Donald Frey, the former senior product manager at Ford and the co-creator of the transcendent Mustang coupe, passed away on March 5 at the age of 87.
Frey was hired by Ford in the early 1960s to lead a low-cost campaign to develop a powerful sports car following the historically colossal flop known as the Edsel, Auto Week reports. To cut costs, Frey, Lee Iacocca and the rest of the executives at Ford decided to borrow the platform and instrument panel from the Falcon, and just 18 months later the Mustang was born.
The very first Ford Mustang coupe was unveiled on April 17, 1964, at the New York World’s Fair. Although Ford expected to sell just more than 80,000 Mustangs in its debut year, over 400,000 were purchased in the first 8 months of production.
More than 45 years later, the Ford Mustang is still a hot commodity. In 2007, the Mustang GT shook up the automotive world with an aggressive exterior redesign and a shockingly powerful new engine. The ’07 Mustang GT is equipped with a 300 horsepower, five-speed V8 engine that can move from 0 to 60 in just 5.5 seconds.