14 April 2014

Mustang’s Media Effort: Read Lee Iacocca’s speech to press and the confidential Mustang press packet

In honor of the Mustang’s launch 50 years ago, we thought we’d share some of the documents that accompanied its unveiling to the press – something of a Mustang time capsule harking back to this week in automotive history half a century ago. Below are some real gems, including Lee Iacocca’s speech to press, and the “confidential” press packet and brochure that were distributed to newsmen under embargo, ahead of the car’s official public release.

Lee Iacocca's speech to introduce the Mustang

In his remarks to a packed house during the Mustang National News Conference in New York on April 13, 1964, Lee Iacocca noted that the U.S., Canadian and Puerto Rican newsmen in attendance were actually participating in Ford’s first international press introduction of an automobile, which was also being announced to press, radio and TV newsmen in 11 European capitals — some 2,000 reporters, editors and photographers in all. And the Mustang was, without dispute, worthy of an international effort. As Iacocca himself noted, citing numerous attempts by would-be owners to place an order sight-unseen, the Mustang was the most highly anticipated car in Ford history. Click the image to the right to read Iacocca’s speech in full, in which he reveals what he believes will be the big secret of the Mustang’s success.

1964 Mustang Press Packet

The confidential official press packet bills the Mustang as “a new concept,” and even beyond giving birth to a brand new category of car — the pony car — the Mustang was unique in that it was so customizable. According to the packet, “In the Mustang, Ford actually has created three different ‘personalities’ to make it truly unlike any other production car ever to come off an American assembly line — an economical car … a high-performance car … or a high style luxury car geared either to economy of operation or to sports car performance.” Click the image at right to read all of the options that could be combined to create your perfect pony.

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