FORGET ABOUT POPE BENEDICT! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUSTANG!
AD MULTOS ANNOS MUSTANG!
Happy Birthday, Ford Mustang!
We celebrate decades of Ford’s iconic muscle machine.
APRIL17. 2018BY STEVE SILER MULTIPLE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Long about 1964 on this day in the Queens borough of New York City, the public got its first look at the Ford Mustang. The reception was, to say the least, buoyant.
“When the Mustang was unveiled, the reaction was so positive that there was no doubt it was going to be a success,” recalls Joe Oros, chief designer of the original Mustang (technically a 1965 model but widely known as a 1964½ because it was launched at an unusual halfway point in the year). The Ford folks were right: 22,000 orders were taken on the first day the car went on sale.
We loved it, too, and since then, we have had devoted hundreds of pages and five 10Best awards to Ford’s second-most-iconic automobile (after the Model T, of course). A quick perusal of our archives unearthed no fewer than 143 stories on the Mustang, including 32 comparison tests, 22 road tests, and dozens more news items, previews, and auto show stories during which we wax about its distinctly American take on performance—and barrage readers with an infinite number of horse- and pony-related puns and metaphors. Here on CARandDRIVER.com, a quick search of the word “Mustang” returned 199 results at the time of this writing and anniversary coverage will push us over 200, a milestone in itself.
We’ll congratulate ourselves privately for that, but know that Ford is spending the weekend dancing in the streets, corralling Mustangs and Mustang lovers alike in numerous locations from Dearborn, Michigan, to Buena Park, California. The biggest party is being thrown by Ford Motor Company and the Mustang Club of America in Birmingham, Alabama. Wanna go? Check out http://www.mustangevents.org for more info.
My, How You’ve Grown
Of course, the Mustang has evolved massively since its first showing at the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Now in its fifth generation, the current vehicle looks more like the original than any Mustang since, well, the original. However, it goes faster, turns better, and is more comfortable, safer, and far better equipped than any previous Stang. Still, through the years, many Mustang qualities have remained constant: it has always been one of the most stylish American cars (save the Mustang II); it has appealed equally to men and women alike; and it has been generally successful in bringing automotive muscle to the masses.
Of course, the modern Mustang faces its stiffest competition ever now that the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are back from the grave. But with fuel-economy concerns and economic woes dominating the headlines, we’re fearful this competition may not last very long. And so we join Ford and the rest of the automotive community in wishing a big Happy Birthday to the amazing Mustang.