Midweek Icon - Ford Mustang
Now, the 60's in America was the start of the 'good times' with hippies, cool fashion, cool bands, and of course, cool cars. In 1964 in particular, one of the game changers in cool cars was born, the Ford Mustang. Being it's biggest selling car at the time since the Model A, the Mustang lagacy was one to live on forever.
The first Gen mustangs (1964-73) entered the automotive with a 4.3L V8, with the option in 1965 to upgrade to a 4.7L. 1965 was also the year the iconic fastback was unleashed. In '67 the Mustang was given a facelift with a larger body and a meaner, more aggressive look. The engine packages remained the same, with the addition of a bigger 4.9L V8 (Moar Powaaaaa). Although the '67 mustang deemed the most popular (hey eleanor!), 1969 saw the release of yet another facelift, with the launch of the Mustang Mach 1 and Boss 302 & 429. The '69 facelift created yet another size increase, with not much performace upgrades. However, to boost sales, extra options were made available, such as air scoops (or vents), rear spoilers (or wings), and bonnet catches (or hood pins, whatever floats ya boat). Almost a year later in 1970, the Mustang was yet again restyled to tame the 69's aggressive look. In sales though, the 69 style overcame the updated '70s.
As the 'Stang developed over the early to mid 70's, the public watched as the mustang became less about speed and power and began to head towards a bigger, more luxurious market. The Stang became a much bigger car, and with not so much power. The public began moving away from the icon, and with vehicles from rivals Dodge and Chevrolet leaving the old Ford in the dust, it looked like the once dominant Mustangs reign was coming to an end.
In an attempt to revive the much loved name, Ford in1974 welcomed the second generation of Mustang. Dubbed the 'Mustang II', it was now much smaller, almost Ford Capri size (..yeah, these are the Mustangs nobody hears about). Much smaller engine sizes were now available, with Pinto engines (inline 4 cyl..in a Mustang.. lol.) and a V6 from the Mercury Capri. 1975 reintroduced the V8 to the 'Stang, which also came with power steering and brakes. To finish it off, a reinvented V8 badge. A sportier 'King Cobra' Mustang was also unveiled hauling a 5.0L V8. The Mach 1 ws also available until the end of the second gen production in 1978.
Third gen Mustangs (If that's what you want to call them now.. They look more like Escorts and Capris at this point.. what happend?!) had two main body styles, the 'foureyes' look which saw a Capri style body with four headlights at the front. The later facelift saw the headlights swapped for a single unit known as the 'aero' style.
Many variants of this mustang were availble, including GT, GTS, GT350, Cobra, Cobra R, and Ghia. Third gen ran from '79 up until '93, and in the 80's the carb option was dumped to make way for the more advanced EFI (electronic fuel injection) Systems. By this time (you've probably guessed by now) sales had slumped and the Mustang was pushed out of the picture. In another attempt to regain sales, Ford began development of yet another Mustang. The apparent decision was to join teams with Mazda, and by using the mazda mx-6's platform, Ford could create a new front wheel drive Mustang (I laughed when I found this out too). This obviously didn't go down too well with enthusiasts (I'd imagine, a FWD mustang, are you nuts!?) and after many, many complaints, probably containing a lot of bad language, the idea was scrapped and the concept was then developed into the Ford Probe (Yep.. and thats how they appeared, apparently)
The fourth gen mustang was the most recognised comeback of the pony. The Ford got it's most dramatic redesign moving away from the boxy design to a smoother, more coupe styled exterior. After 30 years of use aswell, the 302Ci engine and replaced it with a modernised 281CI (4.6L) V8. V6 options were also availbale for the GT. 1999 saw the most iconic redesign, going back to a more boxed and aggressive design which bacame very popula with the public and celebrities. The V8 also got a 260BHP output, and a cluster featuring a colour changing option.
Over the years the mustang has been subtly redesigned to keep up with modern day changes, technology has also improved, all up to the current day. The new 2015 Mustang sees a 435BHP 5.0L V8 as well as a 310BHP 2.3 Ecoboost engine plant, and finishing with a 3.7L 300BHP V6. Rumours also suggested Ford had interpreted a 'line lock' device, allowing drivers to lock the front wheels whilst the rear wheels spin (Burnouts for guys who can't drive, genius!).
The Mustang is easily one of the most long lived, iconic muscle cars to date, and even through all the years of facelifts, engine plants, and rocky sales, it is one of the most loved cars to date. Made famous in movies such as Gone in 60 seconds and bullitt.
The Mustang was also the weapon of choice for a man named Carroll Shelby. After working and racing with Ford he then developed his own variations of Mustang. Starting with the incredible GT350 (First Gen), the GT500 badge became a houshold name for power and speed. The GT500KR (King of the Road) is now one of the rarest Mustangs available, and was reintroduced in 2007, with one being used as the new K.I.T.T car in the new Knight Rider series.
Many other outhouse engineering firms also chose Mustang as a project, with names such as Saleen, whose most famous cars are the 1999+ mustangs, and Roush, who choose the create the 5th gen ponies. Ford themselves produced an incredible amount of special edition mustangs, which is why it is easy to find a Mustang on the market, but also makes the limited ones more available, yet so much rarer. As there are so many rare versions to choose from, but so little of each variation made.
All in all, Mustangs are good, buy on, try to avoid the years they went a bit iffy though. Also, try to get a V8. Picture time!
'67 Fastback anyone? Gorgeous.
The Latest of the bunch, the 2015 Mustang
A 40th Anniversary Stang!
Mach 1? Look at the size of the damn thing.
An earlier Mach 1 with optional bonnet pins.
Oh Eleanor. You always Amaze.
A second gen (The ones poeple don't remember!) Cobra Mustang!