As Ford begins it’s ramp-up to the introduction of the 2015 Mustang (to the press this month, and in public before the end of 2013), it looks back with nostalgia at some of the earlier Mustangs that were introduced over the course of the 49 year history of the iconic pony car – a market it created, and a market it led for most (but not all) of those years.
Introducing the Mustang Milano Concept. Introduced in February 1970, it was positioned as a design study for the upcoming 1971 Mustang. In reality almost nothing of it would be used, except perhaps the general silhouette of the front end (itself taken from the 1970 Shelby – a car Ford styled and built after it took over the Shelby line from ole ‘Shel himself).
The car itself is stunning – and immediately brings to mind the thought that if they had built something along the lines of this instead of the huge and ungainly 1971 Mustang, perhaps history would have been different. But note one particularly feature: the tail lights glow green when accelerating, amber when coasting, and red when braking. Just what the cops need!
Both the latest press release as well as the original from 1970 are below, along with images. This material is part of our Ford Concepts, Prototypes, and Show Car section, which highlights over 150 Ford concepts from the past 60 years.
Press – 2013.10.18
Going Flat Back and Ultra Violet, It’s the 1970 Mustang Milano Concept
- 1970 Ford Mustang Milano concept previewed design themes for the upcoming 1971 production Mustang
- Concept took its design inspiration from the grand touring cars that prowl the region around the northern Italian city that gave the car its name
In February 1970, Ford kicked off a new decade at the Chicago Auto Show with a wild-looking Mustang concept car that previewed some of the design direction for the upcoming 1971 models. The exceptionally low-slung, two-seat Mustang Milano took inspiration from the grand touring cars that regularly prowled the roads around the northern Italian city that gave the car its name.
From its Ultra Violet paint to the nearly horizontal fastback roof, the 43-inch-tall Milano was the most radical Mustang seen up to that time. In fact, were it not for the galloping pony badges on the grille and front fenders and the Mustang script across the back, one likely would never guess that the concept was derived from a 1970 Mustang SportRoof.
The windshield is sloped back at a 67-degree angle and the electrically-powered rear decklid is nearly horizontal. A trio of NACA-style ducts in the hood force air into the engine while an integrated spoiler at the tail helps keep the rear end planted at higher speeds. The tail features lamps that glow green when the car accelerates, switching to amber when coasting and finally the typical red when the brakes are applied.
Mustang Milano rolled on an early application of cast-aluminum wheels, with a laced design that replicated classic wire wheels with much greater strength. Similar wheel designs became popular on many cars over the next three decades.
The purple theme continues into the cockpit, where the seats are finished in light purple leather with blue-violet cloth inserts. Deep purple mohair carpeting covering the floor just screams 1970.
While some elements of this concept appeared later that year on production Mustangs, the Milano also influenced other Ford cars, like the Australian-market 1974 Falcon XB coupe Americans might recognize as the car driven by the title character in the first two Mad Max films.
Press – 1970.02.17
Public Relations. Ford Division
P.O. Box 1509, Dearborn, Mich. 48121
Telephone: (313) 322-0365
RELEASE ANY TIME
Mustang Milano is an Ultra Violet-colored, two-passenger grand touring car featuring law, racy design; a tailgate that raises electrically, and twin taillights that shine in different colors to tell whether the car is accelerating, coasting or braking. Highly modified from a 1970 Mustang SportsRoof, this Ford Division show car is named for Milan, Italy, where a number of sporty touring cars make their way through the countryside. Only 43 inches high, Milano is more than seven inches lower than a standard Mustang SportsRoof. The headlamps and high-powered driving lights are concealed when not in use.The hood contains NASA-type air scoops for power-producing ram-air induction. The windshield is steeply raked to a 67 degree angle. The uniquely-designed rear deck lid, complete with built-in air spoiler, is similar to tailgates on some European station wagons. Hinged at the top, the deck lid and backlite open electrically Just above the taillights to provide generous accessibility to the luggage compartment.
Milano’s two taillights indicate the three phases or travel. During acceleration they glow green; while coasting they are amber, and during braking they warn the driver of the car behind by turning red.
Laced cast aluminum wheels are similar to but stronger than classic wire wheels used on grand touring cars of the 1920s and 1930s. Wide tread F60 x 15 tires were designed and built by Firestone especially for this Mustang show car.
Milano’s Ultra Violet paint is color-keyed to the car’s interior. The high-back bucket seats have blue-violet fabric inserts and light purple leather trim. Deep purple mohair carpet adds to the luxury look.
The carpeted rear area or this two-seater carries color-keyed luggage fabricated from the same leather used in the seat trim..
Mustang Milano is one of five special Ford Division show cars created by the Ford Motor Company Design Center in Dearborn, Michigan, for 1970 auto shows.