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Today Is the Ford Mustang’s Birthday

Celebrating 59 years with a retrospective look at the golden anniversary


Today is April 17th. Does this date resonate with anyone? No, it’s not a date which will live in infamy, silly Millennial — 59 years ago, the Ford Mustang was introduced.

Mustang beginnings: the 1963 Mustang II concept and Bob Fria’s Mustang #002.

Mopar fans like to say the Barracuda was the first pony car, and that wouldn’t be far from the truth since the Barracuda was introduced on April 1st. However, the Barracuda was a Valiant fastback, while the Mustang featured unique styling and was a marketing tour de force, especially with the market research behind it.

1968 High Country Special with the 428 Cobra Jet is one of nine built.

Like the Beatles, the Mustang took advantage of something simmering in America, which included a youth-minded culture plus more households acquiring second cars (read: more women having their own cars). Sales were beyond spectacular.

The best way for a Mustang to win in 1969 was to order a Mustang coupe with the 428 Cobra Jet and the Drag Pack.

For the Mustang’s 50th in 2014, there were several official shows around the country celebrating everyone’s favorite pony car. I was able to attend the West Coast event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and, I can tell you speaking as car guy more than Mustang fan, it was a celebration to remember. Here are several reminiscent images from that pony car party.

Stark Hickey Ford from the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak campained this Cobra-Jet-powered SportsRoof in 1970.
Only eight 1971 Mustang convertibles were built with the 429 Cobra Jet and the Drag Pack (which makes it a SCJ). The Mach I grille is not correct but a welcome modification.
The S550 Mustang was not yet out, so this was the first time for many folks to see the new Mustang in the flesh.
1966 Shelby GT350
Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


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