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The Ford Mustang is an American car manufactured by Ford. It was originally based
on the platform of the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact
car. The original 1962 Ford Mustang I two-seater concept car had evolved into
the 1963 Mustang II four-seater concept car which Ford used to pretest how the
public would take interest in the first production Mustang. The 1963 Mustang II
concept car was designed with a variation of the production model's front and
rear ends with a roof that was 2.7 inches shorter. Introduced early on April
17, 1964 (16 days after the Plymouth Barracuda), and thus dubbed as a "1964½"
by Mustang fans, the 1965 Mustang was the automaker's most successful launch
since the Model A. The Mustang has undergone several transformations to its
current sixth generation.
Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race
version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's
(SCCA) six divisions in 1965. Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark
Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-Production national championship. GT 350s
won the B-Production title again in 1966 and 1967. They also won the 1966
manufacturers' championship in the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am series, and repeated
the win the following year.
In 1970, Mustang won the SCCA series manufacturers' championship again, with
Parnelli Jones and George Follmer driving for car owner/builder Bud Moore and
crew chief Lanky Foushee. Jones won the "unofficial" drivers' title.
In 1975 Ron Smaldone's Mustang became the first-ever American car to win the
Showroom Stock national championship in SCCA road racing.
Mustangs competed in the IMSA GTO class, with wins in 1984 and 1985. In 1985
John Jones won the 1985 GTO drivers' championship; Wally Dallenbach Jr., John
Jones and Doc Bundy won the GTO class at the Daytona 24 Hours; and Ford won its
first manufacturers' championship in road racing since 1970. Three class wins
went to Lynn St. James, the first woman to win in the series.
1986 brought eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers' title. Scott Pruett
won the drivers' championship. The GT Endurance Championship also went to Ford.
In 1987 Saleen Autosport Mustangs driven by Steve Saleen and Rick Titus won the
SCCA Escort Endurance SSGT championship, and in International Motor Sports
Association (IMSA) racing a Mustang again won the GTO class in the Daytona 24
Hours. In 1989, the Mustang won Ford its first Trans-Am manufacturers' title
since 1970, with Dorsey Schroeder winning the drivers' championship.
In 1997, Tommy Kendall's Roush-prepared Mustang won a record 11 consecutive
races in Trans-Am to secure his third straight driver's championship.