Happy Birthday Mustang 1964½ to 2014
The Ford Mustang is about to join a very small group of automobiles. In 2014 the Mustang will enter its 50th year of continuous production which is quite a feat and the biggest success story for the Ford Motor Company since the model “A”. The car was so successful that it gave rise to a new subclass of car – the pony class. When the Mustang came into the showrooms it took the car market by storm and sent all the competitors back to the drawing boards in a hurry; the car had sex appeal – it was a beautifully designed automobile. Many of the interior, chassis, frame and drive chain components were from other Ford products; the Falcon and Fairlane models mostly which minimized drawing board time, less assembly line changes and it meant minimal additional inventory stock for the dealerships. Ford underestimated by a long shot just how big this new car was going to be. The new Mustang was going to sell 100,000 units the first year Ford thought but this was surpassed three months after the car hit the showroom floor. The first model year Mustangs were purchased by 318,000 people but within eighteen months one million units was surpassed. As Ford hurriedly increased production of the Mustang these first models – referred to as the ’64 1/2 by the purists – did have a few quirks; some of the cars left the production plant without headlight wiring harnesses or there were also cases of horn blowing rings saying “ Ford Falcon” beneath a trim ring saying “Ford Mustang”. These models with production errors are worth more to collectors – if they can find one. The sixty four and a half and the 1965 Mustang came with a 170 cu in (2.81L) six cylinder engine or a sweet running 289 cu in(4.7L) V8 motor.
Some of the production problems with the sixty four and a half continued into the sixty five model year. Some of the cars with the 289 engine did not get fender badges to denote the 289 engine displacement and a few of the sixty five models left assembly with holes for the backup lights but not installed. To make things a bit more comical – it was often the customer that purchased the vehicle that noticed the error(s). The 1966 remained the same as the previous year and a half with only a few slight changes to give the car a sportier look Ford altered the side scoops slightly as well as a slight change to the grill hood emblem. The Ford Mustang was not perfect it does have some flaws but is has been around for fifty years and the 2014 models are as nice to look at as the first ones off the assembly room floor. Happy birthday Ford Mustang.