Ford introduced the Mustang five months before the normal start of the 1965 production year with production beginning in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964. It was introduced to the public on April 17th of 1964 at the New York World's Fair. The Mustang evolved through several platform generations and designs. The original pony car, it has remained in uninterrupted production over five decades of development and revisions.
In autumn of 1993, the Mustang received its first major redesign in fifteen years. The fourth-generation Mustang wore new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporating several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time since 1974, a hatchback coupé model was unavailable. In 1999 it was re-engineered and redesigned, with improvements to every single system underneath its brand-new skin. It received Ford's New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork. The design retained the same basic proportions, interior design, and chassis as the previous model, and the power trains were carried over for 1999 but benefitted from new improvements.
The base Mustang came equipped with an overhead valve V6 engine with hydraulic valve lifters, a 232 CID displacement, sequential electronic fuel injection, and rated at 190 horsepower at 5,250 RPM. A five-speed manual overdrive transmission was standard, along with power-assisted front and rear disc brakes with new front calipers. Safety equipment included dual second-generation airbags, SecuriLock passive anti-theft system, and Solar-Tinted glass. Child seat tether anchor brackets were added to the rear seating areas of all Mustangs. Inside the trunk was a new decklid release with glow-in-the-dark illumination.
The interior featured an ETR AM/FM stereo with a cassette tape player, a premium sound system with premium speakers and an 80-watt amplifier, reclining cloth bucket seats with cloth head restraints, dual electric remote-control outside rearview mirrors, dual visor vanity mirrors with covers, and remote keyless entry. Other amenities included side window demisters, power door locks, a stainless steel exhaust system, analog instrument cluster, a tilt steering wheel with center horn, 15-inch six-spoke cast-aluminum wheels, and power side windows with driver's side 'express down' feature.
Three new colors were offered on the Mustang included Performance Red, Amazon Gold, and Sunburst Gold. These colors replaced the prior colors of Rio Red, Dark Green Satin, and Chrome Yellow.
Ford Mustang GT models could be identified with the simulated recessed scoop on the hood, GT exhaust tips, and GT badging. Body styles were the same as the base model and included a coupe and convertible. The engine was a single overhead camshaft V8 unit displacing 281 CID and delivering 260 horsepower at 5,250 RPM and 385 ft-lbs of torque at 6,250 RPM. Standard features and amenities included a CD player, power four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, a 150-mph speedometer, GT Sport two-tone cloth trim bucket seats, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with center horn, power rack-and-pinion steering, interval windshield wipers, and 16-inch six-spoke forged aluminum wheels wrapped with P225/55R16 black sidewall all-season tires. Convertible body styles had a power-folding top and power rear quarter window.
Ford produced 218,525 examples of the Mustang in 2000 with about 30-percent being the GT trim level.
The top-of-the-line and most exclusive Mustang was the SVT Cobra R, with just 300 examples built. Built by Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and sold through certified SVT dealers, these limited production street-legal race cars were powered by a 5.4-liter dual overhead camshaft modular V8 engine that delivered 385 horsepower and 385 ft-lbs of torque. Unique body style features included a front air-splitter and tall rear deck spoiler which helped created downforce and increase stability at track speeds. There was a 'power dome' hood with rear air extractor to improve engine cooling, 18-inch wheels with BF Goodrich g-Force KD tires, and a lowered suspension. Additional mechanical enhancements included Brembo brake rotors and calipers, Eibach and Bilstein suspension components, Tremec transmission, and Borla exhaust system.
The base Mustang coupe had a price of $17,070; the Mustang GT coupe sold for $21,565 and the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe had a base price of $55,000.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2020