Ford Mustang: History
The Mustang is one of America's most recognizable and popular vehicles ever. It was introduced in 1964 as a relatively inexpensive way for buyers to create their own vision of what the car should be. The Mustang model line has gone through many changes up until now, and it will almost certainly continue to do so.
The First Mustangs
These cars were designed for the 15-29 year old demographic. Because it debuted in the middle of the model year, some refer to the first Mustangs as 1964 1/2 models. In 1965, the car came in both fastback and convertible versions. Ford redesigned the body of the car in 1967, and gave it a big block engine to match. With the exception of a few minor cosmetic touches and some safety features, the 1968 model was virtually the same. It changed the next year, and the fastback became a "sportsroof". The car's physical dimensions grew until 1974, when the smaller Mustang II came onto the market.
Because of rising fuel prices and stricter emissions standards, the Mustang of this period shifted its emphasis away from high performance. The big block engine was eliminated as an option, being replaced by a lower-power small block that was meant for fuel efficiency. By 1978, there was no Mustang motor that could approximate the power of the 289ci that the car debuted with. The newer Mustang was smaller than its predecessors, and it was called the Mustang II.
1979 saw the departure of the Mustang II, in favor of the original name. The Mustang of that period was longer and wider than the 1974-78 cars, which improved handling greatly. However, the engines of the time were drastically underpowered, and in 1982, the 302 (5.0 liter) engine was offered as an option. It produced 157 hp, and as the 80s progressed, Mustangs acquired a more aggressive stance and more horsepower.
In 1994, Ford changed the style of the Mustang for the first time since 1979. That year, the 5.0 motor was retired in favor of the smaller but powerful 4.6 liter. The body style was reminiscent of the original from the 60s, and Ford ad campaigns placed a greater emphasis on the car's performance. The car's body style changed again in 2005, to even further resemble the original. Ford kept the 4.6 liter, but it made deals with various third parties to produce higher-performance versions of the car. 2010 saw minor changes to the exterior styling.