Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17th, 1964-Cognoscenti Know This Date!

2009 Mustang meets 1964 Barracuda in this Mustang Glassback. I couldn't let the 46th anniversary of the Mustang's introduction to pass without posting at least one Mustang chop.

C H O P — April 17th, 1964 is, of course, the day the first Ford Mustang was introduced. Forty six years ago today, I was almost 7 years old, and this was my first 'half-year' model introduction! The Mustang was introduced as a 1964 1/2, blowing my little mind, as I was just getting the hang of a 1962 versus 1963 Ford taillights, and the way Chevy differentiated model lines with it's side trim in 1960 (hint: the chrome "rocket" changed sizes). To now have a HALF YEAR car was an interesting development, lol. It certainly sped up my Second Grade knowledge of fractions.

Though I've never owned a Mustang, and my family never did either when I was growing up, I've always had a soft spot for them. Part of it is the name I guess, Mustang is just so damn evocative. Whether you're a little girl dreaming of black stallions, a little boy dreaming of the wild west's Appaloosas or Pintos, or a Dad hoping the Derby pays off this year, lol, horses have a special place in an American's minds. Second would have to be the styling. Even in what purists call the Dark Days of the Mustang II, there has never been an ugly Mustang, in my opinion of course. I would put up a bright red/black '74 Mustang II Mach 1, (with it's 2.8 liter V6!) up against any small mid seventies car built worldwide style-wise. 

The '71-'73 model years produced the gorgeous flatback bodystyle as well as the notchback with flying buttressed C pillars. The '68 fastback gave us the iconic Bullitt chase scene. The mid '80s Fox-bodied Mustang helped bring back the convertible bodystyle to the masses, as well as the Loony Tunes fun of a powerful V8 hooked to a simple rear wheel drive chassis. Mid nineties restyles brought retro design cues and increased sales, as well as more and more sophisticated features and drivetrains. This year engine horsepower ranges from  305 in the new V6, to 550 in the supercharged V8.

Five years to the day after the original Mustang came out, Ford released the Maverick, on April 17, 1969 as an early 1970 model, not repeating the 1/2 year model year of the Mustang.

A couple of 'blue sky' Mustangs including my favored notchback bodystyle—chopped from the 2005 concept cars.

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