This month, on 17th April, we’ll be celebrating Ford Mustang Day. Over the years, we’ve had the great pleasure of detailing Ford Mustangs, both of the classic variety and more recently some of the newer imports. We’ve also completed some PPF installations as these powerful performance cars have become more common on our roads.
Ford Mustang Day – Why this car deserves its day!
The Ford Mustang has become an American icon. It revolutionised the sports car market by offering a combination of style, performance, and affordability that appealed to a wide range of people. It’s longevity and enduring popularity over the past five decades are a testament to its impact and influence on the automotive industry and popular culture.
Ford introduced the Mustang to the world in 1964, branding it as an affordable sports car for a younger audience. The project was the idea of Ford’s General Manager at the time, Lee Lacocca, and he got it spot on. They sold more than 400,000 units in the first year of manufacture. This figure surpassed their expectations of 100k. By the end of 1965, Ford had sold more than a million Mustangs.
The Mustang was such a huge success, it prompted other manufacturers to develop their own versions. Where Ford had the Mustang, Pontiac had the GTO, Dodge had the Charger and Challengers, Plymouth had the Road Runner, and Chevrolet had the Camaro.
The resurgence of the muscle car era, and the concept of taking otherwise fairly modest cars and jamming in oversized V8 engines, all began with the Mustang.
It also led to the evolution of the hot rod era as people tuned and modified their cars. One might even say it was reminiscent of the moonshiners in prohibition time when drivers tuned up family cars to outrun the police while carrying consignments of illegal hooch.
One could drive a Mustang to work in the week, then drag race at the weekend. In short, this car performed at the track, or from traffic light to traffic light! Could you really ask for more?
Mustangs at the Movies:
Few cars have been driven so successfully by both the good and bad guys!
Very early in its life, a Mustang convertible appeared in the James Bond film, Goldfinger. Most people associate the infamous Aston Martin DB5 with that film. But the 1964 Mustang was just as important, driven by the story’s female assassin.
Who could forget the brilliant chase scene in Steve McQueen’s crime film Bullit? He rattled his 1968 Mustang Fastback through the streets of San Francisco with maximum commitment. If you’ve not seen this movie, it is best enjoyed through a big surround sound system. Don’t forget to turn the volume up to the max!
Finally, you can’t think of Mustangs at the movies without a mention of the epic 1967 500E Eleanor, as seen in Gone In 60 Seconds.
Classic Mustang vs Modern Mustang:
The modern Mustang drives like any other modern car. They are well-behaved and easy to use, although there is no getting away from the fact they are quite big, and they feel it to drive. If you’re used to German cars, you might feel the interior lacks a little luxury, but it’s solid, and everything you want is there.
Personally, if I was going to own a Mustang, it would have to be a classic. It might seem a bit of a cliché, but I’d want a 1968 Fastback, like the one Steve McQueen drove in Bullit. I’d want straight piped exhausts (no silencers) and four on the floor (or a manual gearbox, in modern terms!), and I’d love burbling about the place in it.
I’ve been fortunate to drive a 1968 Fastback, so I know what I’d be letting myself in for. If you’ve only ever driven modern cars, getting into something like this can be a bit of a culture shock. They’re vague and ponderous; when combined with a potent V8 engine, they can feel somewhat unruly! But, if you can enjoy it for what it is and let yourself be hypnotised by that amazing soundtrack, they are genuinely charming.
The Ultimate Mustang Road Trip:
Begin in San Francisco, and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Pacific Coast Highway. Head south to Los Angeles, stopping in Santa Barbara for a walk on the beach at sunrise. This road trip is pretty much exactly what I did on the PetrolHead Tours tour in 2018 (although that was in a Chevrolet Corvette!).
If you’d like to treat your Mustang to some TLC to celebrate Ford Mustang Day, talk to us at Auto Curators, and find out how we can help.