The Mustang at 50. It’s a milestone that some people don’t achieve, let alone an automobile. The Chevrolet Suburban and Corvette are the only two U. S. name plates that have been around longer and the Corvette’s history is a broken one since no 1983 models were sold.
So of course there will be a party.
The Mustang Club of America was lead organization for the 50th anniversary and planning began around two and a half years ago. Because the event was expected to be so large (it is) it was divided into two simultaneous parties – one at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina and the other at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The two events are running parallel but are not identical, though both feature track time for those who wish, Ford dignitaries, vehicle ride-and-drives, day long shine-and-shows for owners (1000 owner cars on the infield in Charlotte), and more.
Bill Ford and Mark Fields opened the festivities in Charlotte while Hal Sperlich and Henry Ford III had the honors in Las Vegas. A nice timeline of generations of Mustangs is on display and Charlotte had Mustang VIN #1 and Gail Wise’s convertible which was the first Mustang ever sold (on April 15th, 1964, she has the bill of sale).
Participants could send a photo of their cars to be included in a commemorative hardcover album of the event which was available for sale. (My car is on page 57.)
The Mustang has a global fan base and a number of foreign clubs sent emissaries. Most of them wore sweatshirts or jackets with their club logo and I spotted Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Malta, France, Belgium as well as the Mustang Club of Du Briou. The foreign participants were especially eager to talk about their cars.
Say what you want about the American auto industry but no Japanese or Korean car has had this much impact on the culture into which it was introduced or ever generated this kind of enthusiasm and likely never will.