RELEASE PM'S, MONDAY APRIL 13, 1964
and features of expensive European road cars are combined with an American
mass-production price, compact economy, and traditional Ford quality in the
Mustang -- a new line of cars from Ford Division of Ford Motor Company.
Aimed at the fastest-growing dimension in American motoring -- driving for pleasure -- the Mustang offers the practicality of a back seat and adequate trunk space in a car comparable in size to the classic two-passenger Thunderbird.
Mustang hardtop and convertible models feature -- as standard equipment -- such sports and luxury features as bucket seats, molded nylon carpeting floor mounted shift for both manual and automatic transmissions, all-vinyl interior, padded instrument panel, and full wheel covers.
"In the Mustang, Ford actually has created three cars in one," according to Lee A. Iacocca, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division general manager. "Starting with the economical, fun-to-drive basic Mustang, the buyer may select options to give him a sports car for street or competition use or a luxury car geared to either economy or performance."
Mustang options available to the performance-minded include a selection of three V-8 engines with up to 271 horsepower, 4-speed transmission, quick-ratio steering, Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock, limited-slip differential, and a special handling suspension and sports tires.
Luxury options include a center console, power brakes and steering, automatic transmission, power convertible top, rear-seat radio speaker, remote control trunk release, vinyl-covered hardtop roof, and air conditioning.
"We believe the Mustang represents a new dimension in American motoring at a time when new and old generations of car-lovers alike have come full circle to an appreciation of the automobile for its own sake," says Mr. Iacocca. "It offers a combination of driving fun, roominess and style that permits the Mustang buyer to make of the car almost anything he desires -- all at a low initial cost."
The Mustang is low -- only four feet, three inches tall -- with a wheel base of 108 inches. It has an over-all length of 181.6 inches -- just half an inch longer than the two-passenger 1957 Thunderbird -- and is 68 inches wide. Yet, with two bucket seats in the front and a bench-type seat in the rear, it offers 5-passenger family seating.
Some of the most significant mechanical and functional breakthroughs in the history of car-building -- particularly in the area of weight control -- are incorporated in the Mustang. It weighs 400 pounds less than the 1957 Thunderbird, due largely to a new type of body construction.
The Mustang body is a sturdy, all-welded structure carried on a platform type chassis which utilizes the drive-shaft tunnel as a rugged backbone. Main underbody members are galvanized and zinc-rich primer is used extensively to retard corrosion. Doors feature two-stage checks and Ford's "Bear-Hug" door latches.
Convertibles offer as standard equipment a sturdy, manually operated top with counterbalancing springs and high-leverage latches for easy operation. A power-operated top is optional.
The passenger compartment of all Mustangs is surrounded with specially designed materials for excellent weather and sound insulation. The floor areas, for example, have a triple thickness of insulating material -- a heavy mat, a jute pad, and nylon carpeting.
The Mustang has a "look of performance," characterized by a low profile with sports car proportions. Full-wheel cutouts and the forward-thrusting hood accentuate the Mustang's sporty design.
The Mustang grille is finished in gunmetal gray to dramatize the galloping Mustang emblem "floating" in a rectangle at the center. The grille extends the sweep of the hood ahead of the single-mounted, seven-inch headlamps, and small scoop lines in the sheet metal grille fairing emphasize the forward thrust. The wing-shaped, wrap-around bumpers and standard-equipment bumper guards repeat the thrusting plan view of the hood.
The rear of the Mustang has a wide, clean appearance with an integrated bumper curving upward at the outer edges to meet the sheet metal. A competition style, center-fill fuel cap bears the Mustang ornament and script. Vertical, three-section taillights are located below the deck lid at either side. The lower rear body panel displays standard-equipment bumper guards and, like the lower front panel, is made of galvanized steel for corrosion resistance.
The wrap-under of the side sheet metal further exposes the wheels for a performance appearance, and curved side glass contributes to interior roominess as well as to the sporty appearance of the Mustang. Rich sculpturing in the side panels is reminiscent of Ford's widely acclaimed Mustang I and Mustang II show cars.
