The Mustang Revolution: Ford's 'Pony Car' That Changed An Industry

By | March 9, 2021

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Advertising photo of the first Ford Mustang. Source: Pinterest

When the Ford Mustang hit the market in 1964, the public went crazy for the stylish four-seater. It seemed like a new kind of car, and it was -- it invented a class to be known as the "pony car," and its shameless emphasis on looks and speed helped automakers to understand what young people wanted in a car. The Mustang wasn't a muscle car per se (its contemporary and semi-rival, the Pontiac GTO, most certainly was), but its instant popularity made the muscle car fever of the late '60s somewhat inevitable. 

The '50s has been touted as the decade in which the American teenager became a cultural and economic force; by the mid-'60s these same people were gainfully employed young adults with a little money to spend, and the Mustang fired their imagination like nothing else on the market.

Today, most people gravitate towards practical cars for the purpose of getting from place to place. However, during the 1960s and 1970s the choice of automobile depended most upon its flair which is why cars just looked so good throughout these decades, including the iconic Ford Mustang. Although the Mustang wasn’t the most powerful car on the block, its stylish exterior caused a massive buying craze when it was introduced to the world in 1964. 

The Mustang Became More Popular Than Anticipated

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A magazine advertisement dramatizing the Mustang's World's Fair debut. Source: Pinterest

The Ford Mustang was the brainchild of Ford’s Vice President/General Manager Lee Lacocca who imagined a sporty car with a stylish build. With a low budget to work with, Ford had to borrow various parts from the Falcon as they began months of production that resulted in numerous prototypes. At the World’s Fair on April 17th 1964, the brand new Ford Mustang was introduced to the world. To spread the word, Ford heavily advertised the vehicle and its affordable price of $2,368 through commercials on all the major networks including ABC, NBC, and CBS.