With the Mustang, Ford created a new class of cars, the pony car. Less performance-oriented and a little easier on the wallet than a muscle car, the pony car represents the best of both worlds. With the production of the Mustang, and subsequent competitors such as the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger, the automotive industry offered consumers sporty cars with some performance characteristics at a price that many could afford.
The first Mustang was produced in 1964, towards the end of the year. For this reason, the first line up is often referred to as 1964 and ½. The Ford Falcon was the base for the first generation Mustang. The Mustang at the time was a more compact car than the models we see today. Over the successive years, the car got bigger and heavier.
For the original Mustang, Mustang designers needed to create a car that was affordable. For this reason, the 1965 model used parts in common with the Falcon and Fairlane. This move made the car not only attainable for most people, it also meant that repairs were simple and cheap.
Ford’s pony car proved to be an immense success. It sold the projected first year total of 100,000 cars in just the first three months. For Ford, the most successful car introduced since the Model A proved to be the Mustang. Mustangs continued to sell well until the early 1970s when they became heavier, slower, and less performance-oriented.
By the fourth generation beginning in 1994, Mustang received its first design overhaul in many years and got improvements to the performance elements as well, both of which helped bump of sales. For the fifth generation, which leads up to the present, the styling of the Mustang reaches back to the original model of the 1960s. Today’s Mustang echoes the design and performance of the original model.