By on April 22, 2013

We’re told that the “pony car” era started when the 1964 1/2 Mustang was introduced at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964. Actually, the Plymouth Barracuda beat the Mustang to the market by 16 days, but the Mustang made a huge impression, which is why they’re called pony cars and not fish cars. Ford has already started with their 50th anniversary celebrations, and of course you’ll be able to buy your choice of merchandise with the golden anniversary logo, which uses a version of the font used for the Mustang’s 5.0 liter engine logo. By April 17th of next year you may be sick of hearing about Lee Iacocca’s pride and joy, but in the meantime, please enjoy 49 years of Mustang advertising.

 

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS
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50 Comments on “49 Years of Mustang Advertising...”


  • avatar
    @markthebike

    Awesome, thanks for that

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    “Actually, the Plymouth Barracuda beat the Mustang to the market by 16 days, but the Mustang made a huge impression, which is why they’re called pony cars and not fish cars.”

    …except that nobody was fooled by the Barracuda as being anything other than a fastback/bubble-back Plymouth Valiant. The Mustang may have been a Falcon beneath the skin, but nobody could tell by looking. Made a big difference

  • avatar
    niky

    “Mustang II, Boredom Zero” – whatever you may say about the car, that line is fantastic.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Don’t forget about “Six and the single girl” from 1966!

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I was taken aback by the EPA rating of 34 mpg highway in ’76. Forgot that the four banger Stangs got freakish good gas mileage. Oh, and an overhead cam engine! Wow!

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        You have to remember that is with the old, old EPA calculations using the modern adjustments that would likely translate to something in the 27 +/- range.

        • 0 avatar
          bill mcgee

          Back in the day , Consumer Reports as well as the enthusiast magazines took Ford to task for these ratings . First because they really weren’t capable of these figures and secondly that the carbed engines were set up only to achieve EPA ratings which made the cars run badly in the real world . All the domestic manufacturers and no doubt foreign as well were pulling the same games but Ford in particular was complained about . Only Ford’s MPG versions could achieve these figures and only on an EPA dynometer, as the ads of the era stated ” your mileage will vary , blah blah blah” . Never drove a Mustang MPG but a GF had a 1976 Pinto Pony MPG and I still recall the balky wheezy engine with what even for the day was unusually bad response .

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    And the system decides to censor any of my posts with links in them… Because I’m obviously such a malcontent.

    • 0 avatar

      Dan, perhaps it was the number of links. Also, I’ve found that leaving off the http://www works. When reading, you can still highlight it, right click and open the link.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Nope just one link… tried it again, skunked again…

        Let’s try it again. I was simply saying that the 1967 advertisement, the pictured convertible matches my Dad’s Mustang color-wise. I have a soft spot for the 1967 models which for many years I did not realize were in anyway substantially different from the original.

        Come July I’ll be liberating the old girl to put her firmly in my hands and hopefully another 40+ years of motoring pleasure.

        My link BTW is just to Curbside Classic and an article about my dear old Dad’s 1967 model. Search “1967 Mustang” over at CC and you’ll get it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Great retrospect!… even if we have to remember “crappy years” it has a happy ending

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    I bought a 65 1/2 Mustang K model ragtop back when I was 16.I had a part time at the local Ford dealer in the body shop.That was 1967.3:89 gears with a factory detroit locker,dual exhaust and a top loader 4 spd.That was heaven on wheels for me back then.It ended up being the only rag top I have ever owned,as well as the only mustang.It was fun while I had it.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    I had a 1967 289 GT Fastback that I lucked into buying as a kid in the 70’s. (It was the same yellow color shown in this article) It was the HiPo 289 V-8, with a 4 speed, dualed out with Cherry Bombs. I sure wish I had that car, now. I also had a 2004 Red Mustang convertible that got looks, too. I will see how the new Mustangs are for 2014. I will not trade my 2012 Challenger, but I may have to buy a Mustang just to have. A Mustang is one of the cars in the world that is uniquely American, and cannot be copied.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s amazing how long they carried the Fox-body Mustangs for…and also the crazy panel gap around the headlamp assemblies of the 1994 Mustangs.

    Still, this is beautiful. Here’s hoping for many more years of the Mustang.

  • avatar

    Good to see you included the Mustang II in your retrospective. So many Mustang fans try to distance themselves from that era.

    It’s also glad to see the old ads with Jackie Stewart, who raced before I was old enough to know who he was but who dominated racing comentary throughout my formative years.

    My older brother Bruce bought one of the Fox Body Capris just like the one in the ad you have. It was super fast and sported the 302 V8 but my own favorite from that era runs towards the 82-86 GT 5.0 before ford started hanging all the extra plastic on them and tarting them all up.

    • 0 avatar

      I had to give props to the Fox body Capri, though by rights it should have been a Cougar. I like the way the Capri looks a little better than the contemporary Mustang.

