Imagine the modern automotive landscape without the 1964 Ford Mustang. We’d be without “Pony cars,” the immensely popular SCCA Trans-Am championship, Shelby GT350s, and a whole segment adored by young enthusiasts. Those who relish memories of driving different Mustang models – whether notchbacks, fastbacks, convertibles, mild sixes, or powerful V8s – would have missed out on those experiences.
The Mustang’s impact extended beyond its own existence, spawning rivals like the Camaro, Firebird, Cougar, Challenger, and Barracuda, all eager to join the growing Pony Car category. The Mustang has remained an enduring symbol in American auto history.
By 1973, Mustangs had grown larger and more luxurious, adapting to evolving consumer tastes. The ’73 model, often dubbed “the last of the ‘Big Mustangs,” saw 134,817 units roll off the Dearborn production line, including just 11,853 convertibles. Federal safety concerns threatened the convertible’s future, driving demand for these models. Motor Trend magazine sang praises of the ’73 Mustang, acknowledging its size criticism but hailing it as one of the best road-going Mustangs to date. The vehicle offered a range of engines, from mild six-cylinders to potent 351s. While most had Fordomatic transmissions, many enthusiasts still sought manual gear-shifting. Ford’s extensive options allowed buyers to personalize their ’73 Mustangs with various power features and upgraded trim.