The Chicago Auto Show in February 1970 witnessed the unveiling of a completely new look concept car for Ford Mustang. The Milano gave a hint of what was to come in the 1971 models. Taking inspiration from the Italian city that bears its name, the Milano is a grand touring vehicle that commands your attention.
It is far from subtle with its unashamed ultra violet paint and an almost flattened fastback roof. Standing at 43 inches tall, it defines the meaning of a concept car. Gone are the distinguishing features of the 1970 Mustang Sport Roof. The only hint of the vehicle’s connection to its inspiration is the iconic galloping horse badges and the Mustang lettering to the rear.
Without such clues, you would be forgiven for not recognising the latest edition to the Mustang family. A sharp 67 degree angle dictates the windshield’s position and the electrically controlled rear decklid is almost flat. From the hood, air is suctioned in by a trio of NACA style ducts to the engine.
A rear integrated spoiler improves traction when driving at speed. The tail lamp uses an unusual traffic light system, keeping with the traditional red colour for breaking, it changes to amber when coasting and green when accelerating. The Milano was one of the first vehicles to use cast aluminium wheels.
It used a laced design that was copied from classic wire wheels but what it had were lighter and stronger. This unique strategy was to influence wheel design for the next 30 years. The interior has a more subtle light purple colour leather scheme with blue violet cloth inserts which contrast with the dark purple mohair flooring.
However, it was not out of place in the 70s era. Some of the elements of this concept car influenced the production of Mustangs, making the concept a reality. The Milano also took its influence down under, having an impact on the Australian 1974 Falcon XB coupe which also had a starring role in the first two Mad Max Films.