"The origins of the original 1964 1/2, 101 horsepower Mustang was the humble Ford Falcon. Officially, the car was released in April 1964 and called a 1965 model. The true 1965 Mustang was equipped with a 200 cubic inch, 120 horsepower 6 cylinder engine but perhaps what made the Mustang so unique was the ability of an owner to have the car built and equipped exactly as they requested. Because the components were inexpensive off-the-shelf Ford Falcon parts, the original Mustang sold for only $2368 U.S. Options included air-conditioning at $283, three choices of V-8 engines ranging from about $100 to $328 and performance buffs one could order the famous Shelby GT 350 for about $4547 and a full race version for approximately $5950. These early high-performance Mustang's produced anywhere from 300 to approximately 360 gross horsepower, propelling these cars from zero to 60 mph in approximately 6.5 seconds and able to reach a top speed of up to 135 miles an hour. Today, these special high-performance Mustang's can sell for over $100,000, and regular six or eight cylinder Mustang convertibles can easily bring $40,000 to $50,000. The original Mustang was wildly popular selling a total of 680,989 1965 units. The regular 1965 Ford Mustang and Mustang convertibles were not considered high-tech for their time but the cars with a long hood and sculptured lines looked beautiful and because they were relatively small sporty cars, they were fun to drive and even more fun to own. They can be best described as really nice cars which were attractive in their time and remain attractive today. A simple, and yet timeless elegance and style. And because they could be equipped with just about any option, they could also be ordered as high-performance cars, able to keep up with some of the best European cars selling for twice the money. Perhaps the Mustang history is so interesting because it represents a full circle. In many ways, today's Mustang is more similar to the original than ever before. The Mustang went from a great car to a fair car to a poor car and back to a car even greater than the original."
Mustang History 1964-1969