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Arrival Of Mustang Cobra Signals Exciting Times

Arrival Of Mustang Cobra Signals Exciting Times At Ford New Zealand


Long anticipated, eagerly expected, and finally almost here – the wait which began in the USA on April 17, 1964 is nearly over as it is officially announced that the Ford Mustang Cobra is destined for New Zealand shores.

"There had been a lot of speculation about Mustang and what our plans were regarding the vehicle. I am thrilled that we will be bringing this automotive legend to New Zealand," said the Managing Director of Ford New Zealand, Nigel Harris.

Mustang, with its long hood, short rear deck and sporty features, caused a sensation when it was first launched 37 years ago.

"What we have here is one of the most popular sportscars ever made – it boasts success that is unparalleled in automotive history. Back in 1964 on the car's first day of sales, dealers were swamped with some 22,000 orders. This is a perfect example of the phenomena of Mustang, and the interest that we are seeing in New Zealand."

The original car outpaced its entire first-year sales estimate of 100,000 in its first four months on sale. More than 417,000 vehicles were sold during the first 12 months - a record breaking feat for a new car.

"When a company has a vehicle with an international cult following the size of the Mustang's, there was always going to be pressure on Ford to bring the legend to New Zealand," said Mr. Harris.

"To help make the Australasian Mustang dream a reality, a seven million dollar investment was made by Ford Australia and Ford New Zealand," he said.

The commitment to create the new right-hand-drive 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra was made in association with Fords performance car partner, Tickford Vehicle Engineering.
The end result – a superbly re-engineered right hand drive Ford Mustang Cobra, that carries Fords full factory backing, warranty and parts support.

The Tickford engineered 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra has styling cues from the original of 37 years ago - including the classic long hood and short deck, a prominent hood scoop, and the galloping chrome pony centred on the grille.

The Mustang Cobra will provide drivers with a massive 240Kw (320 horses) of power delivered through its hand built 4.6L all-alloy, quad-cam V8, and 430Nm of asphalt ripping torque.

"The Ford Mustang Cobra is a car that is to be driven. It exudes muscle and raw power, and for this reason it will only be available with a manual transmission, in a coupe or convertible form," said Mr. Harris.

Safety features include multi-link independent rear suspension, traction control, premium brake kit with ventilated 13.0'' Brembo front rotors coupled with Anti Locking ABS brakes, twin pot calipers emblazoned with the cobra emblem, dual airbags and cruise control.

Other standard items include a luxurious leather interior with cobra emblazoned seats, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a tilt steering column, full-length centre floor console, remote keyless entry system, interval windscreen wipers and a high-performance ten speaker Mach®460 Sound System with 6-disc in-dash CD player.

It features a lightweight cast alloy IRS with slippery diff and traction control giving razor sharp handling and superb grip, which is combined with ultra sticky 17" BF Goodrich Comp tyres mounted on unique Cobra forged alloys.

The vehicle will be the second marque following the T-Series to be marketed under the FTE brand in New Zealand, and the first of the 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra will arrive in August.


MUSTANG COBRA COUPE 4.6L V8 $95,500.00
MUSTANG COBRA CONVERTIBLE 4.6L V8 $99,500.00


For more information contact Lisa Franklin, Public & Government Affairs
Ph (09) 277 8556, Mobile (025) 997 761,


Media Release
29 March, 2001

37 YEARS OF AN AMERICAN LEGEND

The direction of the American auto industry changed forever on April 17, 1964, when a very different kind of car was unveiled to the public at the New York World's Fair.

The Ford Mustang, with its long hood, short rear deck and sporty features, caused a sensation that confirmed the theories of Ford product planners, who thought a car with a youthful touch would appeal to World War II baby boomers.

Like the U.S. appearance of the Beatles two months earlier, this fun and affordable new car proved to be a springtime boost to a nation that had spent a long winter mourning the death of President John F. Kennedy.

The Mustang possessed the attributes of a sports car but, in the Ford tradition, provided simplicity and value for money. Dealers were swamped with some 22,000 orders on the car's first day.

The 1964 Ford Mustang debuted at a price of USD $2,368. It weighed a little more than 1150kg. With its 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine, three-speed, floor-mounted manual transmission and seating for four, it had a comfortable ride and a functional appeal. In Chicago, a showroom closed early and called the police when Mustang prospects stormed the dealership.

In Garland, Texas, 15 customers bid on the same Mustang, and the winner insisted on sleeping in the car overnight to guarantee that it wouldn't get sold from under him before his cheque cleared the following day.

Mustang-crazed parents bought 93,000 pedal-powered children's Mustangs during the 1964 Christmas season.

The original pony car outpaced its entire first-year sales estimate of 100,000 in its first four months on sale. And more than 417,000 Mustangs were sold during the first 12 months - a record-breaking feat for a new car.

Almost 7 million Mustangs have been sold in the last 37 years since the distinctive little rear-wheel-drive's introduction. In fact, the 1 millionth Mustang was sold by March 1966. By comparison, another classic American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette, passed the 1 million mark in 1993, 40 years after its launch.

What accounts for Mustang's magic?

