The Ford Mustang has a fantastic and varied history, but it has been a staple Ford car for more than 50 years since its first release at the 1964 World’s Fair. Follow us as we watch the Mustang evolve right before our eyes.
The Mustang made its first appearance in 1964, half way through the production year. It was originally equipped with an inline-six engine and shared its chassis design with the Ford Falcon. The very next year, Ford enlisted the help of Carroll Shelby who designed the Shelby GT 350. It had a 4.7L Windsor V8, but its sleek updated body style helped to spark the 3 best sales years in Ford history. In its first 3 years, the Mustang sold 500,000 cars or more every single year.
’68 also brought the Mustang Fastback, which was eventually made famous in the Steve McQueen move Bullitt.
1969 introduced the Mach 1 which became so popular that Ford actually discontinued the GT until 1982.
The 70s brought a gas crisis, where the common man could no longer afford a car that didn’t get good gas mileage, at least for the time period, so Ford shelved the sportier mustangs in favor of the Mustang II in 1973. It had a smaller V6 engine and shared its boxy chassis with the Pinto.
It wasn’t until the late 80s that the Mustang really got its groove back in the form of the GT 5.0. This sporty coupe, known as the Fox Body, was equipped with a 5.0L V8 Windsor engine and more aerodynamic styling.
The 90s brought grunge, punk, and the Notch Back mustang — this coupe had sharper lines in the trunk and rear windshield, losing some of the sleekness of the Fox Body in exchange for more headroom in the back seat.
In 1996 Ford launched the 4th generation Mustang with the new GT.
The new millennium brought with it the SVT Cobra R, the beginning of Mustang’s “New Edge” era. This was the first to offer side exhaust and was designed to look as aggressive as it sounded.
2005 brought about the beginning of the 5th generation with the GT, equipped with its 4.6L modular V8 engine.
Ford just can’t get enough of their GTs, with the 2011 model and its retro tail lights. This was the second part of the 5th generation, and switched up from the 4.6L engine to the revised 5.0L engine named the Coyote.
The 2012 Shelby GT 500 was the reincarnation of the earliest Shelby Mustangs, and the last car that Carroll Shelby worked on before he passed away.
2015 marked the beginning of the 6th generation of Mustangs, with a fully redesigned body and independent rear suspension for better control. The 2016 Shelby had a larger engine, coming in at 5.2L.
2018’s upcoming models are part of the second phase of the Generation 6 cars.
Mustang has grown and changed dramatically over the last 50 years. We can only guess where they’re headed next!