1964 Ford Mustang Review

May 16, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

When most people think of a classic car, they picture the Ford Mustang. The brand-new vehicle was pioneered in the 1964 model year, making the ’64 Mustang the first version of the pony car you can get your hands on. The Mustang was officially introduced on April 17, 1964, and enthusiasts call them the “1964½” model for their early introduction.

Design and Reception


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The Ford Mustang was an original design that used the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension from compact Falcon instead of starting from scratch as a way to keep the production costs low. Instead of sticking to the same design as this compact model, however, it got a backseat and plenty of options to customize the vehicle. The underpinnings earned it a spot in the compact car category, however, while the style was sporty and bold. The new look was popular, and the Mustang sold a whopping 22,000 models on the first day. By the end of the first two years, there were 1 million sales. Because of this, most auto enthusiasts say that the 1964 Mustang was the vehicle that truly created the pony car class, the only muscle car class you can still find today. This means that there is always a strong demand for the Ford Mustang, particularly classic versions of it from the first model year.

Debut


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When the Ford Mustang debuted in 1964, it wore the 1965 model year designation. It was a sports car with a 170 cubic inch 6-cylinder engine plus one of two V8 engines. Right from the start, drivers across the country loved the short trunk styling, long hood, options, and accessible price. In the beginning, the Mustang was available as a four-person convertible or hardtop coupe. On the original 1964 Ford Mustang, drivers got plenty of standard features. Some of these include a padded dashboard, a light in the glove box, and front seatbelts in black.

Updates


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You may see some Ford Mustang models referred to as 1964 ½. This is because the Mustang hit the market after most models in the 1964 model year but well before 1965 models. During the 1965 model year, Ford added updated options known as “late 65s,” including a fastback body style with a sporty theme and 2+2 seating arrangement. That same year, the new 289-cid, 270-bhp V8 engine known as the “K-code” debuted. This particular engine is a driver’s favorite due to its excellent performance. The list of midyear updates continued as Ford saw a great opportunity to ensure the Mustang appealed to all drivers. There was also the Ford Mustang fastback known as the Shelby GT-350, which was a collaboration between Ford and Shelby. This version had a 289-cid V8 engine with 306 bhp. These models were ready for the racetrack, lacked a backseat, and always had a white exterior, but they were still popular.

The Mustang earned an important place in American automotive history and, as a result, the ‘64 Ford Mustang is a popular vehicle for classic car collectors. There are multiple versions found on the market today, and if you aren’t picky about which one you buy, you will have plenty of options. Finding an original ’64 Mustang is rediscovering an American icon—driving a ’64 Mustang is experiencing a moment of automotive magic.

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