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Larry Printz: As a new Pony Car debuts, a look back at Ford's Mustang

Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Ford introduced a new Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show this week, it seems like an ideal time to look back at Pony Cars of the past. Saddle up; it’s time to look back at the car that still captures the imagination of the world’s automotive enthusiasts.


A "good-looking, compact youth automobile" with a 108-inch wheelbase, a 2,500-pound curb weight, and a $2,500 price tag was what Ford Division Chief Lee Iacocca was after. On April 17, 1964, the Mustang made its premiere as a coupe or convertible.

The good: Ford sold 22,000 Mustangs on the first day. By 1966, it had sold a million.

The bad: Underneath, it was a modified Falcon.

The odd: In March 1966, a '66 Mustang was parked on the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building.


Did you know? The name Cougar was considered, and eventually used for Mercury's version of the Mustang.


For 1967, the Mustang grew 2 inches longer and 2.7 inches wider and powered by potent big-block V-8 engines. It’s joined by its tonier sibling, the Mercury Cougar.

The good: Horsepower grew to 375 ponies by 1970.


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