Thirty-Three Major Mustang Milestones
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.
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.
April 15, 1964 – Gail 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, 1968 – Bullit 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.
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.
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.
April 17th, 2014 – Ford celebrates 50th anniversary of the Mustang by replicating 1965 Empire State Building stunt.
July 14, 2014 – Production begins on the 2015 Mustang at Flat Rock Assembly; Ford confirms that Mustang will be sold globally for first time ever.
November 18, 2014 – 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show.
January 12, 2015 – 2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang revealed at 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
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