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Ford Mustang:

The Ultimate Classic Car?

The Ford Mustang is a compact car that was first manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in 1964. After the Ford Model A, the Ford Mustang became the company’s most successful car model. Some people call it the “Ultimate Classic Car.” The Mustang was a trendsetting design, creating a brand new car class called the ‘pony car’. The Mustang sported a small rear deck and a long hood. Essentially, it was a coupe with a resemblance of sports cars. After the resounding success of the Mustang, Ford’s competitors were prompted to enter the new car class by launching models such as the Chevrolet Camaro (GM) and the Toyota Celica.

The Ford Mustang has undergone a number of model redesigns and it is currently in its fifth generation. The first production of Mustang commenced in March 1964 at Michigan’s Dearborn. The Mustang was subsequently unveiled at the World Fair of New York (1964). The name “Mustang” was possibly coined by President Harris, Mustang’s executive stylist. The car was named after the P-51 Mustang, a fighter plane used during World War II.

First Generation

Donald N. Frey engineered the first generation Mustang under the supervision of Lee Iacocca. Launched in 1963, the first Mustang was a two-seat coupe with a mid-mounted V4 engine. The development of the car took almost two years but once it was launched, the Mustang became an instant hit with the car enthusiasts.

Second Generation

After a decade of producing the first generation Mustang, the company decided to revamp the car design and functionality. A more fuel efficient and smaller Mustang was designed. The second generation Ford Mustangs was rolled out in 1974. It was known as the Mustang II.

Third Generation

The 1979 model was called the Mustang GT. It contained a larger platform for accommodating four people easily. The engine bay and the trunk were expanded. The Mustang now had variants such as the coupe, convertible, and the Mustang hatchback.

Fourth Generation

The fourth generation of Mustangs witnessed a major overhaul in the design of the car. Codenamed “SN-95”, it comprised of a rear-wheel drive platform named “Fox-4”. The new styling and design was provided by car designer Patrick Schiavone. The new Mustang models were launched in 1994. Ford also discontinued the production of the Mustang hatch back coupe models.

Fifth Generation

The latest generation of Ford Mustangs belongs to the fifth generation. They are available in Mustang GT and Mustang CS convertibles. The new Mustang design has been called “retro-futuristic” by J. Mays, the company’s senior vice president of design. Designed by Sid Ramnarace, it is based on the D2C platform. The model was first introduced to the public in the North American Auto Show of 2004.

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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com