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Saturday, March 19, 2022

The first Mustang concept you've never known before

~First Mustang~ As we all know, the 'Mustang' is one of the most famous global automotive icons owned by the Ford Motor Company. In fact, it is considered the only car that has managed to exceed initial expectations going from its pony/muscle car to a full-fledged sports car.
The Ford Mustang I Concept was arroused and designed by Ford's Executive Stylist John Najjar Ferzely in 1961 together with his colleague Philip T. Clark. (Picture from: Motor-Junkie)
And in the course of its long history of 58 years, Mustang has managed to come a long way from a simple Falcon-based chassis to today becoming a sports car with excellent handling and performance levels that are on par with similar cars from other world-renowned brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc.

And as you already know, there are countless models, generations, and versions of this legendary model. However, not many of us know the first variant of the famous Mustang. Well, this time we will discuss the first variant of the Mustang which was developed by Ford Motor Company in the 1960s. The original idea behind the concept was Ford's desire to develop a small sports car in order to compete with European cars such as the Triumph TR3 or MG MGA.
Ford Motor Company engineers and stylists built the Ford Mustang I full scaled clay model. (Picture from: Silodrome)
Regarding its name origin, actually before the Mustang name, there're several name suggestions appeared, such as among Ford' designers, they preferred the name of Cougar or Torino (at that time the advertising campaign using the Torino name was really ready), while among corporate executives such as Henry Ford II wanted to use the T-Bird II name.

Then the Mustang name was proposed by Robert J. Egggert, Research Manager of Ford Market Division based on his wife gift book of 1960 entitled The Mustang by J. Frank Dobie. While other sources said, it was proposed by John Najjar Ferzely, Ford's Stylist Executive who is a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter. In short, then the company was decided that the name of Mustang would be used for the Ford's new concept car.
At that time the Ford Motor Company built two prototypes of the Ford Mustang I consisted one non-running fiberglass mock-up, and another one was a fully functional car. (Picture from: Silodrome)
The American clearly liked it from the very beginning, because the name seemed to create a connection with the Wild West mythology that is so deeply rooted in America. So Ford seem to get a good marketing gimmick in America under those name. Things are different in Europe especially in Germany where the name of 'Mustang' cannot be used. Because the name had previously been registered by Krupp to be used as the name of its truck produced between 1951 and 1964.
In October 62, when the Mustang I debuted at the United States GP, New York, the Formula 1 race driver Dan Gurney lapped the circuit using the prototype. (Picture from: Pinterest)
At that time, reportedly Ford refused to purchase such name for about US $10,000 from the German auto company. Not to mention that there are several other automotive products that also use the name of Mustang, such as motorcycles made by German moped manufacturer Kreidler in the 1970s, so as a consequence, Ford Mustangs sold in Germany must use the name of Ford T-5 until December 1978.
The Ford Mustang I Concept has a modern wedge-shaped body made up of lightweight aluminum built on a chassis spaceframe. (Picture from: Pinterest)
In short, a couple years before the production version appeared, the first prototype named of the Ford Mustang I was arroused and designed by Ford's Executive Stylist John Najjar Ferzely in 1961 together with his colleague Philip T. Clark. At that time this American car manufacturer built two car prototypes consisted one non-running fiberglass mock-up, and another one was a fully functional car. 
The Ford Mustang I Concept is powered by a 1,500 cc V4 mid-mounted engine coupled with a 4-speed all-synchromesh transmission to drive its rear wheels. (Picture from: Motor-Junkie)
As the Ford Mustang I concept has a modern wedge-shaped body made up of lightweight aluminum built on a chassis spaceframe. The concept car is powered by a 1,500 cc V4 mid-mounted engine coupled with a 4-speed all-synchromesh transmission to drive its rear wheels.

The Ford's new concept car made its official debut at the 1962 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen Raceway, New York on October 7, 1962, and the Formula 1 race driver Dan Gurney lapped the circuit using the car prototypes. As the result, both Mustang I's lap times are just a little over the speed of an F1 race cars at the time. Well, this small, light, mid-engined, 4-cylinder muscle car was blisteringly quick.
But despite the good reaction from car enthusiasts at the time, in the fact that Ford decided to take another path by not put the Mustang I into the assembly line even though originally it was a model that the American manufacturer was seriously developing for production. Probably the Ford Mustang I was deemed too extreme for mass-production.😢

As quoted of the Silodrome, the Mustang I Prototype now lives in the Henry Ford Museum, a testament to a forgotten direction that muscle cars could have gone. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MOTOR-JUNKIE | JALOPNIK | SILODROME | MUSTANGSPECS | MOTORTREND ]
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