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 Post subject: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:28 am 
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Location: Silver Spring, MD
On April 17, 1964 the Mustang was introduced to the world at the New York Worlds Fair.

I am proud to own a piece of American History!

:clinkmugs: :usaflag:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3YBrFk_OQQ

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James Heller
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1967 Fastback 289, C4, Magnum 500 wheels, Long Tubes

1989 LX Notchback 5.0 supercharged SSP too much to list

2011 GT some basic bolt on goodies


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:21 am 
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:drinkingbuddies: :usaflag: :thumbsup2:

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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 9:56 pm
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Location: Reisterstown, MD
Congratulations to the Mustang on it's 49th birthday! :btu:

Thanks for posting the link to the 1964 Worlds' Fair James. Lee Iacocca chose the 1964 World's Fair to showcase the Mustang. At that time the Mustang was still in preproduction development. It usually took Ford three years to bring a car to market but Iacocca told Don Frey in 1962 that he wanted to introduce the Mustang at the World's Fair. When Don Frey asked Iacocca when the World's Fair was to be held, he was told April 1964. Frey looked at Iacocca and said, "That's 18 months from now, we never built a car in less than 36 months." Iacocca just said, "I don't care, just get it done!"

So the Mustang was rushed into production to meet the April 17th preview date. As most people know, much of the Mustang came from the existing Ford Falcon. In many ways the Mustang was a reskinned Falcon. The original Mustang used the Falcons frame, drive trains, and many of the interior pieces so it was easier to meet the deadline and also easier for Iacocca to get approval from Henry Ford II.

When Ford introduced the Mustang at the 1964 World's Fair, it was heavily promoted. The evening of the opening of the Fair, Ford bought the 9 pm time slot on all three major TV networks, ABC, CBS and NBC to air commercials on the new Ford Mustang. The next day 2,600 newspapers across the country carried ads for the new Ford Mustang! The ad campaign was coordinated to coincide with the 1964 World's Fair but also allowed Ford to promote this new car all by itself. Back then all new car introductions came out in September with the new model introductions. Had Ford waited until September to introduce the Mustang it would not have had the same impact as promoting it by itself.

Next year when the Mustang reaches its 50th birthday we should see a lot of advertising and promotion from Ford and the various Mustang car clubs as we celebrate one of the true automotive icons in the auto industry, the Ford Mustang! :usaflag:

Midnight Blue
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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Steve,

Thanks for sharing the rest of the history! That was an expensive endeavor at the time to heavily promote one car, especially without any idea that it would be a top sales leader 6 months after the first one sold and to become the icon it has today

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James Heller
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1967 Fastback 289, C4, Magnum 500 wheels, Long Tubes

1989 LX Notchback 5.0 supercharged SSP too much to list

2011 GT some basic bolt on goodies


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Ford had hoped to sell 88,000 Mustangs in it's first year to break even. Lee Iacocca was so confident that the Mustang would be a hit he authorized the San Jose Assembly Plant in California to be set up for Mustang production to feed the West Coast.

Iacocca and Ford were banking on the Baby Boomers to buy into the Mustang. The market had been primed by the car magazines who were tantalizing the young buyers with stories about Ford's new sport car, the Mustang.

On the first day that the Mustang was available for sale Ford dealers sold over 22,000 cars and 120,000 Mustangs before 1965 production began! Priced at $2,368, the Mustang was in reach of nearly all buyers and most cars sold with over $1,000 of added options. Surprisingly Ford sold almost as many Mustangs to women as men.

Mustang mania had begun and soon came stories of Ford dealers having to lock their doors to keep people from storming their showrooms as they were selling the few Mustangs they had in stock. Then came the story about a buyer in Texas who won a lottery to buy a Mustang and then slept in his new Mustang until the next day when his check cleared for fear of someone else trying to buy the car.

Restaurants were asking people to sample their hotcakes as they were selling like Mustangs. It was an industry first and something that has never been repeated. Dealers were placing orders with the factory and often buying from other dealers at over invoice pricing just to have cars on their lots to sell. Demand was that great.

The entire Mustang project was created by a handful of executives who were very much placing their careers in jeopardy by working on this "off the books" project on their own time until they had something to present to Henry Ford II. After the fiasco with the Edsel, Henry Ford II was not very receptive to any new, untried ideas. Ford had lost money on the Edsel and their reputation was soiled. So no matter how much Lee Iacocca and Don Frey and the other Ford executives believed in the Mustang, they still had to sell Henry Ford II on the concept.

After working on the Mustang project for several years Henry Ford II got wind of the project and must have felt pretty confident in this new concept sport car. Don Frey remarked that he ran into Henry Ford II one day and Ford told him "I'm tired of hearing about this car your working on. I'm going to approve this car today!" Than Ford asked Lee Iacocca if he could sell the car and Iacocca told him he could. At that point Henry Ford II just smiled at him and said, "You'd better." :btu:

And now you know the rest of the story!

Midnight Blue
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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:12 pm
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Location: Silver Spring, MD
Amazing history and I had no idea how crazy people were for the mustang, I had heard the part they only intended to sell 88,000 and they blew that out of the water.

My dad told me a while back after I bought my first mustang, that the 64 1/2 & 65's were one of the hardest cars to get right after it was introduced, because it was so popular, and that there was a frenzy for the Mustang. A fantastic Marketing Strategy on the part of Iaccoca, and his team and congrats to Ford for being able to keep up with the demand.

:btu:

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James Heller
MCOM President

1967 Fastback 289, C4, Magnum 500 wheels, Long Tubes

1989 LX Notchback 5.0 supercharged SSP too much to list

2011 GT some basic bolt on goodies


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 49th Birthday to the Mustang
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:17 pm 
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A friend of mine in high school received a 1965 Burgundy Mustang Convertible as a graduation gift from his parents. He actually was allowed to order the car from a Ford dealer so he wanted it loaded. He checked off all of the boxes for accessories but ran into a stone wall when he found out that it would take 16 weeks to order and get delivery of the Hi Po 289 cid engine with 271 hp.

So he decided on the 225 hp 289 with the 4 barrel carburetor to go along with the four speed, air conditioning, custom Pony interior, powered black convertible top, upgraded radio and all of the other accessories he checked off.

The car was stunning yet he abused it badly. In the winter he installed snow tires with studs used for added traction in icy and snow conditions. He would invariably show off at the donut shop by revving up the engine and spinning the tires and digging holes in the parking lot.

Today, nearly 50 years later I located him on Facebook. When I told him about my involvement with the Mustang Club of Maryland and that I own a Mustang he started to joke about how he thrashed his own Mustang around when he was younger.

I'll bet if he had to go to work and save up to buy that car he would have taken better care of it!

Midnight Blue
MCOM Treasurer-Historian

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