Why has this model of car remained so popular? The early versions of the Mustang are cult vehicles, particularly with macho mid-west types in the United States. When the Mustang first appeared it earned the label 'muscle car' and the term is still almost exclusively used in reference to the Ford vehicle. Why? The Mustang, with its low-slung frame and disproportionally long bonnet, was named after the American wild horse, which was adopted as its logo. The car was equipped with a standard 200-cubic-inch, 120 horsepower, six-cylinder engine, but was designed so that it could easily be upgraded to a meaner V8. When? 1964. Who? Lee Iacocca, who later became Ford Motor Company president, was behind the Mustang launch. A few years later, after a dispute with Henry Ford II, Iacocca switched allegiance and become president of Chrysler Corporation, a major rival in the US car industry. The car was a success? The original Mustang was wildly popular, selling 680,989 units in 1965. Figures remained high for subsequent models. The first regular and convertible Ford Mustangs were not considered hi-tech at the time, but the extra-long front and sculptured lines looked sporty and the relatively small size of the car made it easy to manoeuvre. Did these 'wild horses' have powerful legs? They hoofed it all right. The highest performance 1965 versions clocked zero to 100 kilometres per hour in approximately 6.5 seconds and were able to reach a top speed of 220 kmph. Wow, that's galloping. The so-called SVO (special vehicle operation) Mustang of the 1980s, which had a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, was not as fast. It could reach 100 kmph in seven seconds. In later versions did the car keep its large bonnet design? Strangely, no. The '80s saw changes in the engine and body. And the designs were not pretty - at least not to fans of the original design. Proportions became more uniform, edges were rounded and, in short, the Mustang's design blended into mediocrity as part of Ford's (somewhat successful) attempt to capture a foothold in the 'family car' market. Fortunately, more recent versions of the Mustang have incorporated the style of the original models: long bonnet, short boot and three illuminated vertical stripes in the tail-light bar. Well-preserved 1960s and '70s models are still the most popular among retro-types.