The Ford Mustang
There are few cars that are as iconic as the Ford Mustang. The Mustang created a whole new class of vehicles, the pony car. Despite having a huge number of competitors enter the marketplace in an attempt to win sales the Mustang remained the dominant car in the class where it is really the only pony car to have remained in production from the sixties to the present day. The car has under gone a number of changes over the years of course but it has always maintained the same qualities that have made it one of the most important cars in automotive history.
The Mustang was originally conceived as an attempt to offer a sporty car that was more affordable than the other versions that were available. At the time sports cars and muscle cars where quite expensive since they tended to have large engines and high performance parts. This of course meant that these types of cars were out of the price range of most people. Ford recognized that there was a market there, especially amongst young people who wanted a sporty vehicle but didn't have a lot of money. The original plan was to build a sports car based on the compact Ford Falcon that could be offered with a low price tag by using cheaper parts that where already being widely used on other Ford models.
The original plan of creating a low cost sports car where eventually abandoned because the company believed that it would be easier to sell a four seat car than it would to sell a two seat car. The result was the creation of the pony car, a sporty four seater that used the platform of a compact car to keep costs down but that was styled to appeal to younger people. The car was an instant hit and soon found itself with a whole flood of competitors.
Once it became clear that there was a market for these types of cars the Mustang was upgraded and each successive model year for the first decade of its life got heavier and more powerful and sales continued to be strong as the car started to morph into what was really more of a muscle car. Then in the seventies the price of gas soared and he Mustang was redesigned as a smaller more fuel efficient car. The car went back to its roots as a sporty version of a compact car and continued this way throughout the eighties.
During the nineties the Mustang went through yet another major redesign and it became more like the car it had been in late sixties, as much a muscle car as a sporty compact. The new version of the Mustang was an instant hit and although another redesign occurred in 2005 the car has remained very popular. The Mustang is now the second oldest nameplate in continuous production after Fords venerable F-series pickup trucks, a testament to the popularity of the model.