During the 1960s, car manufacturers started to focus on style to attract a new generation of drivers. Memorable models from the decade include the Pontiac Firebird, Camaro and AMC Javelin. But the breakout car of the 60s was the Ford Mustang. Introduced in 1964, the car was an instant hit with men and women, who were drawn to the attractive design. The Mustang has come to symbolise the quintessential image of a classic car. The motor has a rich history, and here are seven interesting facts you might not know about it.
1. It could have been named the Ford Cougar
There were several names proposed before the Mustang was given its famous moniker. These included Cougar, Panther, Colt, Stiletto, Comet, Allegro and many more.
2. 22,000 Mustangs were sold on the first day
Even Ford couldn’t have predicted how successful the car would be. On the opening day, 22,000 units were sold and dealerships were taking waiting lists for several days after.
3. It was the first pony car
The Mustang created the category of the ‘pony’ car, a reference to its distinctive horse logo. The name encompassed all the competitor cars that were built to try and match the Mustang’s success. An example is the Chevrolet Camaro, which also cemented the image of a sporty vehicle with a sleek style.
4. There’s symbolism to the logo
The logo of the car is a Mustang horse galloping from right to left. It was created by automotive designer, Philip Thomas Clark. The horse has a strong connection to the American West, but the symbolism runs deeper. According to some reports, the horse represents American expansion and freedom. Others say the logo is moving to the left because Clark was right-handed and it was easier for him to draw that way.
5. The first Mustang was sold by accident
The first Mustang, a convertible model, was meant to be used exclusively for a dealership tour. However, the car was accidently sold to a customer in Newfoundland. The customer was a pilot who drove it for 10,000 miles and eventually traded the car back to Ford. The company was able to preserve the model and it’s on display at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
6. The Mustang is a popular movie car
Due to its powerful design, the Mustang has enjoyed star treatment in many films. Steven McQueen drove one during the iconic car chase scene in Bullitt. Mustangs have also appeared in James Bond films like Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever.
7. The most expensive Mustang at auction was sold for over $1 million
In May 2013, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold for $1.3 million. The car is considered to be rare because only one test model was built. There’s one other Mustang that’s considered to be more expensive, and that’s the 1968 Shelby EXP 500 Green Hornet.