Friday, April 11, 2008

Of Human Baggage: The Pony Car is 44

On April 17, 1964, the Ford Mustang was introduced. It was the first and by 2005 the last "Pony" car in constant production. Its closest competitor, the Chevrolet Camaro was born in 1967 and died in 2002. During these 44 years the "Pony" class cars included Pontiac Firebird, Mercury Cougar, the AMC Javelin, Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda which got the official jump on the Mustang by two weeks.

We should be very clear on one point: the pony kink has nothing to do with a Pony car. They didn't have young women with stick on tails harnessed up to pull these things around. The only fetish involved was that of putting rubber to the road.

We were still a nation of full sized four door sedans during the peak of "Pony" car popularity. There's no legal definition for a Pony car, but in generally accepted terms it was smaller, though decidedly not a compact car. It was far less utilitarian and a more personal car for the better funded younger buyer. It was far lighter than sedans and increasingly more powerful than compact cars. It was comfortable for two people, but eschewed the interior opulence of the luxury sedans.

It hit the freedom note with the sporty casual look, but even more because it just was neither practical nor comfortable for riders in the back seat. So, dead weight was shed both by the use of lighter materials as well as nixing human baggage. In a nutshell, the Pony car allowed one to escape the gravity of family and unwanted passengers. That was and is the essence of freedom.


Blogger Syd said...

Thanks for the history of the Mustang. I like the fox body style particularly. I guess that was from the 1980's to 1990's? I enjoy your blog.

10:54 AM  
Blogger chucker said...

I actually owned an April 1964 Mustang.

It was SO EARLY, it had a larger engine, the passenger seat did not move back and forth and it had a generator instead of an alternator.

It was stolen a few years later and Allstate replaced it with another 1965 "Stang that had factory air, the standard 264 engine, etc.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We love the Fox body, too, Syd. We had four of them over the years, the last of which was the one and only convertible in our line. The Fox body began in 1987, but production which most call the true Fox body ran from 1989 to 1993. 1994 to 2004 had the more aerodynamic front rather than the squared off style. Then the retro styled 2005 called back the designs of late sixties to early seventies. Ford didn't reinvent the wheel, they just became nostalgic in that regard.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Oh, Chuck, what jewel! If you had simply put it on blocks, stored the seats in your home, drained the tank and packed the Pony in Cosmoline, you'd have one of those beautiful Beaufort mansions on the marsh by now and the bloggers could meet at YOUR place....everytime.

In addition to your many other achievements, we may consider you a Founding Father of the Mustang. You were present at the Creation..or was it the Evolution ?

Thanks as always for driving by.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the blog.
I've created a slog (search + log) about mustang cars, maybe you want to comment about....


4:57 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Thanks for your kind words on our blog and good luck with you SLOG. It's a great site for finding all things Mustang.

9:55 PM  

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