Happy birthday 'little pony'
Celebrating the birth of Ford's iconic Mustang.
To celebrate the birthday of the Ford Mustang, here are some fun facts you may not know about the famous car:
- Mustang was officially released on 17 April 1964 at the New York Auto Show. It’s debut reportedly generated 22,000 sales.
- Lee Iacocca is widely considered to be the father of the Mustang. He rose to be head of Ford before a spectacular fall from grace saw him take the top job at Chrysler, which at the time was on the verge of bankruptcy. He negotiated a loan from the US Government and succeeded in turning the company around.
- Mustang was based largely on the platform of the successful if lacklustre Ford Falcon of the early ’60s.
- Initially Mustang wasn’t considered to be a sports or performance model. In fact, it was widely considered a “secretary’s car of choice”.
- Mustang became a performance model due to the involvement in 1965 of Carrol Shelby, an American racing driver and performance car builder, who was engaged to take Mustang racing.
- Not all Mustangs had a V8 engine. Over the years many were built with six and four-cylinder engines.
- In the early days there was such demand for the V8 that engine production couldn’t keep up, so a Sprint model was released with the 200ci six-cylinder Falcon engine.
- Mustang was spectacularly successful. Whole assembly plants had to be dedicated to Mustang production.
- The 1 millionth Mustang rolled off the line in March 1966, the second million in sales was achieved in 1968 and the 10 million mark in August 2018.
- The origin of the Mustang name isn’t clear but it’s thought to relate to the P51 Mustang fighter plane of World War II rather than the horse depicted on its badge.
- Mustang was available on and off in Australia almost since the start. In 1965/66, Ford Australia imported about 200 Mustangs and converted them to right-hand drive (RHD) to support the release of the new Mustang-bred XR Falcon.
- Later attempts to reintroduce the brand to Australia failed due to the high cost of the RHD conversion which made them uncompetitive in the marketplace.
- It wasn’t until 2015 that production of RHD models became available and the model became truly competitive.
- The slogan, “Happy birthday little pony”, is a humorous dig at Mustang by rival Chevrolet Camaro. A 2019 ad shows a pony in a pink hat blowing out candles on a birthday cake, while a sheet is pulled off a 2019 Camaro. The words, “Some wishes do come true” cross the screen suggesting the pony wished for a new Camaro.