Baby boomers were eagerly anticipating their driver's licenses in 1961 when Ford began researching their spending clout. The 15-to-29 age group was expecting to grow by nearly 40 percent between 1960 and 1970.

A group called the Fairlane Committee - named for the hotel where they met, not far from Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. - concluded that the new car should be small (no longer than 4.6m), light (1200kg) and inexpensive (no more than USD $2,500 - a tall order, when most cars of the day started at USD $3,500).

The younger generation wanted their cars to be different from their parents' staid old standbys-enter the bucket seats, floor-mounted stick shifts and high-performance engines.

The styling should pay homage to the low profile of the original Ford Thunderbird, with a long hood and short deck. What's more, the new car should be practical enough to seat four-instead of the usual two seats offered by sports cars-yet it should be fun to drive and versatile, coming equipped with a six-cylinder engine and an optional V-8.

For two years, Ford tantalised auto enthusiasts with show cars, including the experimental Mustang I and Mustang II. These early cars were named for the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter planes of World War II - not for the wild horse.

Ford launched an enormous publicity campaign for the first Mustang.

"Presenting the unexpected," said the provocative print ads. "Mustang has the look, the fire, the flavour of the great European road cars. Yet it's as American as its name ... and as practical as its price." On the night of April 16, 1964, Ford showcased its flashy newcomer by buying advertising time on the three major television networks.

Four days before the April 17 introduction date, against the imposing backdrop of the Ford Pavilion at the World's Fair, Ford challenged 124 reporters to a Mustang road rally. Destination: Detroit. "Easily the best thing to come out of Detroit since the 1932 V-8 Model B roadster," raved Car and Driver.

"A market which has been looking for a car has it now," Car Life magazine declared. "It is a sports car, a 'gran turismo' car, an economy car, a personal car, a rally car, a sprint car, a race car, a suburban car and even a luxury car."

Customers could order the original Mustangs in three models (convertible, hardtop or fastback) with one of two engines: the base (Falcon) 170-cubic-inch, 101 horsepower I-6 and the two-barrel, 164-horsepower 260-cubic-inch Fairlane V-8.

Soon Ford added a four-barrel, 210-horsepower 289-cubic-inch V-8 and a high-performance, 271 horsepower 289-cubic-inch, basically the same engine featured in the Cobra sports car.

Depending on the longest list of options Detroit had ever offered, Mustang could be an economical base car, a macho high-performance car or a luxury car. A buyer could order a customised car for less than USD $3,000, in eye-catching hues like poppy red, sunlight yellow and skylight blue.

Less than 10 percent of the first 2 million cars sold were bought near the base price. Most buyers opted for a V-8 engine and a slew of extras that raised the average retail price to around USD $3,000. Options included air conditioning, four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering, special wheel covers, Rally Pac, push-button radio with antenna, rear seat speaker, sports console, vinyl-covered roof, rocker panel mouldings and special handling suspension.

In less than three years, 472 Mustang clubs with 32,000 members sprang up. Fans gathered in Mustang corrals on road-racing courses to cheer their favourite Mustangs.

Today, the list of Mustang clubs world-wide keeps growing, and unlike most car enthusiast clubs, most Mustang Club events are family affairs.

Women bought as many Mustangs as men did, marketing studies found. And, surprisingly, the Mustang crossed generations; although more than half of first-year buyers were under 34, another 16 percent were in the 45-to-55 bracket. More than 40 percent earned a modest USD $5,000 to USD $10,000 a year, but almost 15 percent made more than USD $15,000 - then a healthy income. About two-thirds of the first Mustang owners were married, 52 percent had some college education, and 38 percent were high school grads.

Availability was the only big problem. Throughout the early years, plants in Dearborn Michigan, San Jose California and Metuchen New Jersey, worked maximum overtime to meet the demand.

The Mustang's long-hood and short-deck profile spawned many imitators, but no successors. By 1967, pony cars consumed 11 percent of the market, and Mustang led the pack.

Just a few years into its existence, the pony car became a muscle car. A snazzy fastback 2-plus-2, unveiled in September 1964, offered a fold-down rear seat back and divider that swung out to combine the interior cargo and trunk space. The GT-500 appeared, and the car's distinctive lines got longer, lower and wider. The 428 Cobra Jet engine arrived in 1968.

Model year 1969 offered major style changes, a roomier and more luxurious interior and even more power. The luxury Grande and Mach I debuted in 1969, followed by Boss 302 and Boss 351 in 1970 and 1971. The macho Boss 429 thrilled drag racers.

Between 1965 and 1973, the car gained more than 270kg's and more than 30cm in length. By 1971, it also featured a flattened sports roof and more comfortable interior.

The high-performance era abruptly ended with the 1973 oil crisis and tighter emission control standards. The small and more economical Mustang II debuted in 1974. Motor Trend named the new Mustang Car of the Year. With an overhead-cam, four-cylinder engine, Mustang II was packaged in notchback, fastback and top-of-the-line Ghia models.

The median age for buyers in 1974 was 28, the median income USD $16,053.

At a time when do-your-own-thing was still in vogue, Ford promoted the fun-filled Mustang as designed to be "designed by you." Options abounded, including self-shift Cruise-O-Matic, three V-8s and four-speed manual and three-speed with overdrive transmissions.

