Category | Cars

Ford Mustang: 50 years of pure muscle

1280px-Ford_Mustang_coupe_--_11-13-2011_1This year the legendary Ford Mustang celebrates its 50th anniversary. It seems like time has not passed by for the Fond’s Pony. Each year it is more impressive and shows a better performance. We are going to take a short trip along its history.

In the early 60′s, Ford Thunderbird´s sales began to decline dramatically as European cars were becoming more fashionable. It was then that Lee Iacocca commissioned Gene Bordinat to design a new “concept car.” The result was a roadster with a 4-cylinder engine and 109 horsepower. A year later, Joe Oros became responsible for the creation of the second prototype, a smaller and lighter model with lines transmitting power and sportiness. That is how the Ford Mustang was born.

Our journey through the life of the Mustang will consist of six stages. Please fasten your seatbelts and let’s go.

 1st stage

In spring of 1964, Ford presented its new Mustang Model at the New York Motor Show. The first day of it was launch for sale, 20.000 units were sold. These results pleasantly surprised the whole Ford team. That year Ford ended up with nearly half a million Mustang cars sold.

The board of the American brand didn’t want to lose this formidable beginning and decided to hire Carroll Shelby, the creator of the car body Fastback, which became the base for the famous Shelby GT 350 with an impressive 8-cylinder engine and 306 horsepower, a real beast for the road for those times. A year later he developed the flagship model of the family, the GT 500 with a 355 hp V8 under the hood.

2nd stage

Now we are in 1974, when it was decided to reduce the size and weight of the model.

For this occasion two engines were presented: of 4 and 6 cylinders. To fill this performance gap, the quality of the interiors was improved.

Despite a less sporty car was offered, it became more elegant, and around 386.000 units were sold during the first year.

The Cobra II and King Cobra models were the most representative of the brand during this second stage.

Here we also can’t avoid mentioning the model T-Top Mustang: the first convertible car with a roof of removable glass panels designed in 1977.

 3rd stage

In the mid 80s the most charismatic model appeared in the market: the Ford Mustang  SVO. A model with a totally different front in comparison with a base model was produced, which had a 2.3L engine and 175 hp.

In 1986 the carburator of V8 was replaced by a fuel injection system. This update brought forward a 225 hp engine.

At the end of this stage Ford produced a limited edition of 107 units, seizing an opportunity to link it to its 25th anniversary. That was a birth of Mustang  SVT Cobra R, a 5L engine with 235 hp.

 4th stage

It was in 1994 when a new model with smoother and aerodynamic outer lines appeared. The Ford Mustang Cobra arrived at this stage in 1996. It had a 4.6L engine with a double overhead camshaft cylinder head.

In 1999 it was decided to move into a new phase. The “New Edge” design was characterised by its rugged and muscular appearance. That year the Special Vehicle Team created a new model based on the Cobra. This carried a propeller 5.4 DOHC (double overhead camshaft) of 385 hp coupled into a 6-speed manual gearbox.

We are now arriving at 2001, when Ford decided to prepare a special version inspired by Mustang GT 390, the same one that Steve McQueen drove in the “Bullit” movie of 1968.

Ford Mustang was so successful in the American market that Pontiac and Chevrolet decided to suspend the production of its sport cars (Firebird and Camaro). Without any competition, the Mustang rode alone towards the American dealer shops while its range was extended by the Mach I with a V8 engine of 305 hp.

 5th stage

At this stage a completely retro image comes based on the model of 1964. Depending on the version you could choose between a 4L V6 and 202 hp or 4.6L V8 and 300 hp.

In middle of 2006, Carrol Shelby presented the its landmark road beast GT 500 and introduces a 5.4L V8 engine capable of delivering 500 hp.

However, Shelby was still unsatisfied with the power of the GT 500, so he designed GT 500 Super Snake with a V8 engine tweaked 5.4L with 750 hp: an amazing “muscle car”.

In 2009 at the Detroit Motor Show, the GT 500 engine with 540 hp at 6200 rpm was presented.

Later that year, the Mustang GT appears with a 412 hp engine, 5 liters and 8 cylinders in V. Despite the increase in power, the engineers managed to reduce the consumption.

In September of 2010 the team once again confirmed there were no limits for them to go on with strengthening their Pony. This time Ford launched in the market the Shelby Mustang GT 500 Super Snake: 810 hp engine and 5.4L V8.

For those who thought they could not create a more powerful model, they were corrected   because in April 2012 a new version came into scene: the 1000 Shelby Mustang, created by the great Carroll Shelby who decided to equip its engine with 1.100 hp.

1280px-2014_Mustang_Convertible 6th stage

In 2013 Bill Ford, CEO of Ford Motor Company presents the sixth generation of the Mustang in Barcelona, ​​opening the market to Europe for the first time in the history of the Mustang.

That is how we arrive to 2014 with Mustang presenting two versions: 5.0L V8 of 426 hp and 3.7L V6. However, the real novelty is a new 2.3L EcoBoost engine, capable of developing 309 hp.

To celebrate its 50th birthday, they designed the Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition. This is a new edition, limited to 1.964 units, which is characterised by hints reminding of the original 1965 model.

The Mustang 50th Anniversary is based on the 2015 Mustang GT fastback with the engine of V8, 5.0L and 420 hp.

The 50th Anniversary Edition Mustang Convertible is the convertible version of the car, and just one unit of this version was manufactured.

From Mitula we want to congratulate Ford for its 50th anniversary and to thank them for all of the emotions experienced on the strong back of their Mustang.

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