Wednesday 28 June 2017
The first-generation Ford Mustang was manufactured by Ford from March 1964 until 1973. The introduction of the Mustang created a new class of automobile known as the pony car. The Mustang’s styling, with its long hood and short deck, proved wildly popular and inspired a host of competition.
It was initially introduced as a hardtop and convertible with the fastback version put on sale in August 1964. At the time of its introduction, the Mustang, sharing its underpinnings with the Falcon, was slotted into a compact car segment.
With each revision, the Mustang saw an increase in overall dimensions and in engine power. The 1971 model saw a drastic redesign to its predecessors. After an initial surge, sales were steadily declining, as Ford began working on a new generation Mustang. With the onset of the 1973 oil crisis, Ford was prepared, having already designed the smaller Mustang II for the 1974 model year. This new car had no common components with preceding models.
The 1969 model year restyle "added more heft to the body" with body length extended by 3.8 inches (97 mm) (the wheelbase remaining at 108 inches), width increased by almost half an inch, and the Mustang's "weight went up markedly too." 1969 was the first model to use quad headlamps placed both inside and outside the grille opening. The corralled grille pony was replaced with the pony and tribars logo, set off-center to the driver's side. The car was longer than previous models and sported convex rather than concave side panels. The fastback body version was renamed Sportsroof, styled as SportsRoof in Ford's literature.
The 1969 model year saw the introduction of the Mach 1, with a variety of powerplants options and many new styling and performance features. Distinctive reflective striping was placed along the body sides, with a pop-open gas cap, dual exhausts, matte-black hood with simulated air scoop and NASCAR-style cable and pin tiedowns. It used steel wheels with bold-lettered Goodyear Polyglas tires. 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 tail-mounted wing and chin spoilers and rear window louvered blackout shade. The Mach 1 featured a deluxe interior with simulated wood trim, high backed seats, extra sound deadening, remote sports mirrors and other comforts. The Mach 1 proved popular with buyers with 72,458 cars sold through 1969.
The Boss 302 was created to meet Trans Am rules and featured distinctive hockey-stick stripes, while the understated Boss 429 was created to homologate the Boss 429 engine (based on the new Ford 385 series engine) for NASCAR use. The two Boss models received fame on the track and street and to this day they still demand premium pricing for their pedigree. 1628 Boss 302's and 859 Boss 429's were sold through 1969 - making these vehicles somewhat rare.
A new "luxury" model became available starting for 1969, available in only the hardtop body style. The 'Grande' featured a soft ride, 55 pounds (24.9 kg) of extra sound deadening, as well as deluxe interior with simulated wood trim. It was popular with buyers with 22182 units sold through 1969.
Amidst other special editions, the 1969 Mustang E was offered for those desiring high mpg. The 1969 Limited Edition Mustang E was a rare (about 50 produced) fastback special model designed for economy. It came with a six-cylinder engine (250 cu in (4.1 L)), a high stall torque converter for the standard automatic transmission and a very low, 2.33:1 rear axle ratio. Mustang E lettering on the rear quarters identified the special Mustang E. Air conditioning was not available on the 'E' model.
The Mustang GT was discontinued in 1969 due to poor sales versus the success of the new Mach 1 with only 5396 GT models sold that year.
The 1970 model year Mustangs were restyled to be less aggressive and therefore returned to single headlamps which were moved to the inside of the grille opening with 'fins' on the outside of the grille sides. Some felt the aggressive styling of the 1969 model hurt its sales and this view prompted the headlamp revisions and simplification of other exterior styling aspects. It's worth noting though that 1969 model year sales exceeded those of 1970. The rear fender air scoops were removed and the taillight panel was now flat instead of concave as seen on 1969 models. The interior options remained mostly unchanged.
Click here to see the convertible version of my Mustang.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 4300 cc
- horsepower: 166 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 200 km/h