Ford Mustang Turns 40 With Three Special Editions, Including The Return Of The Mach 1
On April 17, 1964, Ford unveiled the original long hood, short deck “pony car” – the Mustang – at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Ford is now returning to New York to unveil a special 40th Anniversary Edition Mustang, along with the limited production SVT Mustang “MystiChrome” Cobra.
In remarks last night at an anniversary celebration at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, Steve Lyons, Ford Division president, also confirmed that the Mach 1 – a 305 horsepower Mustang with a unique “shaker” hood scoop introduced as a limited-edition 2003 model – will return for 2004. The decision to bring the Mach 1 back for 2004 was made following strong customer and dealer response to the 2003 model.
“Other pony cars came and went because no one could match Mustang’s affordability, its style and performance, the strength of our dealers and the enthusiasm of our customers,” said Steve Lyons, president, Ford Division.
The tradition of affordability and customer enthusiasm continues today with the Ford Centennial lease program. On April 1, Ford announced the return of the $5 day – not as a wage but as car payment for a well-equipped 2003 Mustang V-6 Deluxe Coupe* in recognition of the company’s 100th anniversary.
* The Mustang Centennial Lease is a 48-month lease that requires a 10 percent down payment. Other fees may apply. Mileage is limited to 12,000 miles annually or an excess mileage charge may apply. Payments may vary depending on equipment levels. Certain other Mustang models are available for slightly higher amounts.
Ford sold a total of 93 Mustangs in the U.S. the day before the announcement. During the first full weekend of the Centennial Lease, Ford sold a total of 850 Mustangs, and has sold more than 400 units every day since (through April 11).
“Henry Ford helped create the American middle class when he introduced the $5 day wage, and our effort to share this heritage with consumers has been a huge success,” Lyons said. “We’ve tapped an incredible reserve of goodwill for Ford and a deep well of Mustang excitement.”
Special Editions to Keep Mustang Excitement High
Ford is calling 2004 its “Year of the Car” because it will introduce an incredible amount of all-new cars, including the Ford Five Hundred sedan, the Freestyle crossover vehicle and the Ford GT super car. The capstone will be an all-new Mustang.
“The ‘Year of the Car’ will transform our showrooms so dramatically – it will be the modern-day equivalent of the Model A launch,” Lyons said. “But we’re not going to be quiet in the car business until we get to 2004 – particularly with Mustang.”
The three special editions for the 2004 model year, the final year of the current body style, are:
Mustang 40th Anniversary Edition: The 40th Anniversary package – available this fall on Mustang and Mustang GT coupes and convertibles – will be available in three paint colors, including an exclusive Crimson Red, as well as special performance striping, wheels and interior enhancements. A total of 5,700 Anniversary editions will be built. Pricing hasn’t been announced but Ford intends to keep the package very affordable.
SVT Mustang “MystiChrome” Cobra: The 390 horsepower Cobra, with its supercharged 4.6-liter V-8, is the most powerful regular-production Mustang ever made. For 2004, a total of 1,000 Cobra coupes and convertibles will be offered with the MystiChrome appearance package, which includes color-shifting exterior paint. The car’s color changes from topaz green to cobalt blue to royal purple, and finally to deep onyx black as the viewing angle changes. The color-shifting theme is carried over to the interior, which features matching MystiChrome leather trim on the seat inserts and steering wheel. Chrome wheels complete the package.
Mustang Mach 1: The original 1969 Mach 1 was one of the most collectable Mustangs ever. It was named “the quickest four-person production car” by Car Life magazine road test. The 2004 model, like the 2003, will come complete with a 305-horsepower V-8 engine and the signature ram-air “shaker” hood scoop that put the 1969 model in motion, even at a stoplight. It also will include 17-inch, 5-spoke Heritage wheels with the galloping pony logo inspired by the 1969-1973 Mustang’s Mach 1 wheel design and 1960s-style “comfort weave” trimmed black leather seats. Two new colors will be offered: Competition Orange and Screaming Yellow. Production will begin in late 2004. Volume will be limited to fewer than 5,000 copies, making it even more rare than last year’s car.
Mustang has become an icon of American culture, thanks to 40 years of innovative design and affordable performance:
The very first Mustang – the 1962 Mustang I Concept – was a two-seat, mid-engine sports car whose name was a tribute to the legendary North American P51 Mustang fighter plane from World War II. It made its debut in October of that year at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York where it was driven around the circuit by race driver Dan Gurney.
The world debut of Mustang occurred at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York on April 17, 1964. The price at launch: $2,368.
The first regular production Mustang was a Wimbledon White convertible with a 260-cubic inch V-8 that rolled off the assembly line on March 9, 1964. While on a promotional tour of Canada, a Ford dealer in St. John’s, Newfoundland “mistakenly” sold the car to Capt. Stanley Tucker, a pilot with Eastern Provincial Airlines. Ford reacquired the car from Capt. Tucker in 1966 in exchange for Mustang number 1,000,001, and the original car is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
Mustang sales exceeded even Ford’s most optimistic projections. At the car’s launch, the company expected annual sales of about 100,000 units. But 22,000 Mustang orders were taken on the first day, and sales reached an astounding 417,000 in car’s first 12 months.
A Chicago Ford dealer closed early and called the police when Mustang prospects stormed the dealership, and in Garland, Texas, 15 customers bid on the same Mustang. The winner insisted on sleeping in the car overnight to guarantee that it wouldn't get sold from under him before his check cleared the bank.
Mustang-crazed parents in the United States bought 93,000 pedal-powered children's Mustangs during the 1964 Christmas season.
The least expensive 1965 Mustang (apart from the pedal cars) was the $537 “Mustang Jr.,” built for Ford by the Powercar Company of Mystic, Conn. This 70-inch “fun” car could be ordered with a 2 ¼-horsepower, two-cycle gasoline engine good for 20 mph, or as a battery-powered model that cruised at a more sedate 5 mph.
Mustang was the first – and perhaps only – car to park on the 86th floor observation deck of New York’s Empire State Building. In October 1965, Ford engineers disassembled a 1966 Mustang convertible and took it up in four sections using the building’s passenger elevators.
Mustang sales reached the one million-mark in 1966. To-date, more than eight million have been sold, and it has been the best-selling sports car for 17 years straight years.
Racing legends associated with Mustang include Parnelli Jones, who drove a Mustang Boss 302 to win the 1970 SCCA Trans Am title, John Force, the most successful driver in NHRA drag racing history and Carroll Shelby, who built high performance Shelby Mustang GT350s and GT500s for the street and track.
Mustangs have figured prominently in the movies, including the James Bond films “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds are Forever,” “Bullitt,” starring Steve McQueen, “Gone in 60 Seconds (both the original 1974 film and the 2000 remake starring Nicholas Cage).
A brand new Mustang GT concept will be on display at this year’s New York Auto Show, along with the Mystichrome Cobra and a 40th Anniversary Mustang GT Coupe.
The 1968 Mustang Fastback GT 390, featured in the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen, was one of the early Mustangs that forged muscle car mania. Then new 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT (at rear) pays homage to the movie and this classic Mustang.
2001 Mustang Bullitt GT:
More than 30 years after Steve McQueen helped create the famous chase scene in the 1968 movie Bullitt, his son, Chad, goes airborn in a new 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT on the same San Francisco streets from the movie.
Re: Ford Mustang Turns 40 With Three Special Editions, Including The Return Of The Mach 1
The mystichrome paint is available at www.mystichrome.com for only 135 a pint...! I bought some and put it on my wifes Camaro for the racing stripes....The pics doesn't do it much justice though, its awesome in person....!!
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