Vintage images display Ford Mustang I and the elusive XD Cobra: As the Ford Mustang turns 50, we search back at pony car history

As the Ford Mustang turns 50, we look back at pony car background

Ford Mustang I concept front Photo by: William Drew

The Ford Mustang I idea didn’;t have considerably in frequent with the production Mustang, but the automaker was nevertheless making use of the car to make pleasure in Photograph by William Drew.

Ford Mustang I concept V4 mid-mounted engine Photo by: William Drew

Ford sourced the 1.5-liter V4 from its German operations. Its rear-mid mounting tends to make the Mustang I notion radically various from the manufacturing ve Photograph by William Drew.

Ford Mustang I concept interior photo Photo by: William Drew

The Mustang I concept’;s no-nonsense interior is sparse — hardly something that would have appealed to the average buyer. Photograph by William Drew.

Ford XD Bordinat Ghia-bodied custom front Photo by: William Drew

This is the uncommon Ghia-bodied XD Cobra notion, which gave the Shelby Cobra a sporty, luxurious Italian look. Photograph by William Drew.

Ford XD Bordinat Ghia-bodied custom front 3-4 Photo by: William Drew

The XD Cobra was bodied in a molded plastic compound. Photo by William Drew.

Ford XD Bordinat Ghia-bodied custom rear 3-4 Photo by: William Drew

Like the Mustang I, the XD Cobra was shown to create buzz for the Blue Oval. Recognize the Lotus Ford racer in the background. Photo by William Drew.

Ford XD Bordinat Ghia-bodied custom Cobra Interior Photo by: William Drew

The Shelby Cobra emblem is plainly visible on the XD’;s steering wheel. Even though the idea acquired V8 energy, the transmission was an automated. Photo by William Drew.

It really is hardly surprising that our readers want to share their memories of the Ford Mustang — 50 many years is a long time for an automotive nameplate to endure, and the model’;s approaching 50th anniversary is as very good excuse as any to look back on the experiences that have created the auto an enthusiast hit.

Take William Drew, who had a close experience with pony automobile background when he saw the Mustang I notion, plus a uncommon Ghia-bodied Shelby Cobra idea, at an car dealer in Dallas in 1970. His slides (taken with a Yashica camera, he notes) display the unusual vehicles in the great, bright colours of Kodachrome.

1st, the Mustang I. The compact concept had tiny in common with the production Mustang, conserve for its 4 wheels and 2 doors. Electrical power came from a midmounted 1.5-liter V4 sourced from Ford Germany. Though couple of of its layout elements — and even fewer of its engineering elements — manufactured the jump to the autos you could purchase, the notion did help develop pleasure behind the “Mustang” identify. It must have been effective, also, considering that Ford was nonetheless displaying the vehicle many years following manufacturing Mustangs hit the streets.

Equally intriguing is the Ghia-bodied XD Cobra, which was also acknowledged as the Bordinat Cobra and was both launched in 1963 or 1965 (there are a lot more than a number of gaps and inconsistencies in the car’;s background). It received a 289 cu.-in. V8 backed up by an automatic transmission Drew’;s interior shots plainly present the T-handled gear selector. The XD Cobra’;s entire body was apparently molded from a plastic referred to as Royalex, which is used to day to make “durable, mid-priced canoes.”

Although we never know a lot far more about the XD Cobra, the concept does, in truth, survive — it is a single of the storied “bubble cars” in the tucked-away assortment of the Detroit Historical Society.

The Mustang I also escaped the crusher, and luckily for fanatics, it really is a bit much more accessible: Interested events can view at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich.

The Ford Mustang turns 50 many years previous during 2014 to celebrate the numerous lives of America’;s favorite pony vehicle, we’;ll be posting choices from our archives. Examine out our Mustang mini-site the place you may locate information, street tests, sneak peeks and even traditional Mustang adverts from the pages of Autoweek. We’;ll also have all the latest news and pictures surrounding the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang as it rolls out, so keep tuned.

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