Key Moments in Mustang History

Key Moments in Mustang History

  • April 17, 1964 – Mustang debuts. Over the weekend, over 22,000 Mustangs are ordered. Showrooms are bombarded with Mustang mania.
  • January, 1965 – First Shelby Mustang is revealed to the public.
  • 1966 – Marks the last year for the original fastback. In the following year, the roof extends all the way to the rear.
  • 1967 – First minor design change to the Ford Mustang takes place.
  • 1968 – Steve McQueen stars as Detective Frank Bullitt sporting a 1968 GT390, boosting the popularity of the car with the unforgettable San Francisco chase scene.
  • 1969 – As the muscle car era reaches its pinnacle, the Mustang is offered in two new high powered models – the Mach 1 and the Boss Mustang.
  • 1971 – A new look of the Ford Mustang is revealed. The wrong design for America’s changing economy, the new design was only to last three years.
  • 1973 – The last year for the “big” Mustang. The Mustang looses its performance image as horsepower dramatically declines; it’s definitely time for a change.
  • 1974 – The new generation Mustang, the Mustang II, is a major success. Returning back to its roots, the Mustang is once again a compact Pony Car, even though very little performance is offered.
  • 1976 – Performance begins to return to the lineup as the Cobra Mustang is offered. Although only available with a V6, the Cobra sparks a trend of performance Mustangs in the near future.
  • 1979 – For the second time in its history, the Mustang is the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500. Production pace cars are available.
  • 1983 – The 5.0L V8 engine is introduced. Popular even today, the 5.0L engine remains in the Mustang through the 1995 model year.
  • 1984 – The SVO is introduced. Sporting European styling, the SVO has less than flattering numbers, but gets raved reviews for its high output horsepower and comfortable all around package. The SVO also offers a sneak peak into the Mustang of the future.
  • 1987 – The third-generation Mustang received a face lift. Horsepower is boosted as the 5.0L produced 225 of it.
  • 1993 – The Special Vehicles Team is created for the outlook of Ford’s performance image. Their first creation – the SVT Cobra which is rated at 235 horsepower.
  • 1994 – The fourth-generation Mustang is revealed. Some features of the classic Pony are evident, although the new design has much of its own original look. For the third time, the Mustang is the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500.
  • 1996 – The 5.0L engine, first introduced in 1983, is dropped and replaced by a 4.6L V-8.
  • 2000 – The race ready Cobra R is available to the public. With an astounding 385 horsepower, the Cobra R is the ultimate street machine.
  • 2001 – Ford pays tribute to Steve McQueen with the re-innovation of the Bullitt Mustang, originally a 1968 GT390 driven in the streets of San Francisco by Frank Bullitt.
  • 2003 – The Mach 1 returns to the Mustang lineup. Featuring the ever popular shaker hood scoop, the Mach 1 is capable of producing more than 300 horsepower.
  • 2004 – The 40th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.
  • 2005 – The Mustang is completely redesigned as the fifth generation Mustang debuts. Sporting a sleek design with obvious features of the classics, the ’05 Mustang has a power upgrade too, as horsepower is boosted on both the GT and V6 coupe models.

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