Turning the 1971 Mustang into the Pegasus it was meant to be

It’s arguable that any great artistic talent, no matter how revered their abilities, will fall into a funk at some point in their career. We’ve seen this time and time again in music, TV, art and movies. Bob Dylan’s born-again period in the late ’70s, Quentin Tarantino’s early-2000s overindulgence, Howard Stern’s move to satellite radio: these are just a few examples of this inevitable occurrence.

Still, as fans, we must remember that this is a natural progression, the result of a great artist’s need for reinvention, and of course, mistakes. And in the 1970s, Ford hit a similar rough patch with its revered Mustang model.

With the introduction of the 1971 Mustang, many longtime fans jumped ship. Critics called this version oversized, overwrought and overweight, and the model’s sales fell to their lowest total since the Mustang was introduced.

How Stuff Works speculates that this disconnect was a result of the changing times and Ford’s failure to adjust to the ’70s. The source notes that given the high consumer concern for fuel efficiency, safety upgrades and lower costs, it’s possible that the model would have been a success had it been released in the ’60s.

Despite the problems, however, some motivated car enthusiasts choose to see the positives from this period. In the June edition of Hot Rod Magazine, writer Brandon Gillogly profiled Buddy Shores’ custom ’71 Mustang, which he rechristened the “Pegasus.”

With the help of Goolsby Customs, the source says Shores was able to dramatically alter the body – one of the original car’s main points of criticism. He shortened the wheelbase, reduced the size of the front fenders and completely overhauled the back glass.

“We’d compare Pegasus’ transformation to starting with an ill-fitting suit and taking a trip to the tailor,” Gillogy said in his piece. “There was potential, but it took a whole lot of cutting and some splicing to realize it.”

If only the Pegasus had been there in time for prom.