Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is officially credited by Ford for suggesting the name.
John Najjar co-designed the first Ford Mustang prototype known as Ford Mustang I in 1961, in collaboration with his compatriot Philip T. Clark.
Ford wanted to cater to the baby-boomer generation, now of driving age and yearning for freedom and emancipation. The Mustang established the brand as the coming-of-age vehicle for America. Ford struck hard when they revealed the 1965 Mustang to the general public on April 17, 1964.
The 1965 Mustang became an overnight success, so much so that over 22,000 orders were taken on the first day. One of the most successful launches in automotive history!
Advertising appeared in 2,600 newspapers the morning after the car was unveiled. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film “Goldfinger” in September 1964.
The Ford Mustang quickly established itself as a benchmark, sporting its own logotype grille – a mustang at full gallop. It also created the “Pony car” class of American cars.
Ford reinvented the automobile for young Americans, with a 4-seat V8 convertible and the throaty, ear-flattering sound typical of American cars of the era.
The Ford Mustang is unique in the mechanical and cultural landscape, carrying with it a way of seeing the world of the automobile: the figure of the Mustang horse represented freedom and speed, the American dream!