On April 17, 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York, Ford Motor Company reveals it’s most iconic vehicle, the Mustang. The World’s Fair unveiling coincided with the Mustang’s release in showrooms across the United States, into the eager arms of American motoring enthusiasts, who bought nearly 22,000 ponies on day one, 400,000 in the first year and by the time year two was over, FoMoCo had rolled out over 1 million Mustangs.
Of course, the Mustang went on to become a classic American Muscle car, and won it’s rightful place in automotive history, but not entirely by accident.
The simultaneous World’s Fair and showroom events were just the beginning of a clever multi-media promotion platform. (Ford continues to innovate in it’s advertising campaigns, see Doug The Spokespuppet) The media buzz continued when James Bond’s newest film, “Goldfinger,” featured the ‘Stang later that year.
For me, the appeal of the Mustang comes from its name and design. “Mustang” speaks of that unbridled freedom that Americans dream about, a surge of energy and cruising into the sunset, but it almost ended up with a much different name. One of the names that was a major contender was ‘Torino,” a city in Italy, which Ford later used on another car. The story goes that John Naijar, who worked as an Executive Stylist with Ford, simply loved the P-51 Mustang fighters used in World War II, and suggested the name, which stuck. The name wasn’t the only thing that went through some growing pains, though. The original Mustang I Prototype, pictured above, had a much more….um… speed racer look about it.
I think the 60s Mustangs are some of the coolest American cars ever made. Does your pick best a ’64 Mustang?
Post a comment below with a pic of your favorite American car. Feel free to download the image from this article to re-post. You’re welcome.