Iacocca Mustang – good for him and bad for Ford
Have you seen the special 45th anniversary Mustang that Lee Iacocca brought out? This was on his own, apparently without Ford. It’s based on the old ’09 body style, nicely cleaned up. I do appreciate the freedom and what-the-hell attitude embodied in a Mustang, and I do like driving cars like this. I really like this video!
The soundtrack choice is perfect – and at the point he lights it up I was clapping (and Sinatra fans will appreciate the reason and timing of that particular point). Good touch of humor at the end. Entirely professional and very well done camera work. And of course a great stunt driver. You can feel how the car catches as it does the 180 in the tunnel – and when the camera pulls back you feel it as though you’re there. I’d like to see a documentary on how this video was made.
Now for my comments.
You’ll notice there were multiple takes on the drift thru the intersection – look at all the marks on the pavement. I know that particular intersection well, and I’ve never seen traffic like that!
The styling of Iacocca’s take on the 2009 bodyshell is much improved – it’s closer to the Mustang GT show car from several years ago (the one Ford should have built, on the chassis they should of used!). The grill is a bit fussy, with the appearance of the original chrome surround that highlighted the 67-70 grill molded in. I like the leading edge of the side fenders – it’s very apparent here just like the original Mustangs. The front spoiler is perfect – it brings back memories of the forward-jutting “blade” spoiler that was found on so many of the early 67-70 cars. Curiously, those years were after Iacocca did his work.
Fortunately, the number of fake scoops was kept to a minimum. Unlike Ford (the recent California Special comes to mind, which would have been really handsome without it’s gadawful fake hood scoop), Iacocca wisely left off most of the usual fake bits. The rear bumper is almost flat against the back of the car – that again brings back the original Mustangs (where bumpers didn’t provide any protection – as the one on my own ’67 did not!), although some more apparent cut-away under the rear bumper would have been nice (and probably impossible given the emission piping under that area). The front and rear bumpers seem a bit large; a smaller appearance would have been appropriately nostalgic. I also like the integration of the front bumper into the wheel arches. The under-grill opening, however, is wrong and should have been a reflection of the grill above, with the sides curving inwards rather than extending outwards.
The very expensive and all-new fastback roofline truly evokes the 67-68 fastback. This was probably the most expensive modification to the car. Keeping nostalgia in mind, the taillights have a too-large appearance, and the rectangular exhaust tips have no precedent on a Mustang. Mistake.
Is this Iacocca’s swan song? He out-lasted the Chairman Of The Board, and I have to wonder if he out-lasted the relevance of the Mustang. I truly hope not, but with a suspension design as old as he is, the Mustang has no technological point other than nostalgia. Iacocca’s original Mustang offered a leading-edge suspension (for it’s time) and wide range of engines… the current Mustang most certainly does not. Iacocca’s original Mustang was designed to offer even the entry-level buyer something he could be proud to show off and that was spunky to drive. Can you be proud of an entry level Mustang these days, with it’s tiny tires and an engine that very literally traces it’s lineage back further than Iacocca’s Mustang?
As an aside, in another year we’ll have a couple of band-aid fixes… a V-6 that is reasonably modern (although will still be short of the state-of-the-art V-6 in the Camaro – kudos to Chevy) and a new V-8 that could have been built ten years ago (and was, but was never approved for production). And somewhere around 2014 or so we’ll alledgedly have a new Mustang (maybe on an Aussie Falcon chassis with a bunch of cut-rate stamped steel suspension bits). But I have a terrible (and sure) feeling that it will be yet another example of Ford under-delivering. We got cheated out of a modern rear suspension in this car , cheated out of modern engines, and robbed of the best rear wheel drive platform Ford ever built (very similar to the Nissan/Infiniti FM platform). And the longevity of the “Fox/SN95″ platform that came before that was grotesque.. that poor old nag needed to be put out of it’s misery and sent to the glue factory.
With the Mustang over the past 20 years, there is always something missing… it’s almost never been an example of what Ford is capable of doing (with a very few exceptions, like the very short lived – and rediculously limited production – 2000 Cobra R . And that’s another difference between now and the sixties: back then the Mustang was a showcase of Ford’s engineering and product marketing capabilities. Now it’s an after-thought with a dumbed-down platform and hand-me-down Explorer engines. I admire Ford in a lot of ways – I’ve seen the fabulous work that Ford has done with the new Fiesta (which we’re getting here in North America) and the Focus RS (which we’re not). Let’s see Ford put that kind of engineering and attention to detail into a Mustang.
But these are Ford’s problems… if this anniversary model is Iacocca’s final song, he did very well. Enjoy the first and last Mustangs he gave us and remember him for these.
Press Release follows:
LEE IACOCCA UNVEILS LIMITED EDITION MUSTANG
Car Celebrates 45 Years of Muscle and Magic
LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2009) – Forty-five years after he introduced the original Ford Mustang, launched at a dramatic press conference at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, auto industry visionary Lee Iacocca today announced a new version of the famous muscle car – the Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustang – a breathtaking vehicle that utilizes the latest in Ford performance technology with a style and panache that screams, Mustang fastback. Only 45 “2009½” Iacocca Silver Edition Mustangs – all painted a special “Iacocca” chosen silver hue – will be built.
Nearly two years in the making, the Iacocca Silver Edition Mustang is a collaborative effort by Iacocca, designer Michael Leone, and Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters, the world-class coachbuilding and Design Company in Fountain Valley, Calif. The new business venture is called I Legacy, and it will be in concert with Galpin Ford, the exclusive Ford dealership to offer these Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustangs to the public.
In a word, the new Iacocca Silver Edition Mustang is stunning. The lines flow organically from front to rear. The hand-crafted piece of rolling art, with its innovations and impact of the fastback design is truly exceptional in every way. With its sunken headlights, slanted grill and low stance, the car gives you “street attitude.”
“Once in a while a car comes along that changes everything, and that was the original Mustang,” said Iacocca.
The Silver Edition Mustang perpetuates the Iacocca mystique.
The car begins life on a 2009 Mustang platform, which is then uniquely modified and coachbuilt. While the exterior fastback design of the Iacocca Silver Mustang is compelling, the mechanical underpinnings are true American muscle. Two power plant options will be offered, a normally-aspirated 4.6-liter Ford V8 rated at 320 horsepower and an optional supercharged version that delivers a head-snapping 400‑horsepower. Both engines are covered by a factory Ford warranty. Drivers will harness the power through a quick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission.
The car’s suspension has been upgraded to keep pace with the power delivery. A Ford Racing Handling Package adds firmer springs and re-valved shock absorbers. A 14-inch Ford Racing Braking Package is optional. All suspension components will be covered under a factory Ford warranty, as well.
Inside the Iacocca Silver Mustang, the interior is resplendent with luxurious touches that highlight the car’s special heritage, including Iacocca Diamond Design leather seats with embroidery stitching, an Iacocca signature dash plaque with serial number, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with “I” badge, and Iacocca-badged aluminum door sill plates.
The cars will initially be revealed and then available at a reception in late July, at Southern California’s Galpin Ford dealership, the world’s largest volume Ford dealer for 19 years, as well as an innovator in the promotion and retail of specialty automobiles. The price is yet to be announced.
The “Father of the Mustang” returns to the legend that started it all.
For more photos, videos and/or information about the Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Mustang and I Legacy, please log onto www.ilegacy.com.
For sales inquiries please call Galpin Ford’s Iacocca Mustang specialist, Brandon Boeckmann at 1-800-829-0744.