This Day in Automotive History: First Mustang Introduced at World’s Fair



April 17, 1964 – 51 years ago, the Mustang came galloping on to the market. A few days before the cars went on sale across the country at dealerships, the 1964 ½ Ford Mustang made its debut at the World’s Fair in Queens, New York City. Lee Iacocca, the Vice President of Ford at the time, introduced the all-new “poor man’s Thunderbird” to the media inside the Ford Pavilion.

The first generation Mustang came with a padded dash, three-speed transmission and six cylinder, 101-hp, 170-cubic-inch base engine. For a bit more than the $2,500 base price, you could get a V8 – either 260-cubic-inch with 164-hp or a 289-cubic-inch producing 210-hp. The falcon-based car was available in a convertible, coupe, or fastback.

1964 World's Fair Ford Exhibit: 1965 Mustang


The car was exhibited in the “Magic Skyway” giving fairgoers a chance to “drive” and experience the Mustang in an elevated glass tunnel that overlooked the park. Watch a clip of the “drive”:

Within the first day on the market, the car sold over 22,000 and after a year, almost 420,000. They didn’t spare anything in their advertising, with commercials on three major television networks, full-color print ads, and even the cover of Newsweek and Time magazine. Ford knew that the younger post-war generation wanted something different – so they got it.



Since its debut, some nine million Mustangs have been sold and solidified the car’s place in U.S. history.

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