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Ford Press Release - FORD MUSTANG

From the News Bureau
FORD DIVISION of Ford Motor Company
Rotunda Drive at Southfield Road
P. O. Box 608
Dearborn, Michigan
Telephone 33-77900


      Styling and features of expensive European road cars are combined with an 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.
      Aimed at the fastest-growing dimension in American motoring -- driving for pleasure -- the Mustang offers the practicality of a back seat and adequate trunk space in a car comparable in size to the classic two-passenger Thunderbird.
      Mustang hardtop and convertible models feature -- as standard equipment -- such sports and luxury features as bucket seats, molded nylon carpeting floor mounted shift for both manual and automatic transmissions, all-vinyl interior, padded instrument panel, and full wheel covers.
      "In the Mustang, Ford actually has created three cars in one," according to Lee A. Iacocca, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division general manager. "Starting with the economical, fun-to-drive basic Mustang, the buyer may select options to give him a sports car for street or competition use or a luxury car geared to either economy or performance."
      Mustang options available to the performance-minded include a selection of three V-8 engines with up to 271 horsepower, 4-speed transmission, quick-ratio steering, Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock, limited-slip differential, and a special handling suspension and sports tires.
      Luxury options include a center console, power brakes and steering, automatic transmission, power convertible top, rear-seat radio speaker, remote control trunk release, vinyl-covered hardtop roof, and air conditioning.
      "We believe the Mustang represents a new dimension in American motoring at a time when new and old generations of car-lovers alike have come full circle to an appreciation of the automobile for its own sake," says Mr. Iacocca. "It offers a combination of driving fun, roominess and style that permits the Mustang buyer to make of the car almost anything he desires -- all at a low initial cost."


      The Mustang is low -- only four feet, three inches tall -- with a wheel base of 108 inches. It has an over-all length of 181.6 inches -- just half an inch longer than the two-passenger 1957 Thunderbird -- and is 68 inches wide. Yet, with two bucket seats in the front and a bench-type seat in the rear, it offers 5-passenger family seating.
      Some of the most significant mechanical and functional breakthroughs in the history of car-building -- particularly in the area of weight control -- are incorporated in the Mustang. It weighs 400 pounds less than the 1957 Thunderbird, due largely to a new type of body construction.
      The Mustang body is a sturdy, all-welded structure carried on a platform type chassis which utilizes the drive-shaft tunnel as a rugged backbone. Main underbody members are galvanized and zinc-rich primer is used extensively to retard corrosion. Doors feature two-stage checks and Ford's "Bear-Hug" door latches.
      Convertibles offer as standard equipment a sturdy, manually operated top with counterbalancing springs and high-leverage latches for easy operation. A power-operated top is optional.
      The passenger compartment of all Mustangs is surrounded with specially designed materials for excellent weather and sound insulation. The floor areas, for example, have a triple thickness of insulating material -- a heavy mat, a jute pad, and nylon carpeting.


      The Mustang has a "look of performance," characterized by a low profile with sports car proportions. Full-wheel cutouts and the forward-thrusting hood accentuate the Mustang's sporty design.
      The Mustang grille is finished in gunmetal gray to dramatize the galloping Mustang emblem "floating" in a rectangle at the center. The grille extends the sweep of the hood ahead of the single-mounted, seven-inch headlamps, and small scoop lines in the sheet metal grille fairing emphasize the forward thrust. The wing-shaped, wrap-around bumpers and standard-equipment bumper guards repeat the thrusting plan view of the hood.
      The rear of the Mustang has a wide, clean appearance with an integrated bumper curving upward at the outer edges to meet the sheet metal. A competition style, center-fill fuel cap bears the Mustang ornament and script. Vertical, three-section taillights are located below the deck lid at either side. The lower rear body panel displays standard-equipment bumper guards and, like the lower front panel, is made of galvanized steel for corrosion resistance.
      The wrap-under of the side sheet metal further exposes the wheels for a performance appearance, and curved side glass contributes to interior roominess as well as to the sporty appearance of the Mustang. Rich sculpturing in the side panels is reminiscent of Ford's widely acclaimed Mustang I and Mustang II show cars.
      The Mustang's two-plus-two seating features front bucket seats with foam padded cushions and backs. The seats are of sports-car design for comfort and good body support. The rear bench seat is styled with inserts in a matching bucket pattern.
      A spacious feeling results from the forward location of the padded instrument panel. The sheet metal portion of the instrument cluster and glove compartment door have a "camera case" black crackle finish to help reduce glare.
      In addition to suspended brake and clutch pedals, the Mustang accelerator pedal is a suspended design. The pedal gives unusual foot comfort -- especially to women wearing high heels -- and provides smooth and easy engine control.


