A new Ford Mustang is about to launch, so Ford has opened up its vault of the last 50 years of cars so we can look back at yesteryear. To give the Mustang a proper unveil, the automakers invited a small group of automotive journalists and European media to Dearborn, Michigan, for a sneak peak of the new model. Writers have agreed not to leak any information before the car’s official debut in December, according to a Reuters report.
The current focus is the third-generation model, however, which charted some new waters for Ford and revisited some old ones.
When setting out to design the third generation of the Ford Mustang, two groups of designers competed to craft the all-new Mustang. Thanks to a slight identity crisis with the Mustang growing ever larger and heavier in the 1970s, the new Mustang had to be clearly defined. Was it a compact with good fuel economy? A muscle car? A luxurious tourer?
By late 1975, both teams had turned out sketches and clay models, and it was clear that there was a definite distinction between the second and third generation of the icon. Based off of Ford’s “Fox” chassis, two body styles were produced: a conservative notchback and racing fastback. Emphasis was placed on driving dynamics, weight reduction, and aerodynamics. A convertible model was later added to the lineup.
John “Jack” Telnack, a rising star in Ford’s design department, took the reins of one of the groups and implemented a more European style to the existing clay models. What was turned around was a new Mustang that boasted more shoulder and legroom, a lighter curb weight, and improved visibility. Thanks to innovative styling, the new Mustang received a new grille, altered Mustang logo, and a European-influenced body design.
The 1979 Ford Mustang offered one of the most successful and long-lived platforms in the history of all Mustang vehicles, with production that ran from 1979 to 1993. The nameplate is still popular, and Mustang fans can get their fix as the 2015 Mustang will be introduced later this year. The new model receives its first major redesign since 2005, and gives way to a new chassis, different engines and transmissions, and a more modern design.
Source: Ford, Reuters