by Mariah Prescott
RacingJunk.com – Article published here
April 17, 2015
51 years ago, the Mustang came galloping on to the market. A few days before the cars went on sale across the country at dealerships, the 1964 ½ Ford Mustang made its debut at the World’s Fair in Queens, New York City. Lee Iacocca, the Vice President of Ford at the time, introduced the all-new “poor man’s Thunderbird” to the media inside the Ford Pavilion.
The first generation Mustang came with a padded dash, three-speed transmission and six cylinder, 101-hp, 170-cubic-inch base engine. For a bit more than the $2,500 base price, you could get a V8 – either 260-cubic-inch with 164-hp or a 289-cubic-inch producing 210-hp. The falcon-based car was available in a convertible, coupe, or fastback.
The car was exhibited in the “Magic Skyway” giving fairgoers a chance to “drive” and experience the Mustang in an elevated glass tunnel that overlooked the park. Watch a clip of the “drive”:
Within the first day on the market, the car sold over 22,000 and after a year, almost 420,000. They didn’t spare anything in their advertising, with commercials on three major television networks, full-color print ads, and even the cover of Newsweek and Time magazine. Ford knew that the younger post-war generation wanted something different – so they got it.
Since its debut, some nine million Mustangs have been sold and solidified the car’s place in U.S. history.