While it is a common truth that today marketers make cars, in the past, all credit for creating spectacular vehicles belonged to engineers. Maybe so, but not in the case of the Ford Mustang. It has been created by brilliant marketers, who made it a symbol of the American auto industry.
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Everyone has heard of the Ford Mustang. No wonder! Few models among production vehicles can boast the same worldwide fame that the Ford Mustang does. The iconic first model appeared on April 17, 1964, at the New York World Fair and dramatically changed the US auto industry, making so-called Pony Cars popular. According to Forbes magazine, Ford’s masterpiece is the best machine of the 1960-1970s. Mustang is not just a brand, it is a whole era of the American auto industry, which produced a whole family of legendary vehicles. The history of American machines in this series can be traced to five generations. The first was released in 1964, and the fifth – was from 2005 to the present day. Each batch of machines was presented in several models, and almost each of them has become a legend. There is still debate about which one can be considered the best of this brand, but most agree that it is a 1966 Mustang.
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Ford’s novelty was planned as a mass-market machine. Initially, a sporty style known as the Pony Car was envisioned, which by its definition does not have powerful characteristics. Why a pony? These vehicles were the younger brothers of the “stallions” – muscle cars. The ponies were slightly inferior to the elders in power but surpassed them in comfort and richness of decoration. Ponies, as “small horses” were built for fun, not speed.
The history of the Ford Mustang began with a model that was born in 1964. Car enthusiasts liked it so much that within 1.5 years more than a million pieces found their owners, which was also facilitated by a wide advertising campaign. Ford Falcon was a base for the newly launching Mustang which became Lee Iacocca’s most important project.
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In 1966, Ford released an updated model of the first 1964 release. The new stallion was equipped in the base with a 120-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine with a volume of 200 cubic inches (3.2 liters). Three 289 V8 engines were available as options, ranging from 200 to 271 hp. Exterior changes included a new grille that became more aggressive in shape. The rear panel of the body has changed, and along with the lanterns, it has received a concave shape. The interior was significantly updated, where there was already a different dashboard. Moreover, safety has also been improved, particularly, the steel brakes with a dual-circuit hydraulic system. Among other things, it was slightly oversized to accommodate high-performance large-block 6.4 V8 and 7.0 V8 engines under the hood. The ride was improved by widening the track and redesigning the front suspension. Also in 1966, the Mustang was one of the first to receive a mono car radio with AM/FM bands, and sun visors became standard equipment. Interestingly, when sales of the 1966 Mustang were launched in Germany, it turned out the name was already registered as a trademark there. Ford refused to sell the rights for $10 000 and started to sell the model as “T-5” in Germany.
In 1966, the Mustang was a record year for sales: about 1,000,000 copies of the model year sold like hot cakes. No wonder in one of Pittsburgh’s bistros, the owner put up a sign “Our pies are selling just like Mustangs.”
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