Familiar names made appearances. The Mach I, a fastback in 1974, got a 302-cubic-inch for 1975, and Cobra II arrived for 1976.

If Mustang II did not recapture the first car's amazing sales record, it did sell more than 385,900 units for the 1974 model year a 135 percent improvement from 1973.

The all-new 1979 Mustang, introduced in the fall of 1978, shared its Fox platform with the Ford Fairmont, Mercury Zephyr and later the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar.

The new Mustang, incorporating the best ideas from American and European design, was slightly longer (10cm) than its closest predecessors with more space, yet was also 90kg lighter, thanks to engineering advances.

Car and Driver readers voted the car America's most significant new car. In 1979, the Indy 500 bestowed pace car honours on the Mustang. Fine-tuned aerodynamics contributed a 25 percent improvement in drag coefficient over the previous year. With dramatic improvements in equipment and performance, and a few cosmetic changes, the 1979 model sustained the venerable car line through the 1993 model year.

A convertible arrived in 1983, and a high-tech Special Vehicle Operations version (SVO) in 1984.

The 1991 Mustang brought a twin-plug version of Ford's 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, a new distributor-less ignition system, and other changes that boosted horsepower from 86 to 105 in the entry-level car. For 1992, the Mustang dropped wire-style wheels as an option, along with its whitewall tyres.

Building excitement for the next generation, 1993 brought the Mustang Cobra, the first in a series of limited-production cars by Ford's Special Vehicle Team, and the Mustang LX 5.0-litre convertible.

While Ford worked feverishly on the 1994 Mustang - the first total redesign since 1979 - the dazzling Mach III concept car appeared. This open-air roadster provided a few fascinating clues of what was to come.

Model year 1999 offered style changes and even more power. Styling cues were taken from the original of 35 years ago-including the classic long hood and short deck; a prominent hood scoop; and the galloping chrome pony centred on the grill circled by the chrome corral.

Now 2001 sees Mustang in New Zealand in right-hand-drive form for the first time since its launch in 1964, with the introduction of the new Mustang Cobra, expertly re-engineered in Australia by Ford's performance partner Tickford.

Over the years, the versatile Mustang has inspired many specialty cars-Sprints, Twisters, High Country Specials, Saleens, George Washington Specials. Its youthful spirit intact, Mustang has prevailed through recessions, the oil embargo, growing requirements for emission control and fuel economy and shifting fashions.

For more information contact Lisa Franklin, Public & Government Affairs
Phone (09) 277 8556, Mobile (025) 997 761, lfrankl3@ford.com



Media Release
29 March 2001

FORD MUSTANG - WHY THEY FLY…..

The famous American 'pony' car, Mustang, originally took its name from the World War II fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, and not the wild pony, according to Ford Motor Company archives.

Although the abiding Mustang image is that of the legendary American wild pony, the first approach by designer John Najjar was to go with the fighter plane that he personally admired so much.

Najjar was a great fan of the P-51 Mustang, and felt that Ford had produced a car with lines worthy of the same name. Although the name was initially cleared with the company's styling and legal departments, somewhere along the line someone preferred the pony image. They felt it fit better with everyone's concept of the car.

Next step was the galloping horse logo, arguably one of the most enduring automotive icons of all time and one that has remained true to its original lines for 35 years.

And the new car was unveiled with a teaser campaign that announced 'a new horse in Ford's corral.'

Today, the pony image is as strong as ever. Ford in North America even supports a campaign to provide for Mustangs in the wild to be fed and cared for.

So what's in a name, be it fighter planes or ponies? Perhaps the change in direction proves that the enduring appeal of Mustang is as much in what the car brings to its driver than in any of the clever marketing campaigns featuring the car.

Arguably, the car has now established a greater claim to the name than either the WWII fighter plane or the wild ponies of North America.


For more information contact Lisa Franklin, Public & Government Affairs
Phone (09) 277 8556, Mobile (025) 997 761, lfrankl3@ford.com


Media Release
29 March, 2001

- MUSTANG MANIA -
AMERICA’S FAVOURITE MUSCLE CAR

 The Mustang was launched in April 1964.
 22,000 orders were taken on the car's first day.
 In Chicago, a showroom closed early and the police were called when Mustang prospects stormed the dealership.
 In Garland, Texas, 15 customers bid on the same Mustang, and the winner insisted on sleeping in the car overnight to guarantee that it wouldn't get sold from under him before his cheque cleared the following day.
 Mustang-crazed parents in the United States bought 93,000 pedal-powered children's Mustangs during the 1964 Christmas season.
 The original pony car outpaced its entire first-year sales estimate of 100,000 in its first four months on sale.
 More than 417,000 Mustangs were sold during the first 12 months - a record-breaking feat for a new car.
 Almost 7 million Mustangs have been sold in the last 37 years.
 The one millionth Mustang was sold by March 1966, less than two years after its launch.

For more information contact Lisa Franklin, Public & Government Affairs
Phone (09) 277 8556, Mobile (025) 997 761, lfrankl3@ford.com

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