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Mustang History

Mustang History Highlights:
1962 project code named T-5
Robert S. McNamara credited with concept
Lee Iacocca was Ford marketing director
Names considered:
Cheetah, Puna, Thunderbird II, Cougar, Colt
Special Falcon, Torino, and Mustang
100,000 new Mustangs sold in the first 90 days!
160,000 sold by the end of 1964


1964 1/2 through 1966:
First Mustang unveiled on 17 April of 1964
Base price: $2,360.00
Cars made before September of 1964 are considered 1964 1/2
1964 1/2 models included only the convertible and coupe
Fastback was introduced in the 1965 model year
Engine options were:
260 2bbl V-8 (early)
120 Horsepower 200 I-6 (4 lug wheels)
200 Horsepower 289 2bbl V-8 (C-Code)
225 Horsepower 289 4bbl V-8 (A-Code)
271 Horsepower 289 V-8 (K-Code Hipo 289)
California starts producing thermactor exhaust system (smog)
Carroll Shelby introduced his GT-350's in fastback model
Nov. 1965, Hertz contracts for 1,000 Shelby GT-350H models
GT package debuts in mid April of 1965
By the end of the first year of sales, 417,000 were sold!
Plants in Dearborn MI, San Jose CA, and Metuchen NJ are used.


1967 through 1968 (slightly larger cars)
Sprint 200 sold many (decked-out 200cid I-6)
Straight six available with 200 and 250 cid
Big block 390 V-8s are now available and big sellers
Good-bye to the trusty 289 and begin the 302
302 V-8 comes with 230 HP or 250 HP
390 V-8 pumps out 270 HP or 325 HP
Shelby GT-350 was joined by the GT-500 (big block) in this era
Shelby offered 3 engines and 7 different colors, and convertible
Shelby's "King of the Road" GT-500KR debuts
Intro of the 428 Cobra Jet with 360 HP
Optional dealer-added 427
"Specials" arrive: California, High Country, Blue Bonnet, Twister
Steve McQueen drives a 1968 fastback in the movie "Bullitt"


1969 through 1970 (even larger this time)
New design, 4 inches longer
Four new models: Mach I, Grande, Boss 302, Boss 429
Body styles: Sportsroof, Coupe, Grande, Convertible, Grabber
6 cyl. still available in 200 and 250 cid
302 V-8 starts with 210 HP
Boss 302 is introduced with 290 HP 302
351 Windsor debut 250-290 HP (grown up 302)
390 pumps out 320 HP with 4v carb
428 CJ comes with 335 HP
Boss 429 is powered with 375 HP 429 cid
Shelby's last year is 1970
1970 Boss 302 and 429 phased out
Last of the "smaller" Mustangs


1971 through 1973 (the largest Mustangs)
Boss 429 and Boss 302 are replaced by Boss 351
250 cid is only I-6 (145 HP)
302 cid 210 HP
351 Cleveland comes with 240-285 HP
Boss 351 produces 330 HP
429 cid 370-375 HP
1972 - no more Boss cars or engines
1972 Mach I powered with 351C 275 HP
The age of the classic Mustang has drawn to an end
Some say it ended in 1970, but how about the 1971 Boss 351?


1974 through 1978 (fuel economy years - low power)
Enter the dark ages of the Mustang, the muscle car is out
Mustang is now known as Mustang II
Little more than a pumped up Pinto
Mustang Enthusiasts start hiding
4 banger starts with 87 HP!
Upgrade to V-6 and get 97 HP!
Believe it or not, there was a V-6 Mach I
1975 return of the V-8 302 but with only 133 HP
"T" tops and Ghias
1978 "King Cobra" with 302 V-8


1979 through 1993 (Fox and the Hounds)
Ford tries to bring back the Mustang
1979 model still ugly
Performance slowly on a comeback
1984 shows some high performace with SVO Team
Ford goes after the "Beamer" crowd with high-tech
302 still only gives out 175 HP but performs
Mustang SVO does 1/4 mile in 15.5 and 137 mph ... not bad
Saleen cars squeak out 170 mph
1985: Enter the "5.0 Mustangs"
5.0 HO EFI V-8 produced 175-205 HP
Mustangs are fun to drive again
SVO dropped in 1987 from poor sales
HP incresed 25 with new exhaust to 225 HP
1993: Saleen celebrates last of the "Fox" Mustangs

1994 through 1996:
New look Mustangs began work in 1989
30-year anniversary
SVT Mustang Cobra R has 330 HP 351W
V-6 3.8L pumps out 145 HP
5.0 V-8 still around
1994 Indy Pace Car has 235 HP 5.0, faster look
1996 Intro of the new 4.6L SOHC
Many mods available (factory and other)
Turbos and blown motors
Cars are fun to drive, but smaller inside than my '66

Shelby, Boss, & Cobra Jet History Click Here

Ford Mustang Engine History Click Here


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