Monday, December 9, 2013

The Unexpected

The Mustang turns 50 next year, April 17 to be exact, but I wasn't giving it much thought until I heard the introduction of the 2015 model a few days ago.  This is probably the most iconic American automobile and is apparently popular enough in Europe that Ford plans to distribute new models abroad for the first time.   Ironic, given that European styling was what make the Mustang unique in the American market at the time.  I see a few of these little "ponies" running around Vilnius, but to me it is hard to beat the early models.  Clean and crisp with enough horsepower to satisfy me.  But, as my son pointed out to me, still doesn't have independent suspension which is standard over here.

Above is the 1965 model as shown at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.  Here is the press kit that came with it.  It didn't take much to get people to notice.  The sports car exceeded all expectations.  Over 550,000 models were sold with a basic sticker price of $2,320 (about $16,700 adjusted for inflation), which made it affordable to a large segment of the middle class.

The car bred a whole new line of "pony class" cars including the Chevy Camaro, AMC Javelin and Plymouth Barracuda.  All had a "muscle car" version with extra horsepower and other modifications for the racing aficionado.  But, it has been the Mustang that has lasted the longest and made the most indelible mark on the automobile industry.

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