Two vehicles could hardly be more different than the Ford Mustang sports car and your average minivan. Believe it or not, though, Mustangs and minivans share some DNA. In fact, the deeper you dig, the more commonalities you find between the two vehicles.
Minivans were dreamed up by the same team that developed the Ford Mustang. Legendary auto industry Lee Iacocca and engineering icon Hal Sperlich developed the Mustang in the 1960s. There were many naysayers who thought the Mustang would be a flop, but the vehicle quickly became a strong seller and is now regarded as an American automotive icon.
In 1974, Iacocca perceived a demand for a family hauler that would drive like a car. Iacocca hit on the idea of producing a front-wheel drive van. Sperlich developed a prototype minivan. Because Ford didn’t have a front-wheel drive platform it could build the minivan around, Sperlich used a Honda chassis and engine for the project.
Unlike the Mustang, the minivan didn’t get the green light from Ford. Like the Mustang, the minivan turned out to be a colossal hit.
Iacocca was allowed to take the idea for the minivan with him to Chrysler when he left Ford for its domestic rival in the late 1970s. Chrysler was going through rough times when Iacocca took the reins there. Sales were depressed, and the U.S. government had to bail out the company to prevent massive job losses.
Iacocca had two ideas that helped save Chrysler—the economical K car and the minivan. The first minivans hit the market in 1983 and quickly became strong sellers for Chrysler. The first minivans were sold as Plymouth Voyagers and Dodge Caravans. Chrysler soon followed up with an upscale minivan, the Chrysler Town & Country.
Like the Mustang, Chrysler’s minivans soon faced competing copycat versions, as other automakers raced to develop their own minivans to grab a piece of the growing demand for this new vehicle format. Over the years, Chrysler retained its dominance in the minivan market. Today, minivans have largely been supplanted by SUVs, but there is still an important niche market for them among large families and businesses. Chrysler remains the sales leader in the minivan market.
Although the Mustang is manufactured by a different automaker than the leading minivan manufacturer, it still shares a few things with its distant cousin. Like minivans, Mustangs have gone through many design generations.
Also like minivans, Mustangs are sharing a strong resurgence today, based in no small part on the thoughtful design and quality build of these automobiles. Customers searching for a great sports car with sufficient capacity to haul a few friends or kids would do well to purchase a pre-owned Mustang.
Community Ford is an Indianapolis Ford dealership offering excellent deals on quality pre-owned Ford Mustangs. For a great deal on a Mustang from a neighbor you can trust, visit Community Ford for your next purchase.