In 1961, Lee Iacocca, the VP and General Manager of Ford Division imagined a car that would seat four people comfortably in bucket seats with a floor-mounted shifter and a sporty look. He also made sure that it had to be no longer than 180 inches while weighing less than 2,500 pounds and Iacocca’s target list price was approximately $2,500. And that’s how the Ford Mustang was born!

Here at 1stCertified Collision Center, we have repaired our share of Mustangs and all over  Highland and throughout CA, we see Mustangs on the roads literally every day. So, we’re delighted to share these 10 factoids with you about the Ford Mustang and its role in American automotive history.

1) After only 18 months of planning and design, the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line in March of 1964.

2) Ford sold over 22,000 Mustangs the very first day. By the end of the year, Ford had sold more than 260,000 and the vehicle lauded as a huge hit. In 2010, nine million Mustangs were sold–an all-time high for the iconic muscle car.

3) To save money and time, Ford decided to share parts with other of its top-selling models, including Galaxies, Fairlanes and Falcons.

4) The Ford Mustang was created to accommodate the baby boomer generation of the 1960s. It was initially displayed in public in the Ford Pavilion during the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

5) The Mustang name has nothing to do with the car’s logo of a running horse, but was actually named based on the famous P-51 fighter plane that was well-known for taking down enemy planes during World War II.

6) Phil Clark, who became a member of the Ford team in 1962, is considered the chief designer behind the Mustang.

7) Charles Phaneuf, the external stylist and designer from the Ford Advanced Studio, sculptured the body of the Mustang to look like a more modest version of the Continental Mark II.

8) The running pony logo has always been a part of Mustang legend. Every Mustang had the pony until 1975, when Ford stopped putting them on the cars. In 1994, they brought the logo back, and Mustang fans worldwide celebrated in a big way!

9) When Iacocca saw a clay model of the Mustang, he was shocked and delighted.  He was so convinced that it would be a huge success, that he opened a second plant in San Jose, California to make Mustangs faster.

10) The first car to ever capture the highly coveted Tiffany Gold medal was the 1965 Mustang, which was fairly impressive, considering that it was only in its second year of production.

So, the next time you see a Ford Mustang, whether it is one of the newer ones or a classic from the 1960s, give much respect to Lee Iacocca, Phil Clark, Charles Phaneuf and all of the other visionaries who made this amazing car a part of America’s automotive history.

Sources: Ford Motor Co., and CNN