Ford Mustang is perhaps the most iconic car in the world. It surely is the king of muscle cars. Since it’s inception, the Mustang has always been in production and through it’s journey of so many decades, it has spawned a number of myths, urban legends and fun facts. Here are some of them for you:
1. 22,000 Mustangs were sold within the first day of its release.
2. Phil Clark is the original designer of the galloping horse logo.
3. John Najjar, the original designer of the Mustang I Prototype (drawings) supposedly named his design after the P-51 Mustang airplane, but Lee Iacocca has stated a few times that it was directly named after the horse itself, not the airplane.
4. In the late 80s, Ford was considering moving the Mustang over to front-wheel drive. Thankfully, the loyal Mustang fans kept Ford from doing so. The Probe was the replacement that Ford produced.
5. Inspired by the 1968 movie, the first Mustang Bullitt GT model was offered in 2000 and 2001. It featured unique side scoops, 17-inch “Bullitt”-styled wheels and lowered and specially-tuned suspension.
6. In 2002 production ended for two of Mustang’s closest competitors: Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
7. Wimbledon White. There were 18 exterior colors available in 1965, including Raven Black, Champagne Beige, Poppy Red, and Sunlight Yellow.
8. 1966 saw the highest number of Mustangs sold yet, as well as the creation of the millionth model.
9. Many veteran Mustangers know this, but we feel it is still a fun and interesting fact, especially for newcomers. Mustang Number One (VIN 5F08F100001), a convertible, was accidentally sold when it was brand-new. Ford intended to truck the car across Canada on a tour of dealerships. However, a salesman in St. Johns, Newfoundland, accidentally sold it to airline pilot Captain Stanley Tucker. He drove it about 10,000 miles and then traded it back to Ford. In fact, he traded up for the 1,000,001 Mustang built. A ’66 model assembled at Dearborn, Michigan, on March 2, 1966. Today, 5F08F100001 is on display in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.
Mustang Myths – Perhaps not true:
There is the one about the man in Arlington, Texas, who slept in a ’64½ Mustang until his check cleared the next morning, fearing someone else would get the car? Who was the guy? Where is he now? Does anyone have any leads?
Then there’s the story about the truck driver in San Francisco. Apparently thrown into a trance by the sight of the Mustang, he could not take his eyes away, and drove his truck straight through the showroom window. Surely, there is an old police report on that one…or is there?
Ford built oodles of special-edition Mustangs, some of which even the most seasoned experts have never seen, such as a ’68 Red Bird (Cardinal) Special, built for the states of Virginia and North Carolina, where the cardinal is the state bird. Bill Weaver told us these cars came with rear quarter badges that were gold with a red cardinal. Apparently, none of these cars have been restored. Weaver has three of the badges and the instruction sheet on how to install them, though.
Probably the most commonly known special edition is the ’68 California Special. Some of the special editions are one of a kind, such as the ’68 in Jeff Kreuger’s garage. Most people think he is making up his own Playboy Pink Mustang. At a show, one lady exclaimed, “That’s not real!” Oh, but it is real. His hardtop is Passionate Pink, one of the Color of the Month Mustangs offered through the Denver sales district in the first four months of 1968. Passionate Pink made sense for February and Valentine’s Day, and Emerald Green was perfect for March and St. Patrick’s Day. Kreuger’s car is the only one of its color to surface, although at least 10 were built.
Mustang 1964 Pace Car
Naming the Mustang
Fords story is one of intense research to name the car. A long list of possible names was researched, which set off fights. Henry Ford II wanted to call the car Thunderbird II, while Joe Oros fought for the name Cougar and made up Cougar emblems. The name Torino was another favorite.
However, from initial first meetings to produce a small, sporty car, the chosen name was Mustang, says Donald Frey, senior product planning manager. That little group of car people included Lee Iacocca, Donald Frey, Hal Spurlich, Donald Peterson, and some stylists.
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