The Mustang is one of the most successful product launches in automotive history, setting off pandemonium at Ford dealers upon its introduction in 1964. Although millions have been sold to date, the many memories passed from generation to generation make it one of the greatest automotive success stories of all time.
I was born into a Ford family and more specifically, the Mustang. My Dad has owned at least one at any given time. I remember always helping him wash whichever one he had at the time. I was fascinated by the excellent care he took of all of his vehicles but the Mustangs always had a special place and received extra attention to detail.
My Dad drag raced a 1973 Mach 1 when I was young and I would always say, “don’t open the pipes” as I had my hands over my ears in an attempt to muffle the exhaust. But when he pulled to the starting line, I would sit in the stands cheering as he stormed down the quarter mile.
When I was 9, the Mach 1 took on a new role as a street machine. I could not wait for evenings when my Dad would say, “I think we’ll take the Mach out tonight.” I would get excited and run outside when he went to the garage. I loved the loud exhaust by this time and had to be there when it started up.
My weekends growing up usually entailed going to car shows and I would help my Dad prepare the Mustang for judging. Once everything was perfect, we would walk around and look at the other Mustangs. This is where I learned most of what I know today.
I purchased my first Mustang in 1995. It was not long before I modified my daily driver and raced it down the quarter mile. I pampered that car for all of its 99,992 miles before selling it in 2001. But, I always wanted a Mustang that I did not have to drive every day, so in 2000, I purchased a 1999 35th Anniversary Limited Edition and it has filled that role. There were 4,628 LE’s built and I own one of 314 silver, 5-speed, coupes produced.
Today, I relive those early memories by attending car shows with my Dad. But now I have my own Mustang to win trophies with. I still take in everything my Dad says about Mustangs. I can never learn enough about the car that kept us close all of these years.
The Mustang has become an American icon through the years. It has been featured in many TV shows and movies, a US Postage Stamp, and paced the Indianapolis 500 on three occasions. However, no sales figure or public recognition can top the special bonding that has taken place between “pony car” owners throughout the world. The Ford Mustang did more than just change the course of the American auto industry – it shaped a father-son relationship.