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1964 to 2015: How has the Mustang changed?

There are scarcely few cars that can claim to have maintained such a distinctive and unmistakable design – but then, there are few cars like the Ford Mustang. You can throw as many clichés at he wall as you want and still find the Mustang fits the bill for all of them. The Mustang is a completely unique vehicle that boasts a set of traits that have, for years, set it on higher platform than many vehicles attempting to upstage it. Many manufacturers have seen sense and realized not go anywhere near the Mustang or it's healthy customer base and the vehicle is unarguably a cult hero in many parts of the United States.


The first-generation Mustang had an incredibly long lease of life; starting in 1964 with relatively humble beginnings it lasted all the way until 1973 with a starring role as Steve McQueen’s ride of choice in the film Bullit sandwiched in-between.


The most famous American muscle car boasts a highly decorated past when it comes to awards and a host of appearances in popular culture. It’s no surprise that the Mustang is one of the hottest properties in the world of motoring and there are many on tenterhooks for its imminent arrival in Britain later this year. The brash Mustang has bulked up over the years but it's styling is still very much identifiable with the very first model.

We decided to take a ‘spot the difference’ and ‘through the passage of time’ look at the two Mustang’s and what various influences the vehicle has enjoyed. How much has the greatest of vehicles really changed? Does it need to? And what were the first markings of that original car?

 

 

1964 Mustang

2015 Mustang

Horsepower:

210

305

0-60mph:

7.5secs

5.4secs

Available Transmission:

3-speed, 4-speed, Cruise-O-Matic Auto

Six-speed manual, Rear-wheel drive

Top Speed:

91mph

149mph

MPG:

20 (at 60mph)

33

Extras:

Soft-top Convertible

19-inch alloy wheels, touchscreen, heated and cooled seats.

Weight:

1170kg

1680kg


The 1964 Ford Mustang was the original cool-car from it’s slick-as-ice body to even the sharp glimmer of its headlights; the Mustang oozes class from every pore. It’s engines aren't dear (as the tabl;e demonstrates) even today, and it’s worth considering that a lot of convertible versions of the 1964 Mustang were manufactured for the simple reason that they were extremely popular. You can forget your carbon-fibre materials –  the V8 version weighed in at 1170kg and it was pure metal.


The front of the Mustang is perhaps where the vehicle still bears the strongest resemblance to the 2015 model and it's design is largely eidetic of modern Mustang blue-prints. At first glance the interior has a distinctive luxurious feel, while the 2015 model is far more geared towards sports and performance. It’s smooth leather is atypical of 60s fashion and a look at the blazing red interior is enough to leave some enthusiasts drooling.

The vehicle wasn’t a completely original thought from manufacturers Ford with much of it’s design taking a similar shape to that of the Ford Falcon and even the Ford Fairline seen before 1964. Perhaps the 1964’s Mustang’s greatest achievement was offering a sporty, urbane car for a growing amount of new families without carrying a hulking price-tag.


2015’s Mustang is no longer the choice car for modern American families but it still represents a dream opportunity for many and there are those in Europe and mainland UK who have been waiting to get their hands on it for decades. It has become an icon of American motoring and is perhaps the most recognized muscle car of it’s generation, if not all-time. Alongside the Chevrolet Camaro it has built an insummountable reputation that has carried from the 1964 model all the way to 2015.

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