Ford Mustang History


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1962 Mustang

The 1962 Mustang I concept car was created to cause a stir. It was never meant for production.

During the early 1960s a large number of Americans entered their teenage years and their youthful spirits demanded a car with boundless energy. Lee Iacocca, then general manager of Ford Motor Company's Ford Division, grasped the importance of this huge untapped market, and with his talented team of designers and engineers he set out to create a car that satisfied their thrill-seeking desires. From the outset, the Mustang's three biggest selling points -- sporty styling, great performance, and a reasonable price -- were established to reach this young target audience.

Ford designers worked tirelessly to come up with an innovative design. To jumpstart the creative process, Gene Bordinat, a company vice president and director of styling, staged a competition for Ford designers in the summer of 1962. Two weeks of non-stop sculpting created a rush of enthusiasm that led to seven different clay models, before Joe Oros's model was selected as the winner.

The vehicle's name went through several incarnations before "Mustang" was selcted. In its early design stages the vehicle was known as Special Falcon, then later it was called the Cougar, the name Oros had given it. At the time, Italian fashions were big trends and the name Torino (the Italian name for the city of Turin) was seriously considered. Sample ads using the Torino name were prepared. However, the Ford Division wanted the car to sell as an American car and the Torino name was dropped. If company president Henry Ford II had his way the Mustang would have been called the T-Bird II. The final pool of names considered included Cougar, Bronco, Puma, Cheeta, Colt, and Mustang. Finally, after several strategy meetings, the Mustang Moniker was selected.

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