Ford released their first Mustang at the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a 1965 model year car. It was immediately well received and broke production records in the first year. Production began in March 1964 win 1965 VIN numbers, but with subtle differences, the early cars are sometimes referred to as 1964½.
At the time of sale, the Mustang was sold alongside the Falcon, Fairlane and Thuderbird as a more compact option. To cut down on production costs and maintenance, the Mustang borrowed many common components from the other Ford products.
The project was managed by Lee Iacocca who wanted a four-seater car, no longer than 180 inches that could sell for less than $2,500 USD and have multiple performance and luxury options.
The Mustang came with either a Thiftpower Inline-6 or a variant of the Windsor V8. The most powerful option was the HiPo 289 V8 which offered 271 bhp. Transmissions included a 3 or 4-speed manual with an optional Cruise-O-Matic 3-Speed automatic.
Colors for the model included Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Rangoon Red, Silver Smoke Grey, Guardsman Blue, Skylight Blue, Caspian Blue, Dynasty Green, Chantilly Beige, Vintage Burgundy, Prairie Bronze, Samoan Coral, Red Metallic, Padoga Green and Chrome Yellow with either Black, Red, Blue, Palomino or White interior.
A GT Equipment Package became available in 1965 that added grill-mounted fog lamps, rocker panel stripes, disc brakes and extra interior gauges.
Series Production Car
1964 – 1965
Joe Oros, L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, John Foster
Donald N. Frey
High Performance V8
101.60 mm / 4.00 in
72.90 mm / 2.87 in
202.1 kw / 271 bhp
198.97 bhp per tonne
423.0 nm / 312 ft lbs
body / frame
Steel Body over Steel Platform Chassis
F 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
R 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
A-Frame and Lower Arms w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar