The Birth of the Pony Car: The Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang defines what a classic car is for many enthusiasts. It can be a serene boulevard cruiser or a ground shaking muscle car. And the passion for keeping the Mustang charm alive has initiated a rebirth of classic Mustang styling in recent model years. Just compare the 1965 fastback to today’s sixth-generation Mustang. The similarities are obvious. It seems any car with a strong cult following has a unique story worth telling. And the Ford Mustang is no exception.

The Mustang began as concepts, namely the 1962 Ford Mustang I and 1963 Ford Mustang II. The Mustang I was the most interesting of the two. It was an open cockpit two-seater with, believe it or not, a mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine. The Mustang I concept bared little resemblance to the final production car, but it was it was a fascinating design study from an American car company. Ultimately, the two concepts were used to test the public’s acceptance of a new Ford coupe.

The production car was introduced to the public in April of 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. Interestingly enough, the Ford factory was already making the car, as the automaker’s assembly line had ramped up the previous month.

Sales of the Mustang actually began five months prior to the normal start of the 1965 production year. Thus, among Mustang aficionados, the first cars are commonly referred to as 1964½ models. But to Ford, the Mustang was advertised, VIN coded and titled as 1965 models.

The Mustang hit the ground running, opening to rave reviews around the country, which included 2,600 publicity articles in newspapers. A convertible even appeared in the James Bond film, “Goldfinger,” in September of 1964.

The initial plan for the Mustang was for it to be strictly a two-seater. But after realizing how well the Thunderbird did following its change to a 2+2, the Mustang design changed as well to include front bucket seats and a rear bench seat. The additional Fastback model was introduced in August of 1965.

As one of the most requested cars on Vinty, the mystique of the Ford Mustang is just as strong as ever. There are several to choose from including this beautiful 1965 Fastback to the car pictured above, a 1966 convertible.