On this day in 1964, the Ford Mustang was officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the Ford Mustang.
22,000 Were Sold on The First Day To say people were excited about the Ford Mustang would be an understatement, as 22,000 units were sold on the first day. When the pony car made its debut on April 17, 1964, the base price was just $2,368. Ford’s original sales forecast for the Mustang in the first year was about 100,000. Instead, Ford sold 400,000 within the first 12 months of production and more than 1 million units were sold by March 1966. Since its debut, this iconic car has sold more than 9 million.
It May Not Be Named After a Horse Although many people started calling the Mustang “Pony,” it might have actually been named after the P-51 Mustang, which was a World War II fighter plane. Lee Iacocca, who helped design the Mustang, said it was popular to name vehicles after animals, but John Najjar, the designer, said he was the one who suggested the new Ford car be named for the fighter plane. Other names that were under consideration for the car were Torino, Avventura, Allegro, and Cougar.
The First Mustang Off the Production Line Ended Up in Canada
The Mustang designated with serial number 1 was a convertible in Wimbledon White that was never intended to be for sale. However, Stanley Tucker, a pilot for Eastern Airlines, talked a Newfoundland car dealer into selling him the car. It took two years before Ford talked Tucker into selling them the car with a promise of the 1 millionth Mustang to roll off the assembly line in exchange, which was produced in 1966. Today, that first Mustang is prominently displayed in the Henry Ford Museum. It still has Tucker’s license plate on it, too.
The Most Expensive Mustang Sold for $1.3 Million The most expensive Mustang ever sold went for a whopping $1.3 million in 2013 at the Mecum Auction in Indianapolis. It was the rare 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Not only was it the first Mustang to be called a Super Snake, but it was the only one of its kind. Originally, only 50 were supposed to be made, but its $8,000 price tag didn’t sit well with potential buyers and thus only one was made. In addition to its one-of-a-kind status, this pony car also had a 427-cubic-inch V8 engine from a Ford GT40 race car under its hood.
Ford Put a Mustang on Top of The Empire State Building In 2014, Ford put a Mustang GT convertible on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. It was in commemoration of the pony car’s 50th anniversary and its public debut at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. It took a team of engineers weeks to figure out how to take apart the Mustang GT and take it up in pieces on service elevators, since cranes and even a helicopter wouldn’t work with the building’s design. They even practiced taking the car apart and reassembling it in the early morning, so everything would be ready and presentable on time. Ford took full advantage of the press surrounding the event, splashing photos of the gleaming vehicle with the Big Apple spread out behind it.