The Ford Mustang has achieved legendary status for being the first ever “pony car,” spawning copycats like the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger with its iconic long hoods and short backs.
Like all iconic models, there are a few secrets under its hood.
The Ford Cougar?
Initially, the Ford Mustang’s name was to follow its namesake, a World War II P-51 plane. Rejected due to the lack of connection between airplanes and automobiles, it was later ‘rebranded’ as a type of horse, and the name stuck. Other stories give credit to an advertising consultant for coming up with the moniker from a list of names with animal themes like Allegro, Torino, and Cougar.
Later on, ‘Cougar’ briefly stuck, with the company even going to far as to create artwork for it. Luckily, they decided on ‘Mustang.’
What happened to the Mustang 100001
One of the first ever Mustangs in production began with the serial number 100001 (‘1’ for short). It was originally intended to be a showcase model only. However, an Eastern Airlines pilot named Stanley Tucker suckered a Canadian dealer into a sale. Later on, Ford asked the pilot for it in exchange for the 1 millionth Mustang off the production line. To auto enthusiasts’ dismay, the pilot accepted the offer.
Why the Mustang logo is running right to left
The Mustang logo features the iconic horse sprinting, off a turn from his right dipping left. One theory is that this was symbolic of Manifest Destiny, the old doctrine that US expansion from East to West was a “god-given” right. At the time, it was thought to be a nod to Old Western ideals.
Giorgio Giugiaro’s influence
Legend Giorgio Giugiaro was an Italian automobile designer that was named Car Design of the Century in 1999 for his work building prototypes of early Ferraris, Maseratis and the DeLorean, popularized by the “Back to the Future” series. One of his creations was a Mustang outfitted with Lamborghini doors.