• Apr 17, 2009
45 years of the Ford Mustang, including timeline – Click above for high-res gallery

While some might be celebrating in their own way (Ford to Hyundai: Let us know when you sell nine million Genesis Coupes), the Blue Oval is putting on a huge birthday bash for the Mustang's 45th anniversary. Over 2,500 Mustang enthusiasts, many of whom are driving cross country with their pony cars, are expected to attend four days of festivities at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Among the revelers will be nine original owners of 1964 1/2 Mustangs who still own their cars.

On the schedule is a huge cruise of 500 Mustangs, plenty of track time, car show, a Mustang Challenge race,and more. More details on the event can be found in the press release after the jump or by visiting www.MustangEvents.org, but be sure to check out Ford's Mustang timeline graphic in the gallery below.




PRESS RELEASE:

It was 45 years ago this week that marked the birth of the undisputed king of the American road: the Ford Mustang. And thousands of Mustang fans from all over the world are gathering in Birmingham, Ala. to mark the occasion.

"The Ford Mustang is one of the world's most beloved automotive and cultural icons," said Jim Farley, Ford Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "Since April 17, 1964, it has been a symbol of American freedom and fun."

Ford and the Mustang Club of America are commemorating the birth of America's favorite pony car with a four-day celebration at the Barber Motorsports Park. The event is expected to draw more than 2,500 Mustang enthusiasts and their beloved steeds, as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators. Included among those enthusiasts are nine of the muscle car's most enduring fans: original owners of the 1964½ Mustang.

"People come up to the car and they don't believe that I'm the original owner," said Phil Florio, of Summerfield, Fla., about his Wimbledon White 1964½ Mustang Coupe. "I knew from day one that it was going to be a very special vehicle. A lot of car manufacturers have come out with their own particular type of pony car, but there's only one 'first.'"

Laki Malamatenios drove his Poppy Red 1964½ Mustang coupe all the way to Alabama from his home in Grass Valley, Calif. to take part in the 45th anniversary festivities.

"My 'Poppy' is something special," he said. "This car is a chronicle of my life with my family – some happy memories, some sad, but always interesting. Whenever I drive it, my whole life flashes before my eyes."

A host of exciting events are planned for the 45th anniversary celebration. For example, professional road racers – including four-time Mustang champion and SPEED TV personality Tommy Kendall – will be on site to provide hot laps for lucky attendees around the park in Mustang FR500S race cars. And world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin, Jr., will be on hand all weekend to give demonstrations and rides.

"Whether you're a casual observer interested in seeing the latest model Mustang or a true fanatic who eats, sleeps and breathes Mustang, this is where you want to be to celebrate the 45th anniversary," said Steven McCarley, president of the Mustang Club of America.

"The '10 Unleashed" campaign
In addition to the events in Alabama, Ford is commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Mustang by introducing "The '10 Unleashed" campaign, which gives enthusiasts the chance to unleash their Mustang side behind the wheel of the new 2010 Mustang – whether it be drifting in Japan like world champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr. or customizing a new Mustang using Ford Racing Performance Parts.

Through Aug. 15, consumers can submit their own Mustang dream experience in 250 words or less via Ford's "The 'Unleashed" site at www.the2010Mustang.com. Written submissions will be judged based on creativity, uniqueness and execution of idea. Winning submissions will be selected every few weeks, and winners will be able to turn their Mustang experience into reality.

"During its 45 years, Mustang has touched people's lives in so many different ways, and we've enjoyed hearing those stories leading up to the introduction of the new 2010 Mustang," said Allison Revier, Ford Mustang brand manager. "Now, it's time to look forward and create new stories to fill the next chapter in the history book of America's favorite muscle car."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Happy Birthday to the MUSTANG. Still Hot after all these Years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ditto! Happy Birthday Mustang!
        Though I haven't driven you since 1998 I have admired you all along! From my first new White / Black 1990 Mustang GT , to my 1994 Mustang GT 5 Speed (white / black) to my final 1996 Mustang GT convertible in Laser Red Clearcoat Mettallic tint! with a Saddle top and Saddle interior!

        Ahh good times, good times!


      • 5 Years Ago
      Cars like the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger and Corvette should always live on. Even if all cars are one day all-electric, hydrogen or fuel cell, those muscle cars should still be the ultimate muscle expression of whatever propulsion system becomes the future standard.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2010 are at the dealers. Test drove one today.