      Four engines and three transmissions provide eight power-team combinations tailored to Mustang economy and performance.
      The standard power team is the 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine with three-speed manual transmission. This 101-horsepower engine offers the buyer low initial cost, maximum operating economy, and good performance.
      Three optional V-8 engines are offered -- the Mustang "260" V-8 at 164 horsepower, the Mustang "289" V-8 at 210 horsepower, and the Mustang "289" High Performance V-8 at 271 horsepower.
      Ford's three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission is optional with all engines except the "289" High-Performance V-8. For those desiring a "fun-to-drive" car with maximum road performance, the all-synchronized four-speed manual transmission is available with all engines except the "260" V-8. The three-speed manual transmission is standard with the "170" six and "260" V-8 engines.


      One of the most important features of the Mustang is the number of standard items which are either unavailable or are extra-cost options on most other makes.
      Luxury features include deep foam bucket seats; padded instrument panel; full wheel covers; color-keyed, all-vinyl interior; color-keyed, molded nylon carpeting; floor-mounted transmission shift lever; and a deep-dish steering wheel with bright metal horn arms.
      The interior of the Mustang also includes bright work on instrument panel face and control knobs, seat side shields, rear-view mirror back and sun visor hardware. Convenience items include not only sun visors, but also arm rests, cigarette lighter, automatic glove-compartment and courtesy lights, front seat belts, and heater.
      On the exterior, the Mustang buyer gets wrap-around bumpers with bumper guards, curved side glass, bright windshield and drip moldings, parallel-action windshield wipers, and Bear-Hug door locks.
      Other Mustang standard features include Twice-A-Year or 6,000-mile service, self-adjusting brakes, and 36,000 mile chassis lubrication.


      With the Mustang's many standard equipment features, options are designed to help the customer tailor-make his Mustang to fit his specific tastes and requirements.
      Comfort and convenience options include power brakes, power steering, power convertible top, push-button AM radio, air conditioning, 2-speed electric windshield wiper and washer, tinted windshield, and tinted glass.
      Appearance options include floor console, padded sun visors, retractable seat belts, vinyl-covered hardtop, rocker-panel molding, deluxe simulated knock off wheel covers, wire wheel covers, outside rear-view mirror, and an accent paint stripe which outlines the side sculpturing.
      For the sports oriented, the Mustang offers a Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock; special handling package including heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers, heavy front stabilizer bar, 22 to 1 steering ratio and 14-inch tires; limited-slip differential; heavy-duty battery; and 15-inch sports tires.

Ford Mustang 1968

The 1968 Mustang received minor grille and trim modifications to set it off from the 1967. It also received some minor mechanical changes in order to comply with government safety rules. The most significant of these was a collapsible steering column. The most obvious visual changes were the deletion of the horizontal grille bars and of the simulated side scoops, and the use of side marker lights in the front and back. Ford gave the interior a new steering wheel design and different upholstery patterns, and for the first time the rear-view mirror was affixed directly on the windshield.

The Interior Decor Group was distinguished by the use of wood grain appliqués on the dash and doors and by the use of a wood grain steering wheel. More and more options were grouped together. The GT Equipment Group changed, the most prominent change being the addition of a C-stripe that followed the body side contour. This was an adaptation of the stripe that Ford had used on its long-distance racing Ford GT40s. However, side stripes like those offered in 1967 could be substituted.

The familiar fog lights remained, but the light bar between them was deleted. The lights were mounted directly on the grille. GT emblems on each front fender, GT pop open gas cap and CT letters on the hubcaps identified the package visually. Engine selection was a bit more complicated than before. The standard engine was the 200 ci six-cylinder. Although both four barrel 289s were deleted, the two-barrel version, now rated at 195 hp, continued until it was replaced by a two-barrel 302 by midyear. The highest rated small-block was now a 302, basically a stroked 289, rated at 230 hp.

It used a hydraulic cam and a smallish 470 cfm Autolite four-barrel carburetor. Interestingly, the four-barrel 302 lasted only one year, and if you wanted to buy a Mustang with a four-barrel 302 (excluding the Boss 302), you had to wait until 1983. The big 390 continued unchanged; however it was now rated at 325 hp. The largest engine available was a hydraulic cam 427 rated at 390 hp at 5600 rpm. The 427, however, was only available for a short time during the 1968 model run, and it was phased out in December 1967.

