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The Ford Mustang will always be the soul of the Ford Motor Company. It is an evergreen car loved across generations, from grandparents to kids.
What began as a classic American muscle car, ended up becoming a top-notch, world-class sports car.
Let us look at the top ten fun facts covering Mustang’s 58-year long history:
The History Dates Back To 1962 (Not 1964)
While we all believe that Mustang was revealed to the world in 1964, the original model of Ford Mustang I goes back to 1962. While this model was nothing compared to the product that was launched in 1964, the idea of the car was created by Lea Iacocca and his team.
It was primarily a two-seater car designed to compete with the small European sports car. The car’s debut at the USA Grand Prix with legend Dan Gurney behind the wheel led to lap times that were just as good as the high-end racing cars of those days. The operating model was then donated to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan in 1982.
It Might Have Been Called Torino (Not Mustang)
When the world fell in love with Mustang in 1964, there was a high chance of it being named something else. With the top competitors in names of Torino, Cougar, and Panther. However, it was Mustang that won the battle.
The Ford Designer John Najjar originally came up with the idea of naming it P-51 Mustang in honor of the fighter plane used during World War II. However, the idea did not go well with the other team members, and the final name Mustang was decided upon.
It Was A Hit From Day One
Unlike several other car companies that witness a gradual sales increase, Ford Mustang hit the highest demand on day 1. With a first-year sales record of 400,000, all those customers had to go through tons of waiting lists.
When the car was introduced at the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows, the first day itself saw a sale of 22,000 vehicles. The demand was so high throughout the next few years that several assembly plants all across California, San Jose, New Jersey, Dearborn, and Metuchen worked on building the Mustang.
The Press Sneaked Photos Before The Big Reveal
When the nephew of Henry Ford II took a ride in the Mustang before its big reveal at the World Fair, a major scoop for the media followed. Buhlie Ford left the car at a parking lot in downtown Detroit where the Free Press soon reached and captured the convertibles’ photos. The release of these photos during the spring of 1964 acted as a tiny plus-point for the company as word-of-mouth spread across states.
The Pony Car Creator
Mustang was the first Pony Car, becoming a trendsetter for several other companies including Chevrolet, the Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, and the Camaro. The idea of the Pony Car was instilled from the then manager Don Frey and was met by immediate success.
The Mustang II was one of the best-selling pony car models from Ford Motors. While other companies gave up chasing the trend, Mustang kept the trend alive.
The First Sale Was An Accident
The first sale of a Mustang Car was an accident. The car was meant to be used solely for the dealership, although it was sold to a Newfoundland pilot. This convertible model was eventually traded back to the company by the customer. With the company displaying it at the Ford Museum in Michigan.
At the same time, it is believed that the first legitimately sold car is valued at $350k.
The First Iconic Movie Appearance
The number of times the Ford has appeared in movies is still a rough figure due to its popularity throughout the years. While its famous debut remains in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, back in 1964.
However, the cars real debut was in a French Comedy named Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez. The French comedy screened over a week before Goldfinger.
All in all, Mustang cars have had over 3,300 appearances in movies of different languages and genres to date.
The Bullitt Car Was Lost (And Then Found)
As surprising as it sounds, there have been multiple Mustangs that have been lost by their owners. While the Stanley Tucker Mustang story remains a mystery, there are other Mustangs that have been lost and found through the years.
Mustang’s stunt and hero car from the movie Bullitt were both lost in the initial years, but later found and confirmed by Ford experts. After the confirmation, they appeared in prominent displays in Mustang’s 50th anniversary.
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Even after its 56-year history, Mustang comes up with a different model of the car every year. And while there were several competitors over the years, Mustang remained number one. With each new model keeping the Mustang brand alive for future generations.
Sales Records For The 2009 and 1966 Mustangs
While it might be tough to believe that the Ford Mustang ever saw a bad year, one of the newer Mustang models caused a decrease in the car’s sales.
That record goes to the 2009 Mustang, which saw a massive plunge in its sales (from 91,251 sales in 2008 to 66,623 in 2009). According to Mustang, customers were waiting for the retro-styled Mustang to be released.
The best year for Mustang models was 1966, wherein almost 607,500 cars were sold in just one year.
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