The first in a class of car’s defined as the ‘pony car’ – sports coupes with longer hoods and short rear decks. However, these weren’t the highly-refined feats of engineering attributed to current performance cars.

Read on to discover what makes the Ford Mustang the original Amercian muscle car.

UNDENIABLY COOL

The Mustang – undeniably cool American muscle. From the day it was introduced in April 1964, the car’s immediate appeal has enticed both men and women. And that was always the plan – a car both women and men loved just as much as each other was the brief to Chief Stylist Joe Oros. Which I’m pretty sure translates to “Go and buy one, your significant other will love it”, right? Right.

The Ford Mustang was the first in a class of car’s defined as the ‘pony car’ – sports coupes with longer hoods and short rear decks. However, these weren’t the highly-refined feats of engineering attributed to current performance cars. They were quickly produced in great numbers, making them highly affordable. And this was great for the modern family who could now consider owning that second car – and wanted something more exciting than the family sedan!

AFFORDABLE. AND FAST

The original Mustang borrowed much of its engineering from the compact (for its time) Ford Falcon. The cockpit was pushed back leaving a longer hood and limited room in the back. The roof was lowered and what you have, is the start of something special – the pony car. The Mustang quickly rose to fame in 1964, with orders topping 22 000 in the first week, 126 358 by the end of the year, 559 561 in the first full year of production and 607,568 in 1966. That’s a phenomenal amount of cars.

It’s rise to popularity was also helped by the range of V8 engine configurations available over the years. The original release includes options from a piddly 101 hp 2.8-liter straight six, up to a 220 hp V8 289. With the early V8’s outselling the straight six three-to-one, by 1968 the Mustang introduced a few more options for the serious racer. “Small” V8’s were available in a 195hp 289 (4.7L), and a 220 hp 302 (4.9L). But now there was also big-block options included the 427 and 428 (approximately 7.0L) which produced around 335-390 hp. A whole slew of classic cars followed, including the 1969 Boss 429 and the Shelby GT500.

A WINNING FORMULA

With its iconic style and wide appeal, the Mustang has also appeared in countless movies and TV shows. The most famous Mustang scene obviously being that featuring Steve McQueen in Bullitt – the car sliding and jumping around the streets of San Francisco was more than enough to incite the imagination of the masses. Choose your own favourite appearance though, as the famous car has starred in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, both the original and the remake of Gone in Sixty Seconds, and more recently in the racing flick The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

The formula for the Mustang obviously worked as it’s been in constant production since 1964 until today. It stands out as something decidedly Ford. To lose the Mustang would be to lose something uniquely Ford – something with so much sentimental value to so many. Thankfully that doesn’t look to be a problem. And if you’re a Mustang fan you will immediately recognise the throwback styling to the original Mustangs, particularly the 1964.5 and the 1967-69 fastbacks.

HOW DO YOU GET ONE?

Previously, your only option was to import one, but with Australia’s hefty import tax and duty added considerable expense. That’s one of the reasons you see so few here on the streets.

But here’s the good news – the new mustang is coming to Australia this year. The current 2015 Mustang GT Fastback has everything you would expect from a modern sportscar. It has that tough and muscular look, a 5.0 V8 with its sweet roar as it fires up, and that galloping horse on the front grill that signifies you’re in the for ride of your life!

But if for some reason the new shape doesn’t grab you, check this out – the original Mustang is back in production. Revology have fused original styling with modern technology to produce something that’s even better than restoration. The Ford-licenced replica includes modern technology throughout, an entirely new drivetrain, and uses modern steel to replicate original Mustang parts. In fact, the body is so original you can even bolt authentic Mustang parts to it. Beautiful!

Feature image photo source: Radu Bercan / Shutterstock.com