50 Years of the Ford Cougar, Er… Mustang

Ford Cougar Mustang

1962 Ford Cougar!

In 1962 Ford was in pre-production of what would become the Ford Mustang. Rare pictures from those early days of development were posted on the Mustang Facebook page yesterday, along with the disclosure that the original name for the car was the Ford Cougar. Can you imagine, the first of the pony cars carrying a cat’s name? Maybe the entire segment would have taken on the name “kitty cars” had the Cougar name stuck.

Look closely and notice the iconic Mustang logo on the grille is actually a Peugeot-ish cougar scratching at the box it’s enclosed in. The photos are a fun glimpse into the birth of an icon, a car that has carried on for almost 50 years. The official 50th anniversary of the Mustang happens on April 17, 2014, which almost coincides with the coming sixth-generation of the muscle car. Ford has plans, of course, to celebrate its milestone. While we wait for those details, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite ‘Stangs from the last 49 years.

1964 Mustang

1964 Ford Mustang

The one that started it all. The Mustang debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

The car that inspired the most recent design, and the one on every “want list” of every Mustang fan ever.


AKA the 1969 Ford Mustang GT500. Enough said.

1971 Mustang Mach 1

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1

This was the beginning of a long, sad era for the Mustang. Before it went down, though, Ford gave the Mach 1 a 7.0-liter, 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet engine which provided at least 370 horses of motivation.

2005 Mustang GT

2005 Ford Mustang GT

After a few decades we will only refer to as “the dark years,” Ford put the Mustang back where it belonged with the ’05 GT.

2012 Mustang Shelby GT500


A 662-hp, 200-mph rip-roaring snarling beast of awesome.

Have you ever owned one of your favorite Mustangs? If not, which would you want?


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  1. Sure wish they would have just given up and buried the Mustang when they brought out the Mustang II after the gas shortage. It’s become a parody of itself and people like me (who saw, drove and rode in the originals) are bored with the car. C’mon Ford, it’s 2013. Sean Connery isn’t James Bond any more, Iacocca is dead and the gray beards with arrested development need electric wheel chairs insteard of pony cars.

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