Ford Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of The Mustang: Here Are 7 Things You Didn’t Know About this Car

Celebrate this legendary car with few fun facts not included in the owner’s manual
Celebrate this legendary car with few fun facts not included in the owner’s manual

When you think about the Ford Mustang it’s likely that one of the first images to pop into you mind is that of powerful vehicle roaring down a long, solitary road in the American west or in a head-to-head high speed race in the movies. It’s not often that a piece of man-made machinery conjures up so many images of the past and takes center stage in popular culture, but Ford’s Mustang has undoubtedly made its mark around the world.

The year 2014 marks the Mustang’s 50th anniversary and to celebrate this legendary car, we’re letting you in on a few fun facts that’s not included in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

I’ll Trade Ya!

Before the Mustang officially went on sale across North America on April 17, 1964, thousands of vehicles were shipped to dealership showrooms for the big opening day; many were pre-production models for testing and promotional purposes only. However, it’s hard for a dealership to turn down paying customers and many of these models were sold to the public. One special model that got away was a Wimbledon White convertible with serial number 5F08F100001, purchased by Canadian airline pilot Captain Stanley Tucker from St. Johns, Newfoundland. Once the company found out they tried to buy it back from Tucker but he declined. Two years later, Ford and Tucker came to an agreement where the airline pilot traded in his Mustang (with serial number 1) in for a 1966 convertible model, the 1 millionth Mustang produced by the company.

It’s All in the Name

Nowadays, automotive companies name their cars after lengthy, and many, internal meetings, as well as consulting with ad and marketing agencies. How did Ford come up with the name for their iconic car? Blame it on the times when things in the 1960s were simpler. The car was originally developed in 1962 and 1963, and names such as the Cougar, Allegro and Thunderbird II were proposed. But designer John Najjar and his boss R.H. Bob Maguire took inspiration from P-51 Mustang airplane and adopted the image of the four-legged wild creature to add romanticism; it stuck and a four-wheeled legend was born.

Sitting on Top of the World

What’s it like to have one of the world’s most famous car sit atop of the Empire State Building? Look back on the history of the Mustang and you’ll learn that in October 1965, Ford and the Empire State Building’s management team joined forces to display the new Mustang on the building’s observation deck as a marketing and publicity stunt. A team of engineers and technicians concocted the notion to cut the car into four sections and reassemble it at the top. After 1,472 feet, 40 mph winds and six hours later, a 1966 Mustang convertible was fully reassembled and viewable on 86th floor, the observation deck of the world’s most iconic structure.

Colour Theory

People are as sensitive to the colours they wear as they are when choosing a car. These days giving products interesting and thought provoking names can and will entice you to drop the dollar bills. Over the years, the Mustang’s exterior has come in an array of colours that will have you think we’re rhyming off nail polish names from your girlfriend’s make-up case. Mystichrome, Playboy Pink and Gotta Have It Green is just a small sampling of shades the car has been painted in, but basic black is the top seller accounting for 28 percent of all 2013 Mustangs sold, whereas race car red accounts for approximately 21 percent of all Mustangs.

Making it Into the Movies

Can you count how many times you’ve seen the Mustang featured on the big screen? According to crowd-soured website, MustangImdb.com it is 3,000 titles and counting – the number is currently at 3,328 as this article is being written. Pop in your old VHS tape, DVD disc or login to Netflix and find that the car has been in two James Bond movies, Goldfinger (1964) and Diamonds are Forever (1971); Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989); Gone in 60 Seconds (1974 and 2000); 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) starring Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson; Drive (2011) and, most recently, Need for Speed (2014).

You Paid How Much For that Car?

How much would you pony up for a one-of-a-kind car? When it comes to limited edition Mustangs you better have your Bitcoins or credit card ready to be the highest bidder. The most expensive Mustang sold at auction, to date, was a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake fastback; a race car that experienced a very limited production run, less than 50, and was sold for $1.3 million in 2013. Second runner up is the 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor fastback coupe from the 2000 film, starring Nicholas Cage, “Gone in 60 Seconds” for a whistling blowing $1.07 million that same year.

Mustang’s Big Five-O

Fifty is a golden anniversary year and when the big five-o rolls around you’re supposed give the gift of gold. In Ford’s case they’ve developed an all-new 2015 Mustang, premiered this past December in Dearborn, Michigan. New design features of the car include an evolved body with a lower and wider stance, three engine offerings (a 5.0 liter V8, a 3.7 liter V6 and 2.3 liter EcoBoost®) and driver assistance technology such as the Blind Spot Information System.

** Information provided by Ford.

Kimberly Lyn

Kimberly Lyn

Kimberly Lyn is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her worked has appeared on StyleList Canada, 29 Secrets and GlobalNews.ca. She is also founder of the highly successful fashion blog The Souls of My Shoes, where she provides insights and thoughts on this world with a concentration on footwear. Find her at www.thesoulsofmyshoes.com and on Twitter @kimberly_lyn.

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