The Blue Oval opens its archives days before the pony car's anniversary.
It's the beginning of Mustang Week at Ford Motor Company. Every year the week that includes April 17 is celebrated with news, sometimes new models or packages - we're hoping to hear more news on the Mustang Mach 1 - and stuff from the heritage department. This will be the first Mustang Week that includes a second model, namely the electric Mach-E.
To kickstart Mustang Week, Ford has for the first time release some notes on the original pony car, verbatim from Ford offices in Dearborn, Michigan. These documents are from 1962, two years before the Mustang came on the scene. Ford also provided a ton of pictures of what the Mustang could have looked like.
From the documents we can see that Ford wanted to build a compact vehicle with four-passenger capacity, both six and eight-cylinder engines, attractive styling and a low price. That was where the money was, and that's where the younger buyers were.
Ford landed on the Falcon as a base, planning for both hardtop and convertible models. It was set to be narrower than the Falcon and lower. "The long hood/short deck proportions and the wide track look give the car a unique, sporty appearance.
It also noted that it expects two bucket seats up front and a bench in the back.
"Performance and economy with the six-cylinder engine will be about equal to the comparable Falcon models. The standard 260 V8 will provide excellent performance and economy, well in excess of regular Ford or Chevrolet standard V8 levels. The optional 289 engine will provide startup performance just short of Ford 390 V8 levels."
Regardless of the mechanicals, style was going to sell this thing. Ford asked designers for a number of things including curved side glass and slim, floating bumpers. "The approved styling is considered to be outstanding by the Ford Division."
Ford's Advanced Studio built a few models, which you can see above and below. Advanced did the most because they reused a few concept cars like the Allegro. Lincoln Mercury did 2.5 with the half just being a trim variant. Ford did one vehicle, but each side was different. The driver side door is the one that was eventually chosen.
Lincoln-Mercury did the example below, based on Ford's Allegro concept. We can see the Mustang's fastback look, but the full-height tailfins never made it to production. It did, however, follow the design brief with long sloping hood and short rear deck, classic sports car proportions. The nose looks a little more shark-like than the Mustang, which ended up with a flatter but more powerful looking nose.
Look for more Mustang news later this week.