood, urethane front bumper and grille with 'sportlights'. Cars equipped with 'Boss' engine had appearance of Mach 1 package, excluding front bumper, which was chrome. Convertible was equipped with a power top, a glass rear window, and tinted windshield standard. It was last Mustang available as a convertible until 1983.

Ford Mustang Coupe
© Michel Muller


There were no significant changes in appearance during 1971–1973 model years, 1973 however brought some mild restyling. Front bumpers in 'Base' and 'Grande' and Urethane in 'Mach 1' were all replaced by new Urethane one of new design to comply with new regulations. Thus turn signals were moved from underneath it to inside of the grille next to the headlights. Because of those changes horizontal grille 'sportlights' seen in 1971–1972 'Mach 1' were discontinued as new vertical blinkers took they place. New rear bumpers were introduced too. Also in 1973 new design of decals for the 'Mach 1' has been introduced, 'hockey stick' side stripes of 1971–1972 were still available on the 'Exterior Decor Group'. Magnum 500 wheels has been discontinued for 1973 and replaced with forged aluminum wheels.

Ford Mustang convertible


1971–1973 Mach 1 has become famous thanks to the appearances in the films Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Gone in 60 Seconds (1974).

For 1972 Ford prepared special model called 'Sprint' it was meant to commemorate USA participation in 1972 Olympic Games. It consisted of special decals, color keyed front bumper, mirrors and grille taken from Mach 1. Performance suspension and wheels were also available.

Ford Mustang convertible


There was no Shelby version of 1971–1973 Mustangs, save for the 'Shelby de Mexico GT-351', by Mexican dealer and very limited edition 'Shelby Europa', sold in Europe by private importer request to Shelby Motors.

Mustang success left General Motors unprepared and Chrysler Corporation slightly less so. Chrysler introduced the Plymouth Barracuda a few weeks before the Mustang, and although it was later redesigned as a distinct "pony car", it was initially a modified Plymouth Valiant. However, the "fish car" did not enjoy as strong a market demand as Ford's "pony". General Motors executives thought the rear-engined Chevrolet Corvair Monza would compete against the Mustang, but it also sold poorly by comparison. The Monza performed well, but lacked a V8 engine and its reputation was tarnished by Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe At Any Speed. It took GM until the 1967 model year to counter with the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. Lincoln-Mercury joined the competition in 1967 with the Mercury Cougar, an "upmarket Mustang" and subsequent Motor Trend Car of the Year. In 1968, American Motors (AMC) introduced the Javelin, an "image changing" four-place pony car. This "real standout" model was quickly followed with "a Walter Mitty Ferrari," the two-seater high-performance AMX. In 1970, the Dodge Challenger, a version of the Plymouth Barracuda platform, was last to join the pony car race. This genre of small, sporty automobiles is often referred to as the "pony car" because of the Ford Mustang that established this market segment.

Ford Mustang convertible
© Michel Muller

Leave a comment about the Ford Mustang (1967-) :





Source :
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