Pony Week: 50 years ago today, the world met Ford Mustang
2014 marks a special day among blue oval fans as well as automotive enthusiasts in general. On this day back in 1964, the Ford Mustang was unveiled to the world. Developed as an affordable dream car, it should have been no surprise that the Mustang achieved such instant success.
Instead of a planned production of 100,000 units for the first year, the 1965 Ford Mustang (starting at a $2,368 price tag reasonable even for its time) more than tripled the company’s forecast. As impressive a single year was, the 49 additional years has seen the Mustang live on has an enduring embodiment of American performance and motoring pleasure.
A fitting fixture was presented for the first public view of the 1965 Ford Mustang as New York hosted a world’s fair from 1964 to 1965. Assembling a massive New York World’s Fair pavilion input from Walt Disney and a Magic Skyway, Ford’s presentation would be condensed to the attention created by a single vehicle on April 17
th. A 1965 Ford Mustang debuted in the form of a Wimbledon White coloured coupe becoming the first sight of what would be a remarkable vehicle.
The coupe and fastback version of the Ford Mustang would also make appearances over the course of the show’s run. New York World’s Fair Today, like much of the New York World’s Fair complex, there is no visible trace of the Ford Pavilion that hosted mesmerized masses locking onto the Mustang’s presence. If my approximation is correct from what I have seen from a 1964 World‘s Fair map of the Flushing Meadows area, a highway on-ramp and an empty field is found on the pavilion site.
The Ford Mustang quickly emerged as a household name in the United States and North America. The rest of the world would take longer to appreciate the gallop of the pony car. Due to right issues with using the Mustang name and Ford’s unwillingness to purchase usage from the right holders, the pony car was introduced in Germany under the less-thrilling T5 name.
T-5 was the internal project name for the Ford Mustang during its development stages. The 2015 model year Ford Mustang is set to become a true part of the company’s global line-up. United Kingdom and China are a few markets opening up for the next-generation Ford Mustang.
Part of this week’s celebrations of the golden anniversary of the Mustang has been a re-enactment of an October 1965 publicity stunt. More than 48 years ago, a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible was display on the observation deck of the Empire State Building placing it 1,000 feet over the roadways below. An effort than consisting of disassembling the vehicle in order to fit through the Empire State Building’s elevator, the Mustang was reassembled at the top.
Recreating the presentation with a Triple Yellow-coloured convertible model of the 2015 Mustang, Ford contacted the same company that succeeded in making the 1966 effort work. The multifaceted DST Industries arranged for the 2015 Ford Mustang to be divided into pieces for quick reassembly. By April 16
th, DST Industries has once-again placed Mustang convertible on the observation deck of New York’s most iconic tall building. The vehicle will remain at the top until the early Friday morning closure of the Empire State Building observation deck.
Like so many of us growing up, the Ford Mustang has enjoyed great times and not-so great times. There was a Mustang trying to find itself during the 1970s, there was even a period in the 1980s where Ford almost retired the Mustang in favour for the younger Probe. With the heart of a winner, the Mustang consistently fought back into the limelight.
Supported by the Ford corporate family as well as individual contributions from figures like Donald N. Frey, Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby, Jack Roush, Steve Saleen as well as racer like Parnelli Jones, Dorsey Schroeder, Tommy Kendall and John Force have kept the car humble even as it reached great heights. It’s safe to say that Ford Motor Company would also pay kudos to the Mustang’s over 9.2 million adopted parents who left a dealership with the forever-young pony car.
Now 50 years old, how many of us wish we could age as well as the Ford Mustang?
Source of information and photos: Ford Motor Company, Chris Nagy
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