The Ford Mustang is an American automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was originally based on the platform of the second generation North American Ford Falcon, acompact car.The original Ford Mustang I four-seater concept car had evolved into the 1963 Mustang II two-seater prototype, which Ford used to pretest how the public would take interest in the first production Mustang which was released as the 1964 1/2, with a slight variation on the frontend and a top that was 2.7 inches shorter than the 1963 Mustang II.
First generation (1964–1973)
As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project—supervising the overall development of the car in a record 18 months—while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed the German Ford Taunus V4 engine and was very similar in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero.
It was claimed that the decision to abandon the two-seat design was in part due to the low sales experienced with the 2-seat 1955 Thunderbird. To broaden market appeal it was later remodeled as a four-seat car (with full space for the front bucket seats, as originally planned, and a rear bench seat with significantly less space than was common at the time).
Second generation (1974–1978)
Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became President of Ford Motor Company in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974. Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.
The new model, called the "Mustang II", was introduced two months before the first 1973 oil crisis, and its reduced size allowed it to compete against imported sports coupés such as the JapaneseToyota Celica and the European Ford Capri (then Ford-built in Germany and Britain, sold in U.S. by Mercury as a captive import car). First-year sales were 385,993 cars, compared with the original Mustang's twelve-month sales record of 418,812.
Keep reading us tomorrow for the rest!