The Mustang's two-plus-two seating features front bucket seats with foam padded cushions and backs. The seats are of sports-car design for comfort and good body support. The rear bench seat is styled with inserts in a matching bucket pattern.
A spacious feeling results from the forward location of the padded instrument panel. The sheet metal portion of the instrument cluster and glove compartment door have a "camera case" black crackle finish to help reduce glare.
In addition to suspended brake and clutch pedals, the Mustang accelerator pedal is a suspended design. The pedal gives unusual foot comfort -- especially to women wearing high heels -- and provides smooth and easy engine control.
Four engines and three transmissions provide eight power-team combinations tailored to Mustang economy and performance.
The standard power team is the 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine with three-speed manual transmission. This 101-horsepower engine offers the buyer low initial cost, maximum operating economy, and good performance.
Three optional V-8 engines are offered -- the Mustang "260" V-8 at 164 horsepower, the Mustang "289" V-8 at 210 horsepower, and the Mustang "289" High Performance V-8 at 271 horsepower.
Ford's three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission is optional with all engines except the "289" High-Performance V-8. For those desiring a "fun-to-drive" car with maximum road performance, the all-synchronized four-speed manual transmission is available with all engines except the "260" V-8. The three-speed manual transmission is standard with the "170" six and "260" V-8 engines.
One of the most important features of the Mustang is the number of standard items which are either unavailable or are extra-cost options on most other makes.
Luxury features include deep foam bucket seats; padded instrument panel; full wheel covers; color-keyed, all-vinyl interior; color-keyed, molded nylon carpeting; floor-mounted transmission shift lever; and a deep-dish steering wheel with bright metal horn arms.
The interior of the Mustang also includes bright work on instrument panel face and control knobs, seat side shields, rear-view mirror back and sun visor hardware. Convenience items include not only sun visors, but also arm rests, cigarette lighter, automatic glove-compartment and courtesy lights, front seat belts, and heater.
On the exterior, the Mustang buyer gets wrap-around bumpers with bumper guards, curved side glass, bright windshield and drip moldings, parallel-action windshield wipers, and Bear-Hug door locks.
Other Mustang standard features include Twice-A-Year or 6,000-mile service, self-adjusting brakes, and 36,000 mile chassis lubrication.
With the Mustang's many standard equipment features, options are designed to help the customer tailor-make his Mustang to fit his specific tastes and requirements.
Comfort and convenience options include power brakes, power steering, power convertible top, push-button AM radio, air conditioning, 2-speed electric windshield wiper and washer, tinted windshield, and tinted glass.
Appearance options include floor console, padded sun visors, retractable seat belts, vinyl-covered hardtop, rocker-panel molding, deluxe simulated knock off wheel covers, wire wheel covers, outside rear-view mirror, and an accent paint stripe which outlines the side sculpturing.
For the sports oriented, the Mustang offers a Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock; special handling package including heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers, heavy front stabilizer bar, 22 to 1 steering ratio and 14-inch tires; limited-slip differential; heavy-duty battery; and 15-inch sports tires.
Ford researchers found this interest in "fun-to-drive" cars related to several factors:
- The rapid growth in population, especially among the younger age groups. The number of 15-to-24-year olds will increase 11.5 million between 1960 and 1970. Their tastes are reflected not only in their own car purchases, but in their influence on their parents' buying preferences as well.
- The increase in college enrollments, which will reach an estimated 7 million by 1970 -- or nearly double the 1960 total. College-educated people buy cars at a phenomenally higher rate than non-college people.
- The growth in multiple-car families, increasing at a rate of more than a million households a year. In 1956, only 6 million U.S. households owned two or more cars. Today the number has grown to 13 million. In many cases the second car reflects the special interests and needs of the buyer.
- The growing number of women who drive. Since 1956, this number has increased by 53 per cent compared with an increase of only six per cent in the number of male drivers.
