The great looking car featured here is the 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang. This model represents the earliest of the Ford Mustangs.

1964 ford mustang
1964.5 ford Mustang

Production numbers for the 64 1/2 Mustangs are hard to determine because the precise numbers appear not to exist. There are also a few versions of dates of production. One version that seems to be accepted by many is between 3/9/64 and 8/17/64. A side note is that the 1964.5 Ford Mustangs carry a 1965 serial number. The first year Mustang’s were available as both coupes and convertibles.

The First Pony Car and a Unique Advertising Campaign

The pony car era started with the 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang.  The long hood and short deck design, very popular with car buyers, eventually spread to most other automakers.The first Mustangs used the chassis, suspension and drive train from the Ford Falcon and Fairlane.

The Ford Mustang was very popular from it’s inception and was debuted with an enormous advertising campaign. On the eve of the introduction, Ford Motor Company sponsored half-hour programs about the Mustang on NBC, ABC and CBS, reaching an estimated 29 million people. In addition to that they ran spot advertising on a few dozen network TV shows.

1964.5 ford mustang specsThere was never an automobile like the Ford Mustang and just like the car it’s advertising was quite different. One such difference was that Ford advertised the price of the Mustang. This had not occurred since prior to World War Two.

The price was advertised nationally because it was an integral part of Mustang’s marketing plan. Price and identity was what Ford promoted. Ford wanted let you know that the Mustang was a “cool car” and it was affordable. The identity of Mustang being a cool car to own was carried throughout the pony car wars of the latter 1960’s. General Motors liked the look of the new Mustang so much that when they produced the first Camaro, it’s specifications were almost a direct match of the Mustangs. The design difference was the more squared look of the Mustang to the more curved look of the Chevy Camaro.

Lee Iococca and the Ford Mustang

Automotive News stated...If Iacocca made the Mustang, the Mustang also made Iacocca. The original pony car forged his reputation as one of the industry’s greatest salesmen ever, a visionary who could spot a market trend nobody else saw and marshal the forces of a huge company to exploit it.

Interestingly enough, Iococca had to persuade Ford Chairman Henry Ford II to take on the new Mustang project. After what happened with the Edsel, Ford was not entirely excited about taking on new model risks. As a result it took Iococca more than one meeting with Ford to get his approval. As they say, after that it’s all history and some history it was. Ford Motor Company reportedly sold about 22,000 Mustang models the very first day the car was available to the public. Selling at an affordable price of $2,368, about 120,000 Mustangs were sold in the short five month 1964.5 model year. Many say this was the most successful new car introduction in automotive history.

The 1964 1/2 (1965) Ford Mustang Specifications

The 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang came with a variety of engine options. These were a 170 cubic inch staight six with 101 HP, a 260 cubic inch V-8 with 164 HP, a 289 cubic inch V-8 with 210 HP, and introduced in June 1964, a 289 cubic inch four barrel V-8.

1964.5 mustang detailsAvailable gear boxes were a three and four speed manual and an automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions for the first Ford Mustang were a 108.0 inch wheelbase, 68.2 inch width,  and 181.6 inch overall outside length. Curb weight came in at 2,560 lbs.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below…

1970 Ford Mustang

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Reference material for this article includes..The Story of the Ford Mustang by author Jim Mezzanotti...Ford Mustang: America’s Original Pony Car by Donald Farr…Ford Motor Company Mustang Archives.

1964 1/2 Ford Mustang Collector Popularity

1964 ford mustang dashboardBeing the first of the Ford Mustang’s produced, these models are both rare and very popular. The 1964.5 Mustangs are a cool bit of automotive history.

Models in good condition and restored are currently priced in a range from about $30,000 to $45,000. Convertibles generally are valued higher than hardtops, originality is important to value, and V-8’s are generally priced higher than straight sixes.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)