Although the 427 was Ford's premier race engine, it had some disadvantages as installed in the Mustang. It was available only with an automatic transmission, and it could have used a larger carburetor than the stock 650 cfm Honey to take advantage of the engine's true potential. More important, its cost of $622 put the engine out of reach of most enthusiasts. Still, the 427 was Ford's best engine, and it had a tremendous race heritage
1968 Mustang Coupe 289ci
1968 Mustang GT/CS (California Special)
1968 Mustang Coupe 289ci
1968 Shelby GT500KR (King of the Road)
A member of the FE series, the 427 was first introduced in 1963, and it became an engine of many variations. The biggest difference between the 427 and other FE series engines was the cylinder block, The 427 block was superior for two reasons. It had stronger cross-bolt main caps and a much better oiling system, which incorporated an oil passage at the side of the block. For this reason, the 427 is sometimes referred to as the Sideoiler.

Several specialty Mustangs were sold during 1968. There was the Mustang Sprint, a special option package available on both six cylinder and V-8 Mustangs. On the sixes, the package included GT side stripes, a pop open gas cap and full wheel covers. The V-8s got in addition the Wide Oval tires on styled steel wheels and the GT fog lamps.

More significant was the California Special. Available mostly in California, the GT/CS was a trim package for the hardtop Mustang which used many GT and Shelby Mustang styling features. The most obvious was the Shelby rear deck lid with integral spoiler and sequential taillights. Shelby side scoops were also used, but these were non-functional. A blacked-out front grille without any Mustang emblems used rectangular Lucas or Marchal fog lamps. The GT/CS also got a distinctive side stripe that began at the Front fender and terminated at the side scoop. Wheels were the styled steel wheels without the GT identification. The GT/CS could be had with any regular production Mustang engine. Production estimates are in the 5,000 range.

Similar to the GT/CS was the High Country Special, another limited edition Mustang, this time sold by Colorado dealers. It was identical to the GT/CS, except that the California Special identification was deleted and the GT/CS on the side scoop was replaced by a High Country Special decal. High Country Specials had been available in Colorado since 1966, but the only thing "special" about them were the two badges located on the front fenders. Other Specials offered in 1968 included the Sunshine Special and the Nebraska Big Red.

Ford Mustang 1966

Why change a good thing? This was the basic rationale that Ford applied to the making of the 1966 Mustang, and production lines were humming, trying to keep up with all the demand. Clearly, the Mustang was a phenomenon, establishing a new niche in the marketplace and still enjoying no real competition.

Chrysler's Barracuda never really caught on, and General Motors' answer to the Mustang, the Camaro and the Firebird, was still a good year away. Ford dealers were cleaning up.

Differing little from 1965 Mustangs, the 1966 and rear quarter ornamentation designed to Mustangs came with a little more standard trim, simulated rear scoops. Most obvious were the rocker panel moldings.

Those of us who grew up in the sixties remember those years as an optimistic time. The Mustang with its fresh styling and spirited performance was the right car for a large group of people who found the typical Detroit sedan boring.

The Mustang with its smaller dimensions and lighter weight felt like a nimble sports car in comparison. The 1966 Mustang sold at a faster pace than had the record 1965: 607,568 units in twelve months versus 559,451 for the 1965, if you exclude the 1964 1/2s.
The most noticeable change was the floating horse in the front grille, which gave the Mustang a cleaner look. On the sides, three chrome spires simulated a side scoop, but this ornament was deleted on the fastback and on all Mustangs that came with the GT package, as well as on those with the accent pinstripe.

Other visual changes included standard rocker panel moldings (except on the fastback), a redesigned gas cap and standard back-up lights (optional on 1965 Mustangs).

For the interior, different upholstery patterns and colors were available, but the most significant addition was the use of the five-dial instrument bezel across the board for both V-8 and six-cylinder Mustangs.

The standard wheel cover was redesigned, while the optional styled steel wheels used a chrome trim ring, Standard wheels were 14X4.5 inch (with four lugs) on six-cylinder Mustangs and 14 X5 inch on V-8s. Tire size was 6.95X14.

The standard engine was the 200 ci six with the non synchromesh three-speed manual transmission. Optional were the 200 hp, 225 hp and 271 hp 289 ci V-8s as seen in 1965. The Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission was an option with the 271 hp Cobra 289.
1966 Mustang 2 + 2 - Convertible - Coupe 289ci
1966 Mustang 2 + 2 GT 289ci
1966 Mustang Convertible 289ci
1966 Mustang "High Country Special" 289ci

Ford Mustang 1967

Fortunately, Ford restyled the Mustang in 1967. The Mustang, successful as it was, would have looked dated next to General Motors' entries in the pony car market, the Camaro and the Firebird. When the design for the 1967 Mustang was finalized in early 1965, Ford did not know exactly what GM's answer to the Mustang would be. The Corvair clearly was no match, and it was obvious that GM would introduce something new, especially in light of the Mustang's incredible success.

