The date was April 17, 1964. The small Ford dealership in Park Ridge, Ill., was mobbed.
The crowd filled the showroom, making it impossible for anyone on the sidewalk to see the two Mustangs. Inside, a line of people snaked from the showroom to the service department. There, several salesmen, sitting at desks, were taking deposits and orders.
Buyers weren't asking, "How much?" Rather, it was "How soon?"
Designers call it the "got-to-have" feeling. And the Mustang had it.
In the 100 years of Ford Motor Co., consumers have lusted after, scorned and laughed at the company's designs. Here is our list of the company's top 10 design highlights.
|1. 1964 Ford Mustang|
|The Mustang looked fresh, sporty, even elegant when it debuted in 1964. "The Mustang formula - a sleek appearance combined with character at an affordable price - moved American automotive design in a new direction," wrote Michael Lamm and David Holls in A Century of Automotive Style. "You saw the car sitting there and knew it had to be fun to drive."|
|2. 1961 Lincoln Continental|
|After three years of selling gaudy, overstated behemoths, Lincoln created the 1961 Continental. It had slab-sided fenders and a thin strip of chrome that ran the length of the car. The doors opened from the center, re-creating the elegance of the luxury sedans of the 1930s. It was offered as a sedan and four-door convertible.|
|3. 1986 Ford Taurus|
|The Taurus introduced the aerodynamic look of the 1980s and 1990s, reviving Ford Motor Co.'s fortunes along the way. It ushered in an era in which a vehicle's form followed its function.|
|4. 1941 Lincoln Continental|
|Inspired by European designs, the Continental's sweeping, artistic lines make it an all-time classic. It was Edsel Ford's crowning achievement in his long struggle to elevate the importance of design at his father's company.|
|5. 2004 GT|
|Henry Ford II poured his money and time into racing in the 1960s. The result was the legendary GT40 race car. The company will revive the look in the 2004 GT.|
|6. 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser|
|The gadget-laden Turnpike Cruiser personified the excesses of the 1950s. It featured an overhanging roof with retractable rear window, air ducts on top of the windshield with fake aerials and a power seat with a memory dial.|
|7. 1955 Thunderbird|
|The beautiful T-Bird, inspired by the lines of jet planes, was Ford's answer to the Chevrolet Corvette.|
|8. 1955 Lincoln Futura concept|
|Designers in the 1950s were enraptured with the space age. The Futura concept looked like a UFO with its canopy roof and large rear fins. The concept, customized by the legendary George Barris, later starred in the "Batman" TV series.|
|9. 1938 Lincoln Zephyr|
|The New York Museum of Art recognized the 1938 Lincoln Zephyr as an automobile with "impeccable elegance." Author Beverly Rae Kimes said: "The sloping rear deck, curved side window corners, simple grille form with horizontal bars gave life to the expression, 'streamlined.' "|
|10. 1991 Ford Explorer|
|Consumers were growing tired of sedans and station wagons. Ford gave the Explorer a rugged, outdoorsy look. Sales boomed, launching the SUV craze of the 1990s.|