Jack's Journal: The Ford Mustang - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Jack's Journal: The Ford Mustang

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“The Mustang debuted in April of 1964, and it absolutely was a runaway sales success and it created a new segment for American car manufacturers,” says Jonathan Klinger, Hagerty.

The Mustang was introduced at the New York World’s Fair early in 1964 and it created a storm.

Up to then, Detroit was building large heavy comfy cars. There was nothing to rival the European lightweight, tight handling car, until the Mustang.

It introduced the pony car, the smaller vehicle with the big engine to the muscle car segment and Ford gave the buyer options.

“So out comes the Mustang and it was an instant success. The neat thing was you could order a Mustang as simple as a six cylinder engine, low options and very affordable. Within a couple of years, Ford cranked out examples of big block engines, high horse power. Absolutely fueled the muscle car craze of the late 60s and early 70s,” explains Jonathan.

The other car companies were now in catch up mode. Another great idea from Ford was to contact the young racing hero of the day, Caroll Shelby and had him design versions of the Mustang. That also attracted the gear head of the day.

“He loves tinkering and modifying cars. Ford made a genius decision teaming up with him. Caroll Shelby is synonymous with Mustang and Ford. Right up to his death a few years ago,” says Jonathan.

The Mustang, an instant American classic, has been continuously made since 1964 and still leads the pony car competition. 

It was also one of the cars that started the retro movement in the mid-2000s with its retro version Mustang always leading the pack.