The 2008 LA Auto Show starting tonight will see the debut of the new 2010 Ford Mustang we revealed first in full for you last night— nearly 44 years after the original 1964 model made its debut on the show circuit. The Mustang's not only the original pony car, it's the only one to continuously sell for all 44 of those years. With such an established history, and with the new Challenger and Camaro nipping at its tail, we were skeptical of a redesign we were told was more an "evolution" rather than "revolution." We'd also been told not to expect any seriously new powertrain options for the 2010 model year. Despite those nagging concerns, what we've found may surprise even us. Ford released two concepts at the Watkins Glen Racetrack - the first, on October 7th, 1962 was dubbed the Mustang I Prototype and a year later on October 9th, 1963, the Mustang II Prototype. These prototypes planted the seed for Lee Iacocca to push forward the production plan for a rear-wheel drive sports car for Ford to call its own. Lee Iacocca’s original vision for a “pony” car was:
1. It would seat four. 2. It would have bucket seats and a floor mounted shifter. 3. It would weigh no more than 2500 pounds and be no more than 180 inches in length. 4. It would sell for less than $2500. 5. It should have multiple power, comfort and luxury options for the buyer to select from.These 5 goals gave birth to the Mustang initially penned by Dave Ash and Joe Oros under the executive guidance of Iacocca in the Ford Advanced Design studios. Development started on the Mustang in 1962 and in 18 short months the first 1964 model rolled off the line. This model spawned many variations and was featured in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, late in 1964, which most likely helped the unexpected first year sales numbers. The original sales numbers were speculated to be 100,000 units, but with 22,000 cars sold on the first day and 418,812 during the first 12 months; these were sales numbers that would solidify the Mustang in Ford’s lineup for years to come.