1964 Ford Mustang Test Car Photos You've Never Seen

And how the Mustang changed a child's life.

By Tim Bernsau, HOT ROD

In May 1964, MotorTrend magazine editors took a brand-new 1964 Ford Mustang to Riverside International Raceway to put the pony through its paces. Ford Engineering had loaded the test car with all the optional performance parts: the 271-horsepower version of the 289 engine, four-speed transmission, 3.89:1 rear gears, handling package, and 15-inch wheels with Firestone 170-TW Super Sport tires. 

The bright red test Mustang clocked a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds and got to the end of the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at a top speed of 89 mph. MotorTrend published its story in the August 1964 issue. These archive photos are from that test day in Riverside. Most of them were not published.

Ford had introduced the Mustang to the public the month before, at the New York World's Fair. My dad took me and my sisters there, probably in hopes of exposing us to the world's latest technological advances and to the curious cultures of foreign lands. The trip ended up shaping the course of my life.

At the fair, big crowds were packing the Ford Pavilion, eager to see the new models, in particular the brand-new Mustang. Despite being in kindergarten, I was still pretty uneducated, and couldn't identify any car by make or model. Seeing the 1964 Ford Mustang at the World's Fair changed that. For hundreds of thousands of spectators, the car was impressive. For me, it was eye-opening. I could have stood there staring at it all day. It was the first time I took a photo of a car and may have been the first time I uttered the word "cool."

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Automotive Magazine: 1964 Ford Mustang Test Car Photos You've Never Seen
1964 Ford Mustang Test Car Photos You've Never Seen
And how the Mustang changed a child's life.
Automotive Magazine
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