The Ford Mustang

By Kellar Ellsworth
The first Ford Mustang. (motortrend)

Usually, any product rushed to market on a shoestring budget only leads to spectacular failures, unless of course, that product was a Ford Mustang. Originally conceived by Lee Iacocca in the early 1960s, the Ford Mustang was based on a compact Falcon. Ironically enough, Mustang was named after a WWII fighter plane rather than the horse. Other names that received serious consideration: the Cougar and T-Bird. It almost went to market as a Torino with ad campaigns ready to roll out. Thankfully, customer surveys preferred Mustang.

Ford introduced their sporty automobile geared toward the youth on April 17, 1964, at the World’s Fair. The company held high hopes for their new creation, shooting for 100,000 cars to be sold within the first year. Any fears of disappointment were quickly dispelled as dealers sold more than 22,000 Mustangs on the first day! Such wild enthusiasm for their new creation gave birth to a new genre of “pony cars.”