Steve Magnante's 1001 Mustang Facts. Steve Magnante

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Название Steve Magnante's 1001 Mustang Facts
Автор произведения Steve Magnante
Жанр Автомобили и ПДД
Издательство Автомобили и ПДД
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781613254004

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that’s the story of me and the most influential Mustang models in my world. Anybody who says models are for kids is absolutely correct. Those kids grow up to become engineers, artists, architects and . . . writers.

      Before closing, there are a number of folks who deserve a shout-out for their help and guidance with this book and things in general. They are (alphabetically) Gary Bennett, Steve Davis, Jana DeHart, David Freiburger, Drew Hardin, John Hunkins, Craig Jackson, Jeff Koch, Lamoureux Ford, David Lee, Kevin Marti, Mike Mauro, John McGann, Terry McGean, Ro McGonegal, Rick Miner, Dave Pericak, Diego Rosenberg, Marty Schorr, Jim Smart, Geoff Stunkard, Tom Trace, Dane Varney, Bob Wilson, and Brian Wolfe. You all know why you’re listed here and I thank each of you.


      As with my first CarTech trivia book, Steve Magnante’s 1001 Muscle Car Facts, this work is meant to trigger conversation and a hunger for evermore knowledge about the subject. Readers will note that the facts presented cover many areas and are presented in five basic subgroups. The “Legend and Lore” sections are meant to address myths, misconceptions, bizarre events, brushes with fame, and other compelling bits of information that don’t easily fall under other labels or categories.

      The “Body and Interior” sections cover just that, as do the “Engine and Driveline” and “Suspension and Brakes” sections. In each, pertinent and informative data is presented for your education and enjoyment. The final subgroup, “Number Crunching and Press Commentary,” addresses the dual realms of statistics and what magazine road testers and other critics said about Mustangs past and present.

      One realization that became obvious during the creation of this book was how far Mustang (and the domestic auto industry overall) has come since 1964. The level of technology and quality baked into every new Mustang is astonishing and proves that the American auto industry has recovered from the complacency and self-confident arrogance that allowed foreign makes to invade unopposed during the 1970s and 1980s. The industry’s future success seems secure if they keep this up.

       Chapter 1

       1964½–1966 Falcon Births a Pony

      1 There is no such thing as a 1964½ Mustang. Every one of the 680,989 first-year Mustangs built carries a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) formally designating it as a 1965 model year product (5 stamped into the first position of the VIN sequence). The 1964½ myth stems from the fact that Ford (wisely) began building ’65 Mustangs in March 1964 to get a running start and ensure availability on the official April 17, 1964, launch date. Better informed Mustang enthusiasts refer to these cars as early 1965s instead of 1964½s, something I’ll do throughout this book. So what’s up with the cover of this book (“Covers All Mustangs 1964½ to Present”)? Er, well, if you leave the 1964½ off the cover, many people who have not learned this fact yet will think I have omitted the early 1965s. So, it’s there, just this once. I promise.

      2 Ford product planners expected to sell 100,000 1965 Mustangs. The number was surpassed a mere three months after introduction. By the end of the 1965 model run, the sales target had been exceeded nearly sevenfold (680,989). For some perspective, Ford’s iconic 1955–1957 two-seat Thunderbird (Mustang’s thematic precursor) only sold 53,166 units (16,155 in 1955, 15,631 in 1956, and 21,380 in 1957) over its three-year model run. That Ford was able to expand Mustang output to meet demand without curbing production of Falcon, Fairlane, Galaxie, Thunderbird, and truck models speaks to the expertise of its plant managers.

      3 Where is the very first Mustang? Did it survive? Sold new to a Canadian airline pilot named Stanley Tucker by George Parsons Ford of St. John’s, Newfoundland, the world’s first privately-owned pony car is a Wimbledon White 260 V-8 convertible bearing VIN 5F08F1000001. Fortunately, it is alive and well and currently on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Tucker bought the car on April 14, three days before official introduction, and put around 10,000 miles on the car before trading it back to Ford on March 2, 1966. It seems that Ford president Lee Iacocca wanted Number One back and actively sought out Mr. Tucker. So, what did the owner of the world’s first retail Mustang take in trade? He took the one millionth Mustang, a loaded Silver Frost 1966 V-8 convertible.

      4 With the understanding that all first-year Mustangs bear a 1965 VIN tag, cars built before July 31, 1964, have a large number of unique features that differ from cars built on August 1, 1964 and later. This is where the 1964½ mythos arises. Although functionally similar, early-build 1965 cars (March 9 to July 31, 1964) were assembled with unique parts in the braking system, electrical system, horns, interior, and engine. The differences are highlighted throughout this chapter.

      5 Before settling on the Mustang name, the Ford marketing group responsible for naming the car initially considered numerous alternates. Among them were Allegro, Torino, Turino, T-5, Thunderbird II, T-Bird II, Colt, Bronco, Maverick, Pinto, and even Cougar. One initial name that saw limited use in production was T-5. Mustangs sold in Germany were badged T-5s from 1965 through 1979 because Krupp Heavy Industries owned the rights to the Mustang name in that country.

      6 The only retail-available Mustang two-seaters built by Ford (so far) were the 1965 Shelby GT350s. But did you know that early plans considered the possibility of making all Mustangs two-seaters? After watching imports of post–World War II British sports cars mushroom, Ford product planners constructed the 1962 Mustang I, a potential vision of mass-produced future offerings. With its Targa band half roof, mid-mounted V-4 engine, and two-seat layout, the Mustang I was Ford’s first true sports car. Decision makers deemed the experimental prototype too exotic for the huge sales numbers they demanded. A running Mustang I is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

This floor panel ...

       This floor panel helped overcome SCCA concerns about Mustang’s status as a sports car.

      8 Before that Mustang II (Ford’s controversial Pinto-based 1974 model), the name was used a decade earlier on an experimental show car that debuted in October 1963. Although it featured an exaggerated sloping nose, extended rear quarter panels, and other never-made-it-to-production touches, the Mustang II served to fan the flames of public anticipation for the real Mustang during the six months before its first public showing on April 17, 1964. IMC released a highly detailed 1/25-scale plastic model kit of the 1963 Mustang II show car was shortly after. The kit is still available today from Lindberg.

      9 Did Ford really hang a new Mustang from the Empire State Building? Yes, but unlike the famed 1933 movie primate clutching a Fay Wray doll, the car wasn’t clinging to the spire, but was instead carefully positioned atop the outdoor observation deck, 1,472 feet above the sidewalk. Most folks today assume the stunt