Ford Mustang turns 50 on April 17


Ford Mustang, America’s first pony car, is set to celebrate its 50th birthday on April 17.

The Mustang Club of America (MCA) is preparing to organize celebrations across five days beginning April 16 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada and the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

Thousands of Mustangs, also known as ‘Stangs, from each decade beginning 1960s will converge at the two venues.

The sexy muscle and slick sports car has been on the list of ‘Most Influential Vehicles’ ever since it was officially unveiled on April 17 in the year 1964. Since then, over 9.2 million ‘Stangs have been sold.

The then Ford’s president Lee Iacocca presented the first Mustang to the world with much fanfare at the New York World’s Fair on April 13th of the year 1964.

The styling of the first batch of Mustangs captured the cheerful youth culture of America of the 1960s. Its price tag of $2,368 made it affordable to the baby boomers that were raring to go to the college.

The car was actually designed for women, the Mustang was a smartly styled body mounted atop the chassis of a pedestrian Ford Falcon.

The car also won over the hearts of middle-aged men, specially the Second World War veterans.

Actually the first Mustang was not sold in America. It was sold in Newfoundland, Canada. A Wimbledon White convertible Mustang was first mistakenly sold on March 9, 2022 to a Canadian airline pilot Stanley Tucker.

Tucker later traded it back to Ford in exchange for the one-millionth Mustang.

By 1966, American popular culture was spreading globally and the Mustang had a role to play in the cultural spread.

With the result, Mustangs were being celebrated through music. Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’ became the signature song on the car and the song went on to become one of the top hits of 1966.

Interestingly, owners or their children had kept many Mustangs of the mid-Sixties as heirlooms.

The sports car evokes a whole lot of memories among the Americans. Present day Americans may not know, but the first sketches for a new Ford car and its running pony emblem was prepared by ex-GM designer Phil Clark.

Ford Company did a bit of research and found that Gail Wise was the owner of the first production Ford Mustang in the world. She was a 22-year-old elementary school teacher at the time. On April 15, 1964, she bought the 1964 ½ Ford Mustang Convertible at Johnson Ford in Chicago.

Mustang was also very popular with movie stars of that era. For instance, Steve McQueen drove a Mustang (Shelby GT390) during the 9-minute, 42-second chase scene in the 1968 film Bullitt.

According to Ford insiders, one of the early Mustang advertisements declared that ‘A car to make weak men strong, strong men invincible’.

The Mustang also finds mentioned in the 2012 book titled ‘Engines of Change’ written by Paul Ingrassia, the managing editor of Reuters.

The countdown to the 50th anniversary includes 50 firms selling various items like model cars, watches, leather jackets and the Ts. The celebrating committees will also release a special commemorative 50th logo during the wee-long festivities.


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