Today marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Mustang – the iconic vehicle that ushered in the modern age of the muscle car. Apparently, owning a Mustang is like chocolate, orchids, fine wine and back massages: once is never enough.
Admittedly, I’m not a Mustang fan, even though I have a model replica of the 1968 Steve McQueen “Bullitt” car. Few vehicles have been so heavily marketed in advance of their official introduction, or have created such an enduring mystique. It’s hard to imagine now, but at the time, the car cost $2,500. But, the advertising paid off: Ford sold 22,000 Mustangs the first day. By the end of 1964, they had sold 263,434.
Available in only two models – the coupe and the convertible – it had a 210-horsepower (no pun intended, 6-cylinder, V-8 engine, wall-to-wall carpeting, bucket front seats, a floor-mounted gear shift – all in about 180 inches in length. It’s definitely an icon, and even though, it’s endured a number of metamorphoses over the past half century, the Mustang is still – well – running strong.