Aimed at the fastest-growing dimension in American motoring — driving for pleasure — the Mustang offers the practicality of a back seat and adequate trunk space in a car comparable in size to the classic two-passenger Thunderbird.
Mustang hardtop and convertible models feature — as standard equipment — such sports and luxury features as bucket seats, molded nylon carpeting floor mounted shift for both manual and automatic transmissions, all-vinyl interior, padded instrument panel, and full wheel covers.
“In the Mustang, Ford actually has created three cars in one,” according to Lee A. Iacocca, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division general manager. “Starting with the economical, fun-to-drive basic Mustang, the buyer may select options to give him a sports car for street or competition use or a luxury car geared to either economy or performance.”
Mustang options available to the performance-minded include a selection of three V-8 engines with up to 271 horsepower, 4-speed transmission, quick-ratio steering, Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock, limited-slip differential, and a special handling suspension and sports tires.
Luxury options include a center console, power brakes and steering, automatic transmission, power convertible top, rear-seat radio speaker, remote control trunk release, vinyl-covered hardtop roof, and air conditioning.
“We believe the Mustang represents a new dimension in American motoring at a time when new and old generations of car-lovers alike have come full circle to an appreciation of the automobile for its own sake,” says Mr. Iacocca. “It offers a combination of driving fun, roominess and style that permits the Mustang buyer to make of the car almost anything he desires — all at a low initial cost.”
The Mustang is low — only four feet, three inches tall — with a wheel base of 108 inches. It has an over-all length of 181.6 inches — just half an inch longer than the two-passenger 1957 Thunderbird — and is 68 inches wide. Yet, with two bucket seats in the front and a bench-type seat in the rear, it offers 5-passenger family seating.
Some of the most significant mechanical and functional breakthroughs in the history of car-building — particularly in the area of weight control — are incorporated in the Mustang. It weighs 400 pounds less than the 1957 Thunderbird, due largely to a new type of body construction.
The Mustang body is a sturdy, all-welded structure carried on a platform type chassis which utilizes the drive-shaft tunnel as a rugged backbone. Main underbody members are galvanized and zinc-rich primer is used extensively to retard corrosion. Doors feature two-stage checks and Ford’s “Bear-Hug” door latches.
Convertibles offer as standard equipment a sturdy, manually operated top with counterbalancing springs and high-leverage latches for easy operation. A power-operated top is optional.
The passenger compartment of all Mustangs is surrounded with specially designed materials for excellent weather and sound insulation. The floor areas, for example, have a triple thickness of insulating material — a heavy mat, a jute pad, and nylon carpeting.
The Mustang has a “look of performance,” characterized by a low profile with sports car proportions. Full-wheel cutouts and the forward-thrusting hood accentuate the Mustang’s sporty design.
The Mustang grille is finished in gunmetal gray to dramatize the galloping Mustang emblem “floating” in a rectangle at the center. The grille extends the sweep of the hood ahead of the single-mounted, seven-inch headlamps, and small scoop lines in the sheet metal grille fairing emphasize the forward thrust. The wing-shaped, wrap-around bumpers and standard-equipment bumper guards repeat the thrusting plan view of the hood.
The rear of the Mustang has a wide, clean appearance with an integrated bumper curving upward at the outer edges to meet the sheet metal. A competition style, center-fill fuel cap bears the Mustang ornament and script. Vertical, three-section taillights are located below the deck lid at either side. The lower rear body panel displays standard-equipment bumper guards and, like the lower front panel, is made of galvanized steel for corrosion resistance.
The wrap-under of the side sheet metal further exposes the wheels for a performance appearance, and curved side glass contributes to interior roominess as well as to the sporty appearance of the Mustang. Rich sculpturing in the side panels is reminiscent of Ford’s widely acclaimed Mustang I and Mustang II show cars.
The Mustang’s two-plus-two seating features front bucket seats with foam padded cushions and backs. The seats are of sports-car design for comfort and good body support. The rear bench seat is styled with inserts in a matching bucket pattern.
A spacious feeling results from the forward location of the padded instrument panel. The sheet metal portion of the instrument cluster and glove compartment door have a “camera case” black crackle finish to help reduce glare.
In addition to suspended brake and clutch pedals, the Mustang accelerator pedal is a suspended design. The pedal gives unusual foot comfort — especially to women wearing high heels — and provides smooth and easy engine control.
Four engines and three transmissions provide eight power-team combinations tailored to Mustang economy and performance.
The standard power team is the 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine with three-speed manual transmission. This 101-horsepower engine offers the buyer low initial cost, maximum operating economy, and good performance.
Three optional V-8 engines are offered — the Mustang “260” V-8 at 164 horsepower, the Mustang “289” V-8 at 210 horsepower, and the Mustang “289” High Performance V-8 at 271 horsepower.
Ford’s three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission is optional with all engines except the “289” High-Performance V-8. For those desiring a “fun-to-drive” car with maximum road performance, the all-synchronized four-speed manual transmission is available with all engines except the “260” V-8. The three-speed manual transmission is standard with the “170” six and “260” V-8 engines.
One of the most important features of the Mustang is the number of standard items which are either unavailable or are extra-cost options on most other makes.
Luxury features include deep foam bucket seats; padded instrument panel; full wheel covers; color-keyed, all-vinyl interior; color-keyed, molded nylon carpeting; floor-mounted transmission shift lever; and a deep-dish steering wheel with bright metal horn arms.
The interior of the Mustang also includes bright work on instrument panel face and control knobs, seat side shields, rear-view mirror back and sun visor hardware. Convenience items include not only sun visors, but also arm rests, cigarette lighter, automatic glove-compartment and courtesy lights, front seat belts, and heater.
On the exterior, the Mustang buyer gets wrap-around bumpers with bumper guards, curved side glass, bright windshield and drip moldings, parallel-action windshield wipers, and Bear-Hug door locks.
Other Mustang standard features include Twice-A-Year or 6,000-mile service, self-adjusting brakes, and 36,000 mile chassis lubrication.
With the Mustang’s many standard equipment features, options are designed to help the customer tailor-make his Mustang to fit his specific tastes and requirements.
Comfort and convenience options include power brakes, power steering, power convertible top, push-button AM radio, air conditioning, 2-speed electric windshield wiper and washer, tinted windshield, and tinted glass.
Appearance options include floor console, padded sun visors, retractable seat belts, vinyl-covered hardtop, rocker-panel molding, deluxe simulated knock off wheel covers, wire wheel covers, outside rear-view mirror, and an accent paint stripe which outlines the side sculpturing.
For the sports oriented, the Mustang offers a Rally-Pac with tachometer and clock; special handling package including heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers, heavy front stabilizer bar, 22 to 1 steering ratio and 14-inch tires; limited-slip differential; heavy-duty battery; and 15-inch sports tires.