With all the talk about the new 2015 Mustang
redesign coming out, I think one of the biggest Mustang details has been overlooked - the Mustang 50th Anniversary
on April 17, 2014
! There are not many car models that can say they have lasted a total of 50 uninterrupted years. A special occasion like this calls for a special event. That is exactly what the MCA
(Mustang Club of America
) is planning. Late Model Restoration has enjoyed being part of some of the previous anniversary events with the MCA and is looking forward to being part of the Mustang 50th anniversary. The past anniversary events have been one large event held on the East Coast. For the Mustang’s 50th anniversary event, MCA has announced there will be 2 locations. The first will be held on the East Coast at Charlotte Motor Speedway
and the second will be held on the West Coast at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
. These two events will be held at the same time and are scheduled around the Mustang's actual birthday. Holding 2 events will make it easier for all Mustang enthusiast to make it to this huge Mustang Birthday Celebration. You can count on plenty of Mustang enthusiasts and clubs to have Mustang 50th cruises
from all parts of the USA that will take you straight to one of the Mustang 50th Anniversary locations.
While looking forward to this special event, let's take a look back at what makes our favorite car the Mustang so great. Introduced April 17, 1964, the Mustang was aimed at the youth market as a car that could be optioned to fit anyone's taste. Introduced at first as a coupe and convertible with a 289 HiPo as the performance engine, the fastback body style soon followed and the rest is history! The Mustang GT was the first performance grand touring model but the need for a higher performance model was seen necessary and the 1965 Shelby GT 350 was born. As the 60s progressed on the introduction of bigger engines and higher performance models came also. In 67 the 390 FE big block was offered and in 68 the Awesome 428 Cobra Jet made its debut as a drag strip terror. Shelbys also evolved into the GT 500 and GT500KR models. 1969 gave us the Mach 1 Mustang with performance as well as interior and exterior enhancements to match and a variety of powerplants from 351 Windsors to 428 Cobra Jets. 69 Also gave us the Boss 302 and hemi head Boss 429, total performance was in full swing and for 70 it was more of the same with the Mach 1, Boss 302 & 429. For 71 the cars changed to larger bodies with less power, the Mach 1 was still a popular option and available with a massive 429 Cobra Jet and for 71 only the Boss 351 was the high water mark for performance Mustangs. 1974 gave us a much smaller Mustang with less performance to go with it. The gas crunch was in full swing and with new emissions requirements in place Mustang Fans were left with Cobra II's and a Mach 1 that was a mere shadow of their predecessors. The classic era of the Mustang has many highs and a few lows but it would bounce back as it always does badder and better than ever.
The next chapter in the Mustang's rich history is where many of us will be able to relate personally. The Fox Body Mustang
's debut in 1979 was a refreshing change to the smaller Mustang II and the Mustang Indy Pace Car was reason to celebrate. 82 Brought back the GT as an option missing for thirteen years. 82 also gave us the 5.0. This was the beginning of a performance era that launched the Mustang into the spotlight and finally gave enthusiasts something to work with. Fox Mustangs became the iconic performance cars of the 80's and early 90's. Easy to modify, with a seemingly endless supply of new parts to do what was intended all along, make the Mustang your own. By 86 the Mustang stepped onto the future with a fuel injected 5.0 302 that remained until 95. The Fox Mustangs brought us many greats, the 5.0 LX and GT while Saleen and other tuners stepped in to make special versions and offer them to the public. Ford stepped up too with the SVO and 93 Mustang Cobra as performance Fox Body high water marks. In 94 we got another redesign with needed improvements to suspension and braking. Now with four wheel disc and a stiffer chassis the Cobra and GT remained as performance models with Saleen and Roush stepping in with their own special SN95
models which carried through to the 99-04 New Edge Mustang
refresh. As the New Edge Mustangs were on their way out we got the Bullitt Mustang, 03-04 Mach 1 and the awesome 03-04 Terminator Cobras with supercharged 4.6L V8s, shedding some light on top tier performance to come.
2005 gave us the S197 Mustang
with bold new styling and a distinct look that was reminiscent of Mustangs from the 60's. This retro styling fit well on the Mustang. The performance of the GT was joined in 07 by a name that will always be associated with Mustangs and performance, Shelby! The Shelby GT500 replaced the Mustang Cobra as the top tier performance model but retained the same Snake charmed excitement now all rolled into one. With a supercharged 5.4L 475 horsepower V8 and the unmistakable look of a Shelby, things got really interesting. The new modular motor 4.6L V8 filling the engine bay of the GT was due for improvements and improve it did. 2011 welcomed back two familiar numbers to performance Mustang fans, 5.0! This time around the 5.0 now called the Coyote
was an all-new engine making more horsepower than ever! Now boasting over 400 horsepower right from the factory, the Mustang GT offered maximum performance and value. 2012 brought back another icon, the Boss 302
! Sporting 440 horsepower with looks and handling to match this 2 year only special Mustang brought the legend back to be enjoyed again. Shelby and SVT teamed up on the GT500 one last time to give us the ultimate Mustang with supercar performance! The 2013 Shelby GT500
made 662 horsepower from its 5.8L V8 and became the highest horsepower V8 in production worldwide. With a 200 plus mile an hour top speed, the 2013-2014 Shelby GT500 out performs race cars of days gone by!
What's next for our 50 year old pony? Only time will tell. With a complete redesign, we eagerly anticipate the celebration! Ring in 50 Years of the Mustang! America's favorite 50 years running!
We are excited to hear more and more news breaking on the actual Mustang 50th anniversary events. You can count on us to continue to bring you more news on this event as it becomes available to us. Now that we know there will be two events, who out there is planning to attend? and what location? Go to our Facebook page
and let us know what you have planned for the Mustang's 50th Birthday.