      • 0 avatar

        Bruce special ordered his in 1979 and it was only the second V8 Fox Body in Washngton state when he took delivery. I want to say it was black with yellow and orange RS stripes on it. I know it was insanely fast at the time.

        You should also see if you can find any of the Mustand Police Interceptors they had in the mid 80s. I remember hearing stories about what screamers they were…

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I was going to ask why the Fox Capri gets props, but no love for the first gen Cougar which IMHO is the best looking Mustang they ever built.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Agreed, that is why an early Cougar is on my wish list, while the only Mustang on my list is the current 5.0 models.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m also a fan of the first gen Cougar but didn’t happen to come across any ads for it while I was looking for Mustang ads. The Fox body Capri popped up while I was looking for something for Mustang from that year. Also, the Capri is more of a Mustang clone than the Cougar was.

          I’ll walk right by a Mustang to take a photo of an early Cougar:
          carsindepth.com/?tag=mercury-cougar

          • 0 avatar
            wagic

            “Also, the Capri is more of a Mustang clone than the Cougar was.”

            How do you come to that conclusion?

    • 0 avatar
      TheAnswerIsPolara

      My first new car was a 1981 Capri Black Magic. Man, it was beautiful sitting on the showroom floor. Strangely, the dealer had trouble moving it and I got a substantial discount on it. It had the anemic 255 V8 as really its only option. Manual windows, no sunroof, AM/FM Cassette…

      My brother loved it so much, he bought a V6 model from the dealer. His had all the bells and whistles though. I’ve got pictures stashed somewhere them them parked next to each other. By 1988, I literally wore that car out at 160K on the clock. Everything rattled.

      Not sure what year the ad is for the Capri though. I thought all Black Magics were either black (as mine and my brothers were) or white (sometimes called a “White Magic”) with gold painted TRXs and gold striping topped off with a cougar silhouette on the front fenders. I wish I still had that car…

      IIRC, they made a version of the Black Magic on the German Capris in 1978 too. I remember seeing a few pictures.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    What, no SVO ad?

    http://www.stangbangers.com/1984_MustangSVO_Ad2.htm

    “The Machine Speaks for Itself.”

  • avatar
    burakvtec

    1971- 2005 lost years…..

  • avatar
    shifterbrains

    Awesome collection of advertising memorabilia. I remember a lot of those adds appearing in my vast collection of Road and Track while growing up.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    “The Exhilarater is Standard Equipment.” Now there’s a pickup line.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    In 36 years, Ford went from the Model A to the Mustang. In the next 40 years, Ford went from the Mustang to…not having a better idea than trying to clone the first Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      burakvtec

      nice point of view :)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Because there are no more Harley Earls or Virgil Exners or even John Deloreans nor do the auto companies have the freedom to build whatever they dream. Between the bean counters and government regulations, it’s amazing we get any innovation at all

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        That’s an amazingly unconstructive way of looking at things. I suppose the Ford GT was no where in your narrow, Randian view of things, nor the Explorer, Taurus, Focus, Mondeo/Fusion all of which have sold very well. Not to put too fine a point on it, the F-150, which was barely a seller 40 years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The Ford GT was a retro-clone of the Ford GT40 which was introduced in 1964, making my point very nicely. The only flaw in this example is that the GT40 was a development of the 1963 Lola GT MKVI, made without Ford’s funding. They basically bought naming rights of an existing car then and built a clone of that decades later. The Explorer was a me-too product cribbed from Jeeps 4-door Cherokee. The ’86 Taurus was a costed-out Audi 100. The Focus isn’t worthy of mention. The Mondeo/Fusion are lesser versions of other people’s cars. The F-series trucks were a great idea…in 1948. They’ve kept the company alive in the years since the Mustang stopped selling by the hundreds of thousands.

  • avatar
    wagic

    Great advertising chronology. As the owner of a ’67, the pinto-stangs are like an alcoholic family member. You have to acknowledge you’re related, but it’s hard to hide your embarrassment.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    The Mercury Capris of the Fox body era WERE cooler, with the gratuitous fender flares and (on later models) the bubble-back rear windows.

    BUT…

    …as much as I loved growing up in the ’80′s, it was awful to see the hatchbacking trend that no brand of performance car could escape. Mustangs, Firebirds, Camaros, even the badass Porsche 928S …all emasculated grocery-getters.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Have to disagree with you as you seem to equate a fastback/hatchback with grocery getting. I could easily argue that SUV’s fill the very same role; however, that’s a different subject entirely. A Fastback Mustang or Camaro was an excellant solution for someone who golfed, or biked, or played hockey or any array of activities that you needed extra utility, but didn’t want to give up the style. The fact that my ’86 300ZX 2+2 could fit several cases of beer and the ice to fill the coolers was amazingly helpful, not to mention having a good space to store my T-tops without losing my access to a hot car.

  • avatar
    vicentewakk

    Motor mechanics, you can find important tips for your motor vehicle, manuals, books and magazines.
    http://www.autoglasschip.com


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