On April 16th1964, Ford previewed the car to an estimated 29 million television viewers with ads that ran at precisely 9:30 pm on all three major networks, ABC, NBC and CBS On April 17th 1964, 2600 newspapers across the country ran full-page announcement ads, as well as lengthy feature articles. A flood of print and television advertising also followed, featuring ads of how fictional wallflowers were transformed into swingers once they owned a Ford Mustang. That same week, Lee Iacocca and the Mustang were also featured simultaneously on the covers of both Time and Newsweek.The stage was now set for what would be one of the boldest and most exciting new car introductions ever conceived.
After countless re-designs, the 1964 ½ Mustang emerged. The chassis, suspension and drive train components were taken from the Ford Falcon, but the finished vehicle featured a long sweeping hood, full-wheel cutouts, a functional rear seat and high-mounted grill with a free-spirited Mustang as its centerpiece. Multiple extra-cost options gave the buyer an opportunity to customize their Mustang and also generate generous extra profits for Ford.
Ford actually previewed the showroom model Mustang to a continuous flow of automotive reporters and buff book writers beginning in January 1964. Product information and photos provided by Ford were put under an embargo, meaning reporters agreed not to reveal full details until the official public introduction.
The official press release announced, "Styling and features of expensive European road cars are combined with American mass-production price, compact economy and traditional Ford quality in the Mustang - a new line of cars from Ford Division of Ford Motor Company."
Automotive legend has it that other names considered for the first Mustang included the Cougar, Thunderbird II, T-Bird II, Torino, Turino and T-5. Ford executives agreed that the name Mustang was a perfect fit for the low slung, dramatically styled vehicle, but they objected to an image of a World War II fighter plane as the logo.
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