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Mustang Mania

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Ford celebrates the 50th anniversary of the classic sports car with a limited edition of 1,964 racy ponies.

By Steve Habel

32_mustang2There’s just something about the Ford Mustang, which holds a permanent position on the list of the world’s most desired and iconic cars. One of the rites of passage for young men since the car’s debut in 1964 is riding in a Mustang. The next milestone is owning one.

Ford is marking the 50th anniversary of the Mustang with a special version of America’s original pony car. Only 1,964 of the distinctive limited-edition cars will be built, a reference to the Mustang’s unveiling on April 17, 1964, commemorating the year the Mustang made its debut at the New York World’s Fair.

It doesn’t need to be said that these automobiles will be in high demand, especially given the fact that there are more than 3,000 Ford dealerships throughout the nation. Based on the all-new 2015 Mustang GT fastback, the 50-year limited edition is designed to provide customers with enhanced performance and a unique appearance that will be instantly recognizable on the road.

The only options for the 50-year limited edition are the choice of two exclusive colors (Wimbledon white or Kona blue) and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 50-year limited edition will be dressed up with several retro cues, including an extra helping of chrome exterior trim, a unique grille with its mustang in a corral logo and rear quarter windows designed to look like louvers.

The car also features a faux gas cap on the rear of the trunk with a 50th anniversary badge. Each car is equipped with an upgraded performance package and powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with at least 420 horsepower, according to Ford. All will come with the Mustang GT performance package— even the one with automatic transmission— that includes six-piston front brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels with high-performance summer tires.

32_mustangInside, the aluminum trim gets an axel-spin finish, two-tone seats are upholstered in cashmere and black-colored leather, and cashmere stitching is featured throughout. It already comes loaded with pretty much every option. Each anniversary edition will have a numbered dashboard plaque signed by company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, and a leather-bound owner’s manual with a 50-year badge.

“It is an extremely limited edition for our most diehard enthusiasts,” says Ford, great-grandson of Founder Henry Ford who drove a Wimbledon white Mustang onto the stage in April at the New York Auto Show. “The Mustang is a symbol of where Ford has been and it’s a vision of where we are going.”

To promote the new model and the car’s 50th anniversary, a Mustang was assembled on and driven around the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York, harkening back to a promotion when the car was unveiled in 1964. There were also ceremonies in Fleshing Meadow at the site of the 1964 World’s Fair and at racetracks in Concord, N.C., and Las Vegas.

“If we look at what Mustang was originally, it appealed to the masses,” says Mark Schaller, Mustang’s product marketing manager. “It had a certain appeal we’re trying to recapture with the 2015 model.”

Pricing won’t be announced until later in the year, but it’s certain the anniversary edition will carry a higher MSRP than the standard GT fastback. It’s also likely that dealers will add their own substantial premium to the anniversary edition. Those MSRP dealers lucky enough to have one to sell, that is.


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