Ford decided then to keep the styling similar to that of the successful original, while refining and improving the car. No one could mistake the 1967 for anything but a Mustang. It still looked like the original and retained the original's proportions, but it became a bit fuller and rounder.

The grille opening was enlarged, and this gave the 1967 a meaner look. The 2+2 body, now a full fastback, looked sleeker than ever. All Mustangs got simulated scoops on the rear quarter panels, adding to the Mustang's performance image. The rear end treatment, still using three taillights per side, was very different. The taillight panel was concave, simulating the spoilered look found on Ford's GT40 endurance racers.

The wider track enabled Ford to improve the Mustang's ride and handling characteristics a welcome improvement while the enlarged engine compartment was now able to accommodate the big-block 390 ci V-8.
The change to a big block was a good thing because both GM pony cars were designed from the beginning to accommodate big block engines. The Camaro was available with several versions of the 396 ci V-8, the top version rated at 375 hp, while the Firebird could be had with a 325 hp 400 ci V-8.

The muscle car war was heating up,and although the 289 was a good engine, it was no match for the big-blocks. Standard engine was the 200 ci six cylinder with the three-speed manual. The only other transmission available with the six was a three-speed automatic. Three 289 V-8s were available: a two-barrel 200 hp, four-barrel 225 hp and appearing for the last time, the 271 hp High Performance 289 (but only with the GT Equipment Group). All these, except the 271 hp 289, came with a three-speed manual; a four-speed manual and automatic were options.

Major option groups included the Interior Decor Group that did not include pony seat inserts and, of course, the GT Equipment Group, available only on V-8 Mustangs. It included grille-mounted fog lamps, power front disc brakes, dual exhausts with chrome quad outlets (excluded with the 200 hp 289), rocker panel stripes with GT or GTA (for automatic) emblem, F70X14 whitewall tires and GT pop-open gas cap, as well as a handling package with stiffer springs and shocks, and a larger front sway bar.
1967 Mustang Coupe 289ci
1967 Mustang Coupe 289ci
1967 Mustang Convertible
1967 Mustang Shelby GT500

Ford Mustang 1969

The year 1969 was an important one for the Mustang. It was significantly restyled, yet you could easily trace its origin because the car retained all the Mustang styling cues. It was lower, sleeker and meaner, and while the car grew in size, it still used a 108 inch wheelbase.

The restyle was particularly effective on the fastback, now called the SportsRoof, and all performance Mustangs were based on it. In fact, over forty-four percent of all Mustangs sold that year were fastbacks. Most interior and exterior dimensions grew in 1969, although not drastically. More importantly, all Mustangs were lowered 0.5 inch on the suspension, and the windshield rake was increased by 2.2 degrees. This translated to about a 150-175 pound weight increase depending on the model. The roofline on the SportsRoof was lowered by 0.9 inch.

The side sculpturing was eliminated for a cleaner, smoother look, but the biggest visual changes were the front grille and the rear tail treatment on the SportsRoof. The revised front grille was enlarged and used four four-inch headlights for a decidedly aggressive look. The SportsRoof also received simulated side scoops and a spoilered rear, similar to the Shelby Mustang's but less pronounced.  The standard engine was still the 200 ci six-cylinder with a three-speed manual transmission. The three-speed manual was standard equipment on all engines up to the 351 four-barrel.
 The three-speed Cruise-0Matic was optional on all engines. A larger six-cylinder measuring 250 ci was also available. With this engine, you could get air conditioning if you desired, whereas you could not with the 200 ci version.

The smallest optional V-8 was a two barrel version of the 302 rated at 210 hp. Next in line were two versions of a new engine: the 351W, basically a stretched 302. By increasing the stroke of the 302 to 3.5 inches, the block's height was raised by one inch to accommodate the longer stroke. At the same time, the crank journals were resized, resulting in an engine that had no interchangeability with the 289/302 engines, save for the heads. The heads, by the way, did have slightly larger ports. Because the engine was built at Ford's Windsor plant, it came to be known as the 351W. Ford's other 351, the 351C built in Cleveland, was available on Mustangs from 1970 through 1973.

The 351W was the only 351 ci V-8 that was available on 1969 Mustangs. .  The 351W was rated at 250 hp with a 350 cfm two barrel Autolite carburetor and 290 hp with a 470 cfm four-barrel. It was a good design with a strong bottom end; however, restrictive porting and valves for an engine this size limit performance to low-to mid-range rpm. In stock or modified form, a comparably modified 351C will run circles around the 351W.
1969 Mustang Coupe
1969 Mustang mach1
1969 Mustang Shelby GT-350
1969 Mustang Sportsroof


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