      Pretty nice!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm attending the shindig with Dad in his '65 convertible. We drove from South Carolina out to Vegas to join Mustangs Across America, and convoyed back to Birmingham for the show. Hats off to the organizers of both events, it's been a blast.

      They do these every five years, and yes, we're expecting the 50th to be a real blowout. Can't wait to see that.

      The 2010s are just rolling into the dealer's lots. There are dozens of them here, and they are very nice.

      For the comments on the rear suspension, I'm not a big fan of tractor axles on cars either. But you should take one for a drive. I rented an '07 for a week last year on a business trip. $5 a day more than a Kia Something, so a no brainer. Houston offered up about every type of driving you might see in the real world and that car took every bit of it in stride. Probably will get a bit tail happy when you crank it up to 11, but I was impressed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congratulations Mustang on still using the same rear suspension that you were 45 years ago!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Matt, some might argue that live axle is good for drag racing...It is a muscle car and it is all about that quarter mile...

        Some people might argue that the Mustang have won many, many road course races with a live axle and IRS is not the end-all be-all that people claim...

        Some might even argue that live axle is far more reliable and works better for a muscle car...

        But I don't buy any of that...Clearly Ford kept the live axle so you can go on every automotive message board on the internet to post about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except that the original cars were leaf-sprung.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shawn:

        The window sticker...the one that Ford designs and prints, says the Mustang is a sports car.

        Furthermore, 99% of these silly Mustangs are used as daily drivers...not drag racers. The improvements in ride is far better than to keep a jumpy, uncontrolled ox cart suspension for the sake of a couple people that *may* drag the car.

        But again, if the ancient live axle is so good why does the rest of the car get modern appointments?

        Then why does it have HIDs?
        Why does it have a FM radio?
        Why does it have rear disc brakes?
        Why does the trans have 5-speeds?
        Why does it have fuel injection?
        Why does it have OHCs?

        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL. Very true.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shipey:

        Then why does it have HIDs?

        Why does it have a FM radio?

        Why does it have rear disc brakes?

        Why does the trans have 5-speeds?

        Why does it have fuel injection?

        Why does it have OHCs?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Not that it matters much, but today is also the 40th birthday of another Ford, the Maverick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But it's dead... and was only produced for 7 years. So, nobody cares.
        No one's celebrateing the birthdate of the GrandAm or Firebird.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know, I just wanted to point it out (that they were launched on the same date). Also, another Falcon-based car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Happy birthday Mustang!
      • 5 Years Ago
      happy birthday mustang!

      glad to see a the greenies and import lovers havent decided to clog the comments on this post with their bull sh%^
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would they even put the Mustang II, which was just a tarted-up Pinto with awkward cues from real Mustangs, in that timeline? It's supposed to be a positive piece mentioning the Mustang's performance heritage, not reminding everyone about the wheezing, lumpen, sluggish monstrosities tarnishing hallowed nameplates that we called cars in the 70s.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Love it or hate it, the Mustang II was a Mustang.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Long live the Mustang! And long live Ford! Now hurry up with the Fusion Hybrid, AWD, the Taurus, the Taurus SHO, and the next generation Focus!
      s13hybrid
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am not a big mustang guy or anything, so excuse my ignorance. Why 45 years? Why not 50 years? I would think 50 is a more rounded number and something to look forward to. Does the number 45 have a huge signifacance in the mustang world?

      Again I am not bashing the mustang, I think it is great it has lasted so long, but I am just curious as to why 45 years is this huge deal?
        s13hybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        I assumed it was just a 5 year milestone. Thank you for the answer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        I think it's just because they're at a 5 year milestone, and they're still the sales leader in the segment.

        I think the party in five years is going to be pretty insane, provided Ford is still around, then, which I think they will be.

        If I had known about the party a couple months ago, after I bought my GT, I'd be there with the wife.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        45 is really not so significant, 50 is the biggie. However, from a marketing perspective, it's a good move, since the new Camaro and Challenger are competing with the Mustang for media buzz.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Happy Birthday Mustang!! Happy 45th Year Aniversary!!!

      Today was very special to me...cause when I was driving through my neighborhood complex...passing the clubhouse area (with alot of nice cars...BMWs, Mercedes, Audis...etc)....

      ....there was a 2010 Mustang GT sitting right there.

      0.0

      SO i took a bunch of pics...today was definitely special!!!

      What a coincidence that I would see a brand new (not yet released in dealers) 2010 Mustang GT (gray) right outside my neighborhood.


      GOD BLESS THE 2010 MUSTANG!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!! GOD BLESSED ME!!!
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