What kind of car do these buyers want?
- "They wanted the best transportation they could get for their money," Mr. Iacocca said. "Many of them bought used cars. Those who bought new cars wanted style plus either economy or high performance -- at the lowest possible price. They wanted cars that looked expensive but weren't. They also wanted cars that were fun to drive and cars that held up well so they'd bring good prices at trade-in time.
- "All of the product characteristics these people sought in a new car were offered on the market in some car or another -- but not in a single car. The market was there and the needs were there. Our job was to come up with the car."
Ford designers set to work with these product objectives:
- The car should be as low-priced as possible -- to compete in the volume segment of the market.
- It should seat four passengers, and have front bucket seats to complement the over-all sporty appearance of the car.
- It should have good trunk space.
- It should offer both good performance and good economy -- meaning a wide range of engine choice.
- It had to be soundly and exquisitely styled.
- It had to be versatile -- adaptable to a wide variety of tastes.
"That's how the Mustang was born", Mr. Iacocca said," -- designed for a market looking for a car."
Standard equipment on all Mustangs includes:
Pedal - Suspended type
Arm Rests - Front
Ash Tray - Front
Body - Platform-unitized, rust-resistant, fully insulated
Brakes - Self-adjusting
Bucket Seats - Front, foam-padded
Carpets, Front and Rear - Molded nylon
Convertible Top - Counterbalanced manual, easy-action latches
Courtesy Lights - Automatic
Curved Side Glass
Door Checks - Two stage
Door Latches - Bear-Hug safety type
Engine - 170 Special Six
Front Fenders - Bolt-on
Fuel Tank - 16 gallon
Glove Box Light - Automatic
Headlining - All vinyl
Heater and Defroster - Fresh-air
Hood and Rear Deck Lid - Counterbalanced hinges
Hood Latch - Single-action, safety-type
- Floor carpeting, cowl trim panel, windcord, door lock buttons, seat belts, steering wheel, seats, door trim panels.
- Gear shift lever, convertible header molding, rear view mirror assembly, sun visor bracket and arm, turn signal lever and knob, window regulators, door handles, instrument panel control knobs, seat side shields, instrument bezels.
Jack, Scissors-Type - Body side jacking
Lubrication, Chassis - 36,000 mile
Maintenance - Twice-A-Year or 6,000 mile
Mirror - Rear view
Molding, Windshield and Backlite - Full bright metal
Padded Instrument Panel
Scuff Plates - Aluminum
Seat Belts - Color-keyed, metal-to-webbing
Steering Wheel - Deep-dish, safety-type
Sun Visors - Dual
Transmission Lever - Tunnel-Mounted
Upholstery - All vinyl
Wheel Cover - Stainless steel, full bright metal
Windshield Wipers - Extra-wide parallel action
The list of Mustang options and accessories includes the following:
group (includes body side paint stripe and rocker panel molding)
Battery - Heavy Duty
Differential - Limited-Slip Equa-Lock
- 164 horsepower V-8
- 210 horsepower V-8
- 271 horsepower V-8
Engine Compartment Lamp
- Tinted with banded windshield
- Windshield only, tinted and banded
Glove Compartment Door Lock
Handling Package - Special (standard w/271 HP engine)
Lake Pipes (Muffler by-pass)
Parking Brake Warning Lamp
Power Convertible Top
Radio, AM Push Button
Rally Pac (Tachometer and Clock)
Rear Seat Speaker
Rear View Mirror, Non-glare inside
Rear View Mirror, Outside
Remote Control Trunk Release
Rocker Panel Molding
Studio-Sonic Sound System
Sun Visors, Padded
Tires, 5.60/5.90 x 15 sports
- Cruise-O-Matic, Three-speed Automatic
- Four-speed Manual
Trunk Compartment Lamp
Vinyl Covered Hardtop Roof
Wheel Covers, Knock-off Hub
Wheel Covers, Wire
Windshield Wiper, Two-speed electric with windshield washer
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Last Update: January 17, 2011