An Auto Evolution Story from Mustang to Mach 1

The Mustang captured the imagination of the American driver, but even an icon needs to evolve to remain relevant.

April 16, 2020

Lee Iacocca introduced the Mustang to the world in 1964 — creating the pony car class. This new class of American muscle distinguished itself from competitors thanks to an affordable price tag ($2,368) and a distinctive sporty coupe appearance that featured long hoods and short rear decks.

Evolution of the Mustang
Loading Video...

The Mustang quickly evolved from its small fastback roots.

This small bodied sports car instantly became an American classic, and widely recognized throughout the world. But after a few years of unparalleled success, the competition was catching up. By 1969, the small pony car was being outgunned by more powerful rivals, such as General Motors, whose Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were capturing the hearts of American muscle car enthusiasts. The solution to combat competitors was a larger body and more intimidating style to accommodate big block options like their 428 Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet engines. That same year, the Mach 1 debuted as one of the Mustang’s available option packages. In the end, increased power, dramatic styling, and a name that conveyed sound barrier breaking performance helped pull the Mustang from its pony car status into full blown muscle car territory.


Recently, Joey Logano appeared on Discovery’s auto-restoration show, CAR KINGS. The 2018 NASCAR Champion teamed up with Beau Boeckmann and the Galpin Auto Sports team to create the most intimidating matte black Mach 1 imaginable. This one-of-a-kind 1972 “Mach 22” resto-mod is powered by a supercharged 5-liter Coyote engine and is designed to incorporate the old school look with modern technology.

Watch the “Mach 22” come to life on Discovery Go and watch new episodes of CAR KINGS Mondays at 10p on Discovery.

Next Up

Curiosity Daily Podcast: Space Race Stories (w/ Dr. David Warmflash), Why Produce Sparks, and a 1-3-5 To-Do List

Learn about why metals, fruit, and vegetables spark in the microwave, and the 1-3-5 method for arranging your to-do list. Plus, hear a couple lesser-known stories from the 20th-century space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, with some help from a special guest, Dr. David Warmflash.