| The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced early on April 17, 1964,dubbed as a "1964½" model by Mustang fans, the 1965 Mustang was the automaker's most successful launch since the Model A. The model is Ford's third oldest nameplate in production and has undergone several transformations to its current fifth generation.
The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobiles sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Chevrolet Camaro, AMC's Javelin,and Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Challengers.It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were exported to the United States.
| The Ford Mustang was brought out five months before the normal start of the 1965 production year. The earliest versions are often referred to as 1964½ models, but VIN coded by Ford and titled as 1965 models with production beginning in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the new car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair.
Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is credited by Ford to have suggested the name. John Najjar co-designed the first prototype of the Ford Mustang known as Ford Mustang I in 1961, working jointly with fellow Ford stylist Philip T. Clark.
The Mustang I made its formal debut at the United States Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York on October 7, 1962, where test driver and contemporary Formula One race driver Dan Gurney lapped the track in a demonstration using the second "race" prototype. His lap times were only slightly off the pace of the F1 race cars.
| As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project—supervising the overall development of the car in a record 18 months while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed the German Ford Taunus V4 engine and was very similar in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero.
The new design was styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca.
| Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became President of Ford Motor Company in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974. Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.
| The 1979 Mustang was based on the longer Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr).
The interior was restyled to accommodate four people in comfort despite a smaller rear seat. Body styles included a coupé, (notchback), hatchback, and convertible. Available trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT (1983–84), SVO (1984–86), Cobra (1979–81; 1993), and Cobra R (1993).
In 1994 the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. Code-named "SN-95" by the automaker, it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel drive Fox platform called "Fox-4." The new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporated several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time since 1974, a hatchback coupe model was unavailable.
The base model came with a 3.8 OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at 145 bhp (108 kW) in 1994 and 1995, or 150 bhp (110 kW) (1996–1998), and was mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic.
| Ford introduced a redesigned 2005 model year Mustang at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, codenamed "S-197," that was based on the new D2C platform. Developed under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer Sid Ramnarace, the fifth-generation Mustang's styling echoes the shineback Mustangs of the late 1960s.
Ford's senior vice president of design, J Mays, called it "retro-futurism." The fifth-generation Mustang is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
| The Mustang made its first public appearance on a racetrack little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500.
A decade later Bob Glidden won the Mustang’s first NHRA Pro Stock title.
Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) six divisions in 1965. Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-Production national championship. GT 350s won the B-Production title again in 1966 and 1967. They also won the 1966 manufacturers’ championship in the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am series, and repeated the win the following year