Who created The Ford Mustang? Iacocca’s road to stardom? The Ford Mustang is a series of American automobiles manufactured by Ford. In continuous production since 1964, the Mustang is currently the longest-produced Ford car nameplate. Currently in its seventh generation, it is the fifth-best selling Ford car nameplate. The namesake of the “pony car” automobile segment, the Mustang was developed as a highly styled line of sporty coupes and convertibles derived from existing model lines, initially distinguished by “long hood, short deck” proportions.
Originally predicted to sell 100,000 vehicles yearly, the 1965 Mustang became the most successful vehicle launch since the 1927 Model A. Introduced on April 17, 1964 (16 days after the Plymouth Barracuda), over 400,000 units were sold in its first year; the one-millionth Mustang was sold within two years of its launch. In August 2018, Ford produced the 10-millionth Mustang; matching the first 1965 Mustang, the vehicle was a 2019 Wimbledon White convertible with a V8 engine.
Who created The Ford Mustang?
It is believed that Lee Iacocca invented the Ford Mustang. Early in the 1960s, he served as vice president of Ford Motor Company, where he played a key role in the creation of the Mustang.
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Ford Mustang through the years
There have been six generations of the Ford Mustang, according to Top Gear. Still in production today, the popular car has experienced both highs and lows throughout the years.
First generation: Built on the Falcon chassis, the Mustang’s first generation lasted through 1973. During that time, it became bigger and heavier. The oil shortage in 1973 and new emissions standards had production boiling the six-cylinder engines down to 88 bhp. Competition came long in the form of the Barracuda, Camaro, and Firebird.
Second generation: Built on the Pinto platform of the time, the second generation Mustangs were far from memorable. These Mustangs weren’t as attractive as their predecessors, handled poorly, and the build quality was lacking. The second generation ended in 1974.
Third generation: The third generation saw the Mustangs become Fox-bodied cars. They were more attractive than the second generation but still an overall step down from the first generation. They produced third generation Mustangs through 1993.
Fourth generation: Made from 1994 to 2004, these Mustangs used an updated Fox platform. Ford got back to business with Mustang’s styling and performance. The Cobra was incredibly popular as was the limited Australian model that had a supercharged 6.8-liter V10 under the hood. This era saw the Mustang get better and better.
Fifth generation: The fifth-generation Mustangs made through 2014 went back to their roots in design and proportion. They used the same contemporary platform used for Lincoln LS and Thunderbird. Mustang gained power and its handling and performance greatly improved.
Sixth generation: The current generation has an independent rear suspension and may be the best class of Mustangs yet. It balances the best of the older and newer models in a car that’s attractive and powerful. Today’s mustangs are what muscle cars are all about.
Who originally made the Mustang?
Mustang was initially produced by Ford. It was first released in 1964 and is now being produced.
Iacocca through the ranks at Ford
Similar to the way he earned his keep while working for engineering, Iacocca rapidly turned heads in the sales division and began to ascend to the top of the totem pole. Following a number of successful marketing campaigns, including the loan program of 1956, Iacocca found his true calling in the product development department. Having already developed a well-respected reputation for his previous initiatives in both engineering and sales, Iacocca would make the transition to product development in time for the 1960s; arguably the most innovative decade for Ford automotive history.
As the newly-minted general manager of Ford’s product development division, Iacocca championed a number of new car designs all throughout the 1960s. While Iacocca would later amass notoriety for the development of the Ford Pinto, the advance of the Ford Mustang in 1964.5 is arguably the Pennsylvania native’s greatest achievement.
The birth of the Ford Mustang
Following a difficult stretch in the late-1950s with the failed Edsel project, Iacocca believed that a stylish pony car could help Ford bounce back. Upon being promoted to his new position of power, Iacocca’s goal was to establish a sporty, yet affordable car to help take Ford to the next level. With the launch of the Chevrolet Monza in the early 1960s, Iacocca knew that his company needed to not only jump into the arms race but to manufacture a sports car that would set itself apart from the pack.
After scouring many concept car designs and bouncing ideas off his team, Iacocca initiated a worldwide competition to find the ideal model for what would eventually become the Ford Mustang. In the midst of the heated contest, Iacocca stumbled upon a sketch by Ford’s own Gale Halderman and the design for the Ford Mustang was born. With the goal in mind of creating a “youth car” that would appeal to the baby boomer generation, Iacocca and his team of like-minded individuals took several unconditional steps to further brainstorm the design of the Ford Mustang over the next several years.
Iacocca’s road to stardom
While Iacocca’s Ford Mustang became a fixture in garages and driveways all across America inside of one year, the pony car quickly found its way to the silver screen. In September of 1964, just five months after the event at the World’s Fair, film director Guy Hamilton displayed a first-generation Ford Mustang convertible in the popular James Bond film, Goldfinger. Several years later, actor Steve McQueen, driving a 1967 Mustang Fastback with a ferocious 390 c.i. V8 under the hood, accelerated down the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt, which is perhaps the most famous chase scene in cinema history.
Though Iacocca and Ford eventually parted ways in the late 1970s, the legacy of the Ford Mustang and all of his hard work lives on to this day. After six generations and over five decades worth of technological and performance advances, the Mustang is as popular as ever, and we have Iacocca’s dedication and determination to thank for it!
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