Tag Archives: classic cars

A Half Century and Still Running

Mustang 071

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.

A Mustang Prototype from 1962.

A Mustang Prototype from 1962.

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The Corvette Turns 60

On this day in 1953, Chevrolet rolled out its newest model: the Corvette.  With its bold white body made entirely of fiberglass and a cherry red interior, the 2-seater convertible was a refreshing automotive innovation; a sharp departure from the growing gallery of massive family-oriented vehicles.  Unsure of its success, Chevrolet only manufactured 300 Corvettes; so few, in fact, that each of those models was built by hand.  Selling for $3,250 apiece, the Corvette model was the brainchild of Harley J. Earl who had gotten his start with his father’s business, Earl Automobile Works.  It became an instant hit.  An automotive enthusiast, I have several die-cast versions of Corvettes, including that first model like the one pictured below.  It’s an American original and a true contemporary legend.

Corvette Museum.



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