Ford’s “Global Mustang Week” will be turning into “Global Mustang Day” this weekend when enthusiasts the world over celebrate Mustang’s birthday. It’s been 57 years since Ford unveiled its groundbreaking Pony Car to the public at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964 – it sprinted right out of the gate, sold more than a million units in the first 18 months and never looked back. Today, more than a half-century and approaching 10 million in sales later, the Ford Mustang is an automotive icon. It not only has survived ever-changing consumer tastes, politics and pop culture, but also fuel shortages and price increases, economic recessions, government regulations and now even a global pandemic. All the while, the Mustang has become more than just a car – it’s a cultural phenomenon. And the reason is rooted in the fact that Mustang has always remained true to its original brand promise as a stylish, fun-to-drive and affordable sporty car across all six of its platform generations. It turns out that fun is not only desirable, but it sells.
Perhaps it’s that Mustang still represents all that’s great about America – freedom, personality, individualism, style, power. Or maybe it’s just that Mustang’s “Steed For Every Need” product philosophy has kept it squarely in the intersection of where value meets volume. That’s why everyone has a Mustang story – and you needn’t even had owned one to know one. Either it was your brother, or uncle, or a friend, or a kid in school or even a neighbor down the street – everybody has a Mustang story. For Ford, that’s either a blessing, or a curse. As Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, once told me: “The best part about working on Mustang is that everyone knows what a Mustang stands for . . . The worst part about working on Mustang is everyone knows what a Mustang is — and they are more than willing to tell you.” I guess that’s just the price Mustang must pay for being a legend.
Ford Motor Company has spent this “Global Mustang Week” releasing information on everything Mustang – from Mustang claiming “back-to-back world’s best-selling sports car crowns” and retaining the world’s “best-selling sports coupe title for the sixth straight year,” to releasing documents from the Ford Archives on development the original Mustang, to a tease of the 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Mutang and even to revealing Chase Briscoe’s 2021 #14 Global Mustang Week Paint Scheme for his NASCAR racer. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Mustang owners, fans and clubs in 146 countries across the globe – from the Americas to Europe to Australia and even China – are planning hundreds of events on April 17 to drive and show off their beloved Mustangs. If you’d like to join in on the excitement of experiencing a car that is intrinsically and quintessentially American and yet inspires owners the world over, Global Mustang Day is the day to do it. You might want to visit www.FordPerformanceClubConnect.com to find a Mustang club near you and check to see how you might participate in some sort of cruise or driving event celebrating a legendary pony car that has galloped into history as the heart and soul of Ford Motor Company. The only rules are to stay safe – and have fun!
John Clor has owned, raced, worked on and written about Fords and Mustangs for nearly 45 years. He is a nationally-known speaker and author of two popular Mustang books. You can read his original content each week in the Enthusiasts Section of FordPerformance.com, and his monthly column in Mustang Times Magazine.