On Friday, April 17, 1964, Dearborn officials introduced America to an entirely new breed of automobile, a fun machine that brought buyers galloping into their friendly neighborhood Ford dealerships. Demand instantly overwhelmed supply, with the few available showroom teaser cars claimed even before they were unveiled. Of course, the initial hubbub eventually died down, though Mustang sales remained incredibly strong for years to come. The one-millionth Mustang rolled off the line in February 1966, and nearly 300,000 pony cars were still hitting the streets annually in 1968.A resurgence came in 1979 as the more comfortable Fox-chassis Mustang debuted. Performance and pizzazz quickly rose, evidenced by the return of the GT in 1982 and a convertible rendition in 1983, following hiatuses of 13 and 10 years, respectively. A legacy within a legacy grew as the 5.0-liter HO V-8 gained strength to become one of Detroit's best performance buys. Two years later, it was replaced by the thoroughly modern 4.6-liter modular V-8 with its overhead-cam layout. An even hotter version of this engine, fitted with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, was created for the Special Vehicle Team's (SVT) Cobra Mustang, which debuted in 1993. Thus armed, the SVT Cobra surpassed 300 horsepower in 1996 and was on the verge of topping 400 horses in 2003, when the Special Vehicle Team marked its 10-year anniversary.That same year was Ford Motor Company's 100th, and the Mustang's own 40th birthday followed in 2004. Fortunately, those little 40th-anniversary badges weren't the only presents unwrapped by Ford party-goers during the celebration. Unveiling the 2005 Mustang that January was the real icing on the cake, and there is no doubt the legacy will continue rolling on toward the next milestone.

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