For most citizens of the United States, mentioning the Ford Mustang Stallion may conjure up a double-take or at least a befuddled head scratch. For good reason, since the Stallion was simply a Canadian-built, redesigned version of the original Mustang. With notable trim changes and a different name, the introduction of the Mustang Stallion demonstrated the unique autonomy of international units of the Ford system of the time. In Europe and Australia, for example, Ford lines such as the Granada and Torino were total redesigns of US-produced models. However, the Stallion modifications were short-lived.
Mustang’s Successful Introduction in 1964: USA
In 1964, Ford introduced the all-new Ford Mustang. The first pony car of the sixties, the new Ford enjoyed immediate success for its sporty styling, handling, maneuverability, and reasonable price. The Mustang was named the 1964 Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Car and topped the charts in sales.
Unique Features of the Mustang Stallion
In an attempt to appeal particularly to young Canadian males, Mainway Ford of Toronto attempted to “redesign” the popular Mustang to create a unique and more desirable look for the Canadian market. Available only in the fastback version, the changes were strictly cosmetic, though they altered the appearance of the car substantially. The Stallion was built with a completely different rear panel robbed from the 1967 Mercury Cougar. This change featured a red plastic “lens” panel that spanned the entire breadth of the rear end. Above this panel a large “Stallion” emblem was emblazoned across the rear lid. The Stallion badge was also prevalent on each side of the vehicle. Additionally, chrome-trimmed vents were added to the sides yielding a very different appearance. The ’67 Stallion was powered by the big block S-code 390 GT engine with a four-barrel carburetor and a four-speed manual or C6 automatic transmission. The dealer offered upgraded Mustang options that included heavy-duty suspension and some chrome interior features.
Demise of the 1967 Ford Mustang Stallion
To true Mustang aficionados, these changes were like adding an elephant’s head to a horse’s body. The 1967 Mustang Stallion was promoted by the Mainway dealership to develop franchisees for further distribution of the Stallion and to expand its presence within Canada. One source (www.ponysite.de/pony/stallion.htm) reports that only eight Stallions were actually produced and sold. The Stallion disappeared from the showroom.
Historically, there were many regional modifications of Ford products in an attempt to appeal to a local market. In the recent decade, Alan Mulally, Ford’s former CEO, created a “One Ford” concept in which all models became universal. Now, Ford models are consistent from country to country as a result of global sharing of design ideas. Ford sales have surged internationally as a result o the “One Ford” philosophy.
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