1965 MUSTANG                                                                                                                     NO 38

Championed by Lee Iacocca, Ford Division general manager, the Mustang was the first of the “Pony Cars” (affordable sporty coupes with long hoods and short rear decks). The Ford Mustang debuted as a simple sports car powered by a 170 cid six cylinder with a pair of V8's as options. Originally named for the P-51 fighter plane, the wild Mustang of western fame became and remains its emblem. Buyers loved its low price, great looks, and many options and Ford loved its high volume sales. After only 18 months sales reached 1 million Mustangs sold.  In late 1964, Ford introduced the sporty 2+2 fastback body style to go along with the hardtop coupe and convertible.

Early 1965 Mustang convertible                    40,000 original miles                Complete restoration
Original 289 C-Code engine                           C4 automatic transmission       New power top
Kelsey Hayes wheels                                        Original seat upholstery             New tires and brakes
New paint in original Silver Blue color        A great driving, lightly restored

Although some other “pony cars” have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production over all five decades of development and revision.


The Ford Mustang

After the withdrawal from the market of the Edsel in 1960, Ford Motor Company demonstrated that she had learned her lessons when the Falcon was introduced for the1960 model year.  Accurate analysis of the market, realistic advertising, and cost control mated to a dedicated assembly line building only Falcons gave the model much higher reliability than the Edsel.  That and the use of existing parts and components helped the corporation and dealers who were going to have to service the “new” model control costs.  As a result, over 300,000 Falcons were built and sold that first model year alone.

By 1962 the Falcon was ready for a re-design.  Ford Division President Lee Iacocca championed the development of the T-5 Project featuring a two seat mid-engine roadster along the lines of the Corvette. But the success (measured in vastly increased sales) of the T-Bird restyle in 1958 led to four seat version of the T-5 which by this time was being called the “Mustang.”  Again using parts and components already in production on other Ford models saved the Corporation money,  shortened the learning curve for assembly workers, and allowed the dealers to forego having to invest in additional high cost inventory.  A win all around!

Introduced on April 17, 1964 as a “1964 ½ “ at a list price of $2.368.00 (US) the Mustang created the “pony car” class of American muscle cars, affordable coups with long hoods and short rear decks.  Competitors such as the Chevy Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda soon followed.  The Mustang launch in 1964-65 was Ford’s most successful new car launch since the Model A.  Over 418,000 Mustangs were sold during its first year of production alone. In the first 18 months of production over one million Mustangs were built!  The lessons of the Edsel debacle had been well learned.

There are several differences between the early 1964½ Mustangs and later 1965 Mustangs. Beginning in August of 1964 additional back lights were installed, alternators replaced generators, the six cylinder engine was upgraded, and the 289 cid V8 engine was introduced. Among many purists these differences, these distinctions, matter to this day.

Among the specialty cars introduced during the `50’s and `60’s only the Mustang and Corvette have been continuously produced down to his day.  There have been six generations of Mustang designed, produced, and enjoyed so far.  They are:


                                           1st Gen             1964 ½ - 1973

                                           2nd Gen            1974    -  1978

                                           3rd Gen            1979    -  1993

                                           4th Gen             1994    -  2004

                                           5th Gen            2005    -  2014

                                           6th Gen            2015    - Present