Name: 1962 Ford Mustang I Concept Car
Year(s) Produced: 162
Number Built: One-off
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door coupe, stressed aluminium shell
Engine: 91.4 cui, 1,498 cc Ford Cosworth 60 degrees V4
Power: 109hp @ 6400 RPM
0-60mph: 11.0 seconds
Top Speed: 100 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 154 in./ 61 in./ 39.5 in.
Wheelbase: 90 in.
Base Price: N/A
Highest Price: N/A
Though John Najjar and Phil Clark – the great minds behind the legendary 1962 Mustang I concept car – may not have realized then how much their creation will make an impact, it was clear in the eyes of Ford executives how much this revolutionary car will make waves in the auto industry. Needless to say, Ford’s Mustang rocked the boat of the automobile status quo which gave rise to other equally great competitors such as Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, and Chrysler’s Plymouth Barracuda.
Truth be told, it may not be the Mustang 1 that actually drove the competition, but it was nevertheless instrumental in sparking interest and confidence among a population that has just recovered more than a decade after world war. Now that sales were strong and consumer confidence was high, the industry is now free to compete, excel, and perfect their craft – and Ford knows how to capitalize on that. While auto shows, plus television and print advertising proliferated and even satiated casual observers, promotional films like this classic video from the Ford archives covering the vintage Mustang I concept, is a rare and welcomed sight. It was brilliantly crafted to give enthusiasts a deeper take on the subject and offer some behind-the-scenes excitement on how the company gave birth to the car that started it all.
Filmed almost entirely within the premises Ford Motor Company – perhaps to ensure the secrecy of their project codenamed Allegro – it also features a rare footage of the craftsmen at Troutman & Barnes welding up a one-off tube chassis, and the stylists in the Ford design studio working with fibreglass. Perhaps the most celebrated part of the promotional video for the Mustang 1 concept car is when it was paraded at the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, NY on October 7, 1962. Another selling point for the promotional video is when Sir Stirling Moss was asked to go behind the wheel for some hot-lapping at Daytona while Bill France, Sr., looks on in that old wool suit despite the fact he’s at a racetrack, a fashion statement so typical of that time.
For the next two years, Ford marketed the Mustang 1 with the hope of winning the affection and appeal of the general public which was very limited at that time. The company decided it’s time to move forward and introduced its successor, the Mustang II which has been the known predecessor of the first generation Ford Falcon. Afterwards as some folks may say, the rest is history.
Thanks to the efforts of Ford executives Morris Carter and Frank Theyleg back in 1967, the Mustang 1 was saved from the peril of being stuck in the basement and was completely restored by the Ford company’s Scientific Research Garage. The Mustang 1 now resides at the Henry Ford Museum where it became an official part of the company’s milestone collection in 1982.
Here’s the video below and tell us what you think.