Ford introduced the Mustang in 1964 and its instant popularity ignited a whole host of imitations by rival domestic manufacturers, known collectivity as American "pony cars." The Mustang has endured five generations of redesigns.
In advance of the 50th anniversary of the first Mustang, Ford plans to radically refresh the brand in 2014. With that in mind, here's a look back at a half-century of Ford Mustangs.
1964 Ford Mustang
In 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang. It was a near-instant success and spawned an entire sector of so-called "pony" cars that aimed to ride on the coattails of the Mustang's success.
1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT
For the Mustang's second model year, Ford introduced the Shelby GT version, in collaboration with performance vehicle manufacturer Shelby American, in 1965.
1967 Ford Mustang
The 1967 Ford Mustang marked the first update to the original design and launched a trend of Ford adding incrementally to its size.
1969 Mustang Boss 429
The 1969 Mustang Boss 429 was one of two Boss models produced for the 1969 model year, along with the Boss 302. The 429 is named after its 429 cubic inch, 7.0-liter V8 engine that produced 376 horsepower, making it one of the biggest, most powerful engines on the road.
The last major redesign of the first generation of Mustangs was implemented on the 1971 model year. The most pronounced change was to its size, which gained 2 inches in length and almost 3 inches in width.
1974 Ford Mustang
In 1974, the Mustang II marked its first year, and a return to its sporty, subcompact roots. Buyers responded by flooding Ford dealerships in pursuit of the car. Pictured is the Mach 1 model.
1977 Mustang Cobra II
The 1977 Mustang Cobra II brought the long overdue T-Top to the muscle car.
1978 Mustang King Cobra
The King Cobra version of the 1978 Mustang featured a more sporty design.
1979 Ford Mustang
The 1979 Ford Mustang was the first model year of the brand's third generation.
1983 Mustang Convertible
The 1983 model year marked the first time since 1973 that the Mustang was made available as a convertible. It was also the first time ever that Ford's signature blue oval graced the car, according to The Mustang Source.
With the 1986 Mustang, Ford entered the second phase of the pony's third generation. It marked a departure from the "four-eyes" style headlights of earlier third-generation Mustangs.
1988 Ford Mustang
The 1988 Ford Mustang was equipped with a V-8 engine and had a starting base price of $11,150.
1990 Ford Mustang
By the time the 1990 Ford Mustang hit dealers, company engineers were already focused on the next generation, which was set to debut in 1994. As a result, there were few notable design changes.
1993 Ford Mustang Cobra
Ford launched the Mustang Cobra for the 1993 model year. The car's exterior was virtually identical to that of standard GT models, but featured high-performance hardware under the hood.
1994 Mustang Cobra
The 1994 Mustang Cobra, the first model year of the classic car's fourth generation, was used as the Indy 500 pace car.
2000 Mustang Cobra R
The 2000 Mustang Cobra R was produced as an ultra-high performance sports car that was distinguished by its distinct, large dome hood with fills and its splitter for the front bumper.
2007 Ford Mustang GT/CS
The 2001 Mustang GT Bullitt edition honored the eponymous 1968 movie and its famous Steve McQueen car chase scene. The Bullitt edition sat three-quarters of an inch lower than standard GTs and came equipped with unique shocks and sub-frame connectors.
The 2004 model-year marked the 40th anniversary of the Mustang. It was also the 11th and final year of the muscle car's fourth generation.
2007 Ford Mustang GT/CS
The 2007 Ford Mustang GT "California Special" was a tribute to the 1968 original that added design features such as side stripes, side scoops and a lowered front bumper to the base model.
The 2008 Ford Mustang came with two engine options: a 210-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 and a 300-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8.
2008 Shelby GT500KR
The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR was a 40th anniversary edition that drew on the 1968 "King of the Road" GT500KR model. The car, which retailed at more than $120,000, featured a 540-horsepower supercharged 5.4-liter V* engine with 510 lb.-ft. of torque.
2014 Ford Mustang
The 2014 model year will be the last of the fifth-generation Mustangs. Ford is said to be planning a drastic redesign for the 2015 model year that will likely be unveiled in 2014.