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.
At the 2004 North American International Auto Show, Ford introduced a completely redesigned Mustang for the 2005 year model. This one was based on an all new platform and the styling was described by Fords senior vice president of design, J Mays, as "retro-futurism". The base model is powered by a 210 hp cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC V6. The Mustang GT features an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft timing (VCT) that produces 300 hp. All 2008 Mustangs have seats containing material derived from soybeans and a new option for the 2009 was the glass roof, which is basically a full sunroof.
After months of debate, it was decided that the image of the galloping horse best represented the free spirit of the car and its intended buyers. To further drive home the message, the galloping horse on the Mustang logo is shown running the opposite way that trained racehorses run around a track.
The first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan, on March 9th 1964. A month later, on April 17th 1964, Mustang made its worldwide debut. But, the journey from drawing board, to assembly line and to driveways all across the American landscape actually began many years before, in the fertile imagination of a young man named Lee Iacocca.
After a number of presentations to Ford board members, the first prototype 1962 Mustang I was produced. It was a mid-engine two-seat roadster, named after the legendary World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane. On October 7th 1962, race driver Dan Gurney drove the Mustang I prototype over the U. S. Grand Prix course at Watkins Glen, New York.
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