Learn how the Ford Mustang became the world’s best-selling sports car | Rare Techy
After the baby boomers came of age and college filled up, Ford’s market research quickly showed that college-educated consumers were buying cars like Lemonade. Also, families in the United States were ready to add another car to their garage. The number of families owning two or more cars increased from 1 million in 1959 to 13 million by 1963—and counting. In fact, studies proved that women bought more cars than men between 1956 and 1963.
It was a youthful market looking for a car that handled well, was compact and easy to park. They had specific requests, such as a choice of manual and automatic transmissions, bucket seats and a sports car. A high-performance engine was also part of what they had in mind. But – and this is a big but – pricing was critical to the car’s success Ford. Let’s see how the Ford Mustang became the world’s best-selling sports car.
Three mustangs with different styles for the public
Ford designers had come up with Mustangs that were designed in three completely different ways. Ford even invited select groups to take a closer look at the test cars because they wanted to know what people thought.
The Allegro concept car was the first model to be produced, very identical to all European imports of the time. The concept featured many innovative design elements, such as a fixed seat, movable gas and brake pedals, and a steering column with a rotary lever for easy entry and exit. The Allegro’s long hood and grille outline eventually made it to the final production Mustang.
The second model shown was the Mustang l: a two-seat concept that looked different from the final product. Two versions of this sporty car were produced, with a mid-mounted engine and side scoops for cooling.
A fiberglass show car followed by a performance car that debuted at Watkins Glen in 1962. Surprisingly, both cars garnered a lot of interest and were even shown around college campuses to take the pulse of the young guns.
Before the final design of the Mustang was drawn up, the Mustang ll was the third car to be shown; this model was basically a research tool to see what the design had to say for itself, as this four-seat sports model had elements of the future Mustang. The body of the car was reinforced with fiberglass and extended by 127 mm, while the roof was lowered by 76.2 mm.
The first generation Ford Mustang set the ball rolling
The first generation Ford Mustang was ready for its global debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In Ford’s eyes, the model had perfect design with a great price. Ford even went all out with television commercials emphasizing the car’s design and pricing. The commercials aired on The Jimmy Dean Show, ABC, Hazel on NBC, and Perry Mason on CBS. It was reported that the ads had a total of 29 million viewers.
When the Mustang hit dealerships in 1965, more than 4 million customers visited it in its first weekend and, at a bargain, Ford received over 22,000 orders during that period. Americans, including Hollywood celebrities, fell in love with the Mustang.
Within just four months of its launch, Ford sold over 100,000 Mustangs, making it the top 5 selling vehicle in the US. Over 420,000 Mustangs were sold in the first year, making it the most successful sports car (or muscle car) ever introduced in America.
In 1966, Ford rolled out its millionth Mustang at the assembly plant in Dearborn. Not only did it set a new record for passenger car production, it also had a huge impact on the American economy since World War II.
Ford Mustang through the generations
The first generation Mustang was sold from 1965 to 1973. It was sold as a two-door model, available in open and hardtop versions. A white Wimbledon Mustang with a red interior was also used in the James Bond film Goldfinger. The Mustang was advertised with a list price of $2,368. In addition to the 6-cylinder engine, it had the more popular V8 that produced 210 hp.
The second generation Mustang was produced from 1974 to 1978. This model was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact. It was called the Mustang ll. Its smaller proportions meant it would take on the likes of the Datsun 240Z and 1976 Toyota Celica GT. The 1975 model was introduced with a 4.9-liter Windsor V8 mated to a C4 automatic transmission.
The third generation Mustang was produced from 1979 to 1993. This model was based on the larger Fox platform. A larger body with a longer wheelbase gave more space for four passengers. In addition, it had a larger engine compartment and a larger trunk. Body styles included hatchback, coupe and convertible.
The fourth generation Mustang was produced from 1994 to 2004. It was a major redesign of the Mustang and it was nothing like the original. The base model was powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine, while the 4.6-liter V8 produced 228 hp in 1998.
The fifth generation Mustang was produced from 2005 to 2014. Once again it was a massive redesign for the Mustang, only this time the lines took us back to the original. The model was powered by a cast-iron 4.0-liter V6 that produced 210 hp, while the GT used an aluminum-block 4.6-liter V8 that produced 300 hp. The Shelby GT500 had 662 hp from a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 on this model.
The sixth generation Mustang has been on sale worldwide since 2015. For the first time in its history, the Mustang received an independent rear suspension and was the first right-hand drive model to be exported worldwide. Thanks to its global distribution, it instantly became the best-selling sports car in the world. In addition to the 4-cylinder 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the 435-horsepower 5.0-liter Coyote V8 became one of the best V8s produced in pony car history.
The seventh generation Ford Mustang may be the last pure ICE model
While the current CEO of Ford Motor Company, Jim Farley, stated during the unveiling of their 7th generation Mustang that they would stick with their Coyote V8 engine, plans are now likely to move from one end to the other with the Mustang. going all-electric in its 8th generation form. Dodge is doing this with its recently unveiled Charger EV, and Ford will have to keep up with the trend of ICE-powered vehicles going electric sooner or later.