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Thirty-Three Major Mustang Milestones

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From One to One Million: Ten Major Mustang Milestones

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Last year, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary Mustang. A year later, the first name in pony cars is a year older and a year stronger—through the first quarter of 2015, the new sixth-gen ‘Stang is the best-selling model in its class by a country mile. To celebrate the big 5-1, let’s take a look at some major Mustang milestones.

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October 7, 1962 – The Mustang I—a mid-engined, aluminum-bodied two-seater concept car—debuts at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glenn.

October 6, 1963 – Just shy of a year after the Mustang I’s debut, the Mustang II prototype is revealed at Watkins Glenn by Lee Iacocca.

March 9, 1964 – The first 1964 ½ Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan. The whereabouts of the first production model remain unknown to this day.

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible

Gail Wise and the first Mustang ever purchased

April 15, 1964Gail Wise is the first person to buy a Mustang—a 1964 ½ Mustang Convertible in Skylight Blue.

April 17, 1964 – The Ford Mustang is officially introduced at the World’s Fair in New York. 22,000 orders are taken on day one.

June 1964 – Ford adds the iconic fastback body style to the lineup, which to that point only included coupe and convertible offerings.

September 17, 1964 – The Mustang makes its big-screen debut in Goldfinger when a Wimbledon White convertible is driven by Tilly Masterson during a chase scene.

January 27, 1965 – The Shelby GT 350—built by Carroll Shelby and featuring a 306-horsepower, 289-cubic-inch V8—launches.

May 1965 – Mack Rice releases the song “Mustang Sally,” which becomes the archetypal pony car song when it is covered by Wilson Pickett the following year.

October 20, 1965 – Ford assembles a 1966 Mustang Convertible atop the Empire State Building.

March 2, 1966 – Ford sells the 1 millionth Mustang to Captain Stanley Tucker, who trades in the first pre-production Mustang ever built for the Wimbledon White convertible

October 17, 1968Bullit premieres in theaters, featuring an iconic chase scene wherein Steve McQueen drives a 1968 Ford Mustang GT.

1973 – Nationwide gas shortages facilitate the demise of the Falcon-platform Mustang and the convertible model.

1974 – Ford debuts the Mustang II; the all-new model is shorter and lighter, is available in notchback and fastback body styles, and is only offered with an inline-four and V6 engine option.

1977 – Ford offers Mustang fastback models with removable T-top panels and mates a four-speed manual to the 302-cubic-inch V8.

1974 Ford Mustang II Hardtop

1974 Ford Mustang II Hardtop

1979 – The Fox Mustang debuts, touting a more Euro-inspired flair and the first-ever turbo-four engine option for Mustang.

1982 – After a 12-year absence, the Mustang GT returns to the lineup with a 157-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.

1983 – The Mustang convertible returns after a 10-year absence.

1984 – The Mustang SVO is launched with a 175-horsepower, air-to-air intercooled 2.3-liter turbo-four. Ford also launches a 20th Anniversary Edition Mustang GT, which features an Oxford White exterior and Canyon Red interior.

1993 – The Ford Special Vehicle Team creates the SVT Mustang Cobra; the Cobra R variant sells out its 103-unit run almost immediately, even with Ford’s requirement that all purchasers have a valid racing license.

SVT Mustang Cobra R

SVT Mustang Cobra R

1994 – The Mustang is almost completely redesigned for the new Fox-4 platform, which drops the hatchback bodystyle.

1999 – Mustang redesigned with new hood, grille, fascias, and lamps; features 35th Anniversary badging.

2003 – Mustang Mach 1 launched with 305-horsepower V8 and ram-air “Shaker” hood scoop, celebrating 30-year anniversary of 1973 Mustang Mach 1.

2004 – Ford builds its 300-millionth car—a 2004 Mustang GT 40th Anniversary Edition convertible. This same year, Ford ends Mustang production at Dearborn Assembly, opting to move fifth-gen production to Flat Rock Assembly.

2005 – Fifth-generation Mustang debuts on a new platform totally unique to the pony car name. New model brings back hallmark stylistic touches such as shark-bite nose, side hockey stick contours, and tri-bar taillamps.

2007– SVT and Carroll Shelby create the 2007 Shelby GT500 Mustang, whose 500-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 makes it the most powerful production Mustang ever built.

2010 – Ford introduces 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 for 2011 Mustang GT; upgrades Shelby GT500 supercharger to boost output to 550 horsepower.

2012 – 2013 Shelby GT500 sports world’s most powerful production V8—a 662-horsepower supercharged 5.8-liter unit.

December 5, 2013 – Sixth-generation Mustang is revealed worldwide in six different locations, including a special appearance on Good Morning America.

2015 Mustang Arrives in Middle East and Africa

Bill Ford and a 2015 Ford Mustang pay a visit to the Burj Khalifa

April 17th, 2014 – Ford celebrates 50th anniversary of the Mustang by replicating 1965 Empire State Building stunt.

July 14, 2014Production begins on the 2015 Mustang at Flat Rock Assembly; Ford confirms that Mustang will be sold globally for first time ever.

November 18, 20142016 Shelby GT350 Mustang revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show.

January 12, 20152016 Shelby GT350R Mustang revealed at 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

More Mustang: Sixth-Generation Mustang Racking Up Awards and Ratings

  • Outdoorsman

    My favorite cars of all time. My first (when I turned 18) was a used 1965 Mustang Convertible with a 289; my second was a 1969 Mach 1 390. Then life took over- raised a family, had to become responsible, drove sedans and then the dreaded mini-vans. Well you know what? The kids are out of the house, I’m retiring in a few years and my retirement gift to myself is going to be a restored old ‘Stang!!!!!