The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced in April 1964, the Mustang was the automaker's most successful launch since the Model A.
The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobile; sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Chevrolet Camaro, AMC's Javelin and Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracuda. It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were exported to America.
Production of the Mustang began in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's second oldest nameplate currently in production next to the F-Series pickup truck line. However the F-series pickup truck has undergone major nameplate changes over the years.
Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, suggested the name. An alternative view was that the Mustang name was first suggested by Robert J. Eggert, Ford Division market research manager. Eggert, a breeder of quarterhorses, received a birthday present from his wife of the book, The Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie in 1960. Later, the book’s title gave him the idea of adding the “Mustang” name for Ford’s new concept car. The designer preferred Cougar or Torino (and an advertising campaign using the Torino name was actually prepared), while Henry Ford II wanted T-bird II. As the person responsible for Ford’s research on potential names, Eggert added “Mustang” to the list to be tested by focus groups; “Mustang,” by a wide margin, ” came out on top under the heading: “Suitability as Name for the Special Car.” (The name cannot be used in Germany, however, since it belongs to a lawnmower manufacturer, there Mustangs are called T-5s.)
Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971-1973 models, fans of the original 1964 design wrote to Ford urging a return to its size and concept. It has since seen several platform generations and designs. Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car to remain in uninterrupted production over four decades of development and revision.