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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the Falcon XT-Bird and was supported by the Budd Body Co., one of Ford’s major body suppliers. The idea was to revive the 1957 baby ’Bird’s external appearance but trim it to fit atop the Falcon’s suspension and floorpan. Conceived before the tube-framed, mid-engine Mustang I, the Falcon XT-Bird went no further than the drawing board. The Fairlane Group agreed that mass market success would only come from a car capable of seating four. This same edict killed the two-seat Mustang I’s chances of becoming reality.

      24 Fairlane Committee member Hal Sperlich came up with the idea of using the Falcon chassis underneath the Mustang. Without this cost-saving idea, historians agree that there was no way Mustang could have come to fruition with the meager $75 million budget allotted by Henry Ford II. A decade later, Sperlich approached Henry Ford II with the idea of a compact, front-wheel-drive family van, but overly conservative decision makers snuffed the project. By 1977, Sperlich was working at Chrysler, where his minivan idea was approved. Production started in 1983 and multiple millions have been built since. Historians agree, had Henry Ford II accepted Sperlich’s front-drive Ford minivan, Chrysler wouldn’t have survived the 1980s.

      25 Although Mustang’s official public debut was set for Friday, April 17, 1964, more than a month earlier, on March 11, Henry Ford II’s nephew Walter Buehl Ford drove an undisguised convertible to a downtown Detroit restaurant and parked it outside in full public view. As young Walt enjoyed his meal, a photographer from the Detroit Free Press snapped away and published the pictures the very next day. So, did heads roll? Not exactly, it was just one of the many well-orchestrated publicity stunts in what is still one of motor history’s most successful new-car launches.

      26 To restore torsional rigidity, Mustang convertibles were built on fortified floor pans with flat steel plates to bolster the connections between the front subframe stubs and lower rocker boxes. A second reinforcement plate connected the floor under the front bucket seat mounts. Because the second plate trapped the driveshaft and exhaust head pipe(s), Ford designed it to be removable via six bolts to ease service. The other plating was welded in place permanently.

Simple yet effective, ...

       Simple yet effective, these under-car reinforcement plates restored torsional rigidity on convertible models.

      27 The decision to eliminate the Mustang’s standard rectangular horse-in-corral grille emblem from the 1965 Shelby GT350 revealed an unsightly gap at the bottom-center of the stock grille surround trim. To avoid an Alfred E. Neuman-esque gap-tooth blemish (MAD magazine’s long-serving mascot), Shelby whipped up a polished cast aluminum filler button. Every one of the 561 1965 Mustangs Shelby’s shop transformed wore this little bit of unique trim.

      28 Shelby’s grille plug was no longer needed in 1966, thanks to Ford’s grille redesign. The rectangular horse-in-corral central grille emblem was retained, but the quartet of stylized outriggers was eliminated to give the corral a floating effect. Because Ford retained the same 1965-spec chrome trim surrounding the sunken grille, it plugged the gap (at the six o’clock position) with a pressed aluminum filler plate of a flatter design than the peaked item used by Shelby in 1966. The now-standard plug suited Shelby’s corral-less grille treatment just fine; it allowed him to retire the 1965-only peaked plug and save a few bucks per car at the same time.

Inspired by Shelby’s ...

       Inspired by Shelby’s 1965 “stop-gap” filler plug, all 1966 Mustang grille surrounds received this filler plug. Fact No. 28 tells why.

      29 If your early 1965 Mustang’s horns malfunction, you must remember that late 1965 and 1966 steering wheels, horn rings, and horn switches are not interchangeable with the parts installed in cars built before August 18, 1964. You’ll need to find the correct early 1965 parts to make the repair. That’s because the early horn actuator plate has a single post; the later (alternator style) plate was changed to two posts. The related parts must be used together. Happily, the aftermarket restoration industry has parts for both applications.

      30 When you remove the steering wheel center cap (it’s marked “Ford Mustang”), don’t be surprised when you see the “Falcon Sprint” lettering cast into the tri-bar horn ring. Yep, the parts were shared between both models to control costs. Later 1965-up horn bars lack the Falcon Sprint nomenclature.

      31 While many areas of the 1966 GT350 Mustang were somewhat stripped down compared to the 1965 version, the addition of functional rear brake cooling scoops was not one of them. Bolted atop the sculpted bodyside coves, flexible hoses routed air from inside each scoop to openings cut into the wheelhouses and then toward the rear brakes. The only non-functional examples were installed on the four experimental 1966 GT350 convertibles. Their folding top mechanisms prevented fitment of the brake cooling system.

The first of ...

       The first of many scoops were added to Mustangs through the years. Were the 1966 GT350’s side scoops functional? See Fact No. 31 for the answer.

      32 Mustangs built after August 17, 1964, have a different charging system warning lamp lens than earlier cars. If the battery is discharging or nearly dead, the lamps on early cars display the illuminated signal “GEN” to indicate possible problems with the generator. Later cars were equipped with more modern alternators. Their charging system warning lamp lenses read “ALT.” Alternators keep the battery charging even at low engine speeds. By contrast, a generator’s more limited charging ability can lead to a dead battery after prolonged periods of idling with the lights, heater blower motor, radio, and windshield wipers operating simultaneously.

      33 The nifty gas cap used on early 1965 Mustangs was a big hit with the scoundrels at Midnight Auto Supply. To prevent pilferage, a rugged braided steel tether cable was introduced as a no-cost running change.

Why did Ford ...

       Why did Ford add a tough braided steel retaining ring to Mustang’s sculpted gas cap? Fact No. 33 reveals the klepto-thwarting reason.

      34 Standard front bucket seats were a core ingredient in bolstering Mustang’s sporty image. But knowing that a certain segment of the market would balk at the reduced passenger capacity, Ford offered an optional front bench seat on convertibles and coupes. Priced at $24.42, the bench featured an uninterrupted bottom cushion and a fold-down center armrest. Roughly 2 percent of customers went for the bench.

What’s different about ...

       What’s different about this 1965 Mustang’s front seat? See Fact No. 34 or get benched!

      35 The driver-side front bucket seat of early 1965 Mustangs mounted to a sliding track with 4½ inches of travel. Unfortunately, the passenger-side bucket seat simply bolted to the floor in a fixed “best average” location. Lanky rear seat passengers were relieved when Ford added the adjustable seat track to the shotgun seat for cars built after August 18, 1964.

      36 When Mustang was introduced, a certain percentage of the population hadn’t yet been sold on the desirability of seat belts. These diehards (perhaps not the best choice of wording) were offered a seatbelt delete credit of $10.76. Although the lap-only belts of the day could cause spinal cord separation, the greater issue of vehicle ejection was reduced by their presence.

      37 Early 1965 Mustangs used simple eyebolts and hinged clasps to anchor the seat belts to the floor. Similar to the Life Guard (the two-point, quick release seat belt option first seen in 1956 Ford), the anchors were designed for easy installation with a drill. Knowing that federally mandated seat belt laws were coming into play for 1966, Ford standardized the Mustang’s seat belt anchor points to accept stronger