50 Years of the Mustang

Was it the 1964.5 or the 1965? Check the earliest Vehicle Identification Numbers and of course they’ll display 1965. Most of us still call it the ’64-and-a-half’.

 The first Mustang debuted 50 years ago to the day. It was April 17, 1964. The New York World’s Fair was the location where America began to embrace a new ride. The price tag read $2,368. In today’s economy, that would be the price of a base-level Ford Focus S Sedan.

 Fast forward to April 17, 1965. Over 400,000 Mustangs were rumbling on the roads. Based on the era’s automotive market, that’s a stunning accomplishment by Lee Iacocca - the man that introduced the first Mustang in New York – and his entire division.  Put that sales total – from the mid-60’s - into today’s perspective. Consider that today’s new car sales market is twice the size. Consider that last year’s top seller, the Honda Accord - which is a utilitarian icon on U.S. roads - sold about 360,000 retail units. During its opening run, the Mustang set the pace to be an American icon.

 Fast forward to today. Bill Ford - the current executive chairman of Ford Motor Company - stated, "This is the most important product we have, at least to me personally. Every time we unveil a Mustang, the stakes are raised." 

 This week, the 50th Anniversary Edition Mustang debuted at the New York Auto Show on top of the Empire State Building, just as the original Mustang did back in 1964. The production total will be 1964. Back in 1964, Ford ambitiously set a stake in the ground. Who could imagine the glorious impact that the first pony car would have on the American psyche. Mount up, America.

Richard Williams