The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Being a "legend" can be challenging. Having worked with many, both real and in their own minds, I can tell you that most of them are nothing in person what people think they would be. Then again, what people think they are, most times, has nothing to do with made them "legends" in the first place. Not that it would make a difference. If you become a legend for something other than what makes you what you are as a human being, chances are, there's going to be a disconnect between you and you, "The Legend".
When Ford pulled the wraps off their new Mustang in April of 1964, a legend was born. Much like someone who became a legend for something different from what they are as a person, it wasn't because it was a swell car. Nope. The "1964 1/2" Mustang was little more than a humble Ford Falcon with a fabulous body bolted down on top of it. It was that body that is "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of". Oh, did I mention this car was cheap too? Cheap and good looking? Sign me up! Bad brakes and horrible steering be darned. These old Fords are a handful.
Do clothes make the man or woman? In this case, absolutely. Under this slamming bod is that weak kneed, primitive, Ford Falcon. Take one for a drive. You'll see. "Is there something wrong with this thing?" To become the legend it became, a car with such humble beginnings would have to have at least the body that it had. Oh, and the price was real nice too. Let's not forget that.
Ford did offer some "go fast" options and a somewhat improved handling suspension but the lions share of sales were comely "little" six cylinder buckets like this. The little Mustang with its plucky styling was all about image. All show, no go. Contemporary reviews were scathing. Brakes that faded quickly, slow handling. A bobbing suspension. Cramped interior. Sluggish engines. You can almost feel the disappointment in the Road and Track and Motor Trend articles. The authors wanting the Mustang to be everything it looked like it could be.
However, compared to a contemporary Ford Galaxie, the Mustang was a relative joy to drive. Everything, again, being relative. Little did it matter, though. Ford sold plenty of these cars cheaply because of that killer bod. That killer bod, "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of".
Photos: Shotgun Taylor