• Apr 20th 2009 at 8:28AM
  • 8
It's been 45 years since Ford introduced the Mustang, and the Blue Oval chose Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL as ground zero for the big pony car celebration. Track officials estimated more than 38,000 people came out to see about 2,000 Mustangs on display from 15 different countries, and Autoblog was among the revelers.

The Mustang Club of France showed up with a dozen or so 2010 Mustangs they'd rented, Steve Saleen was signing autographs, Ford CEO Alan Mulally made a surprise appearance and the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge had two rounds of competition. There were fully-restored, low-mileage Mustangs trailered in from as far away as California and one dirt-encrusted, 1966 GT350H brought in straight from its 29-year stint in an Alabama shed. All three levels of the track's paddock area were full of Ford's iconic muscle car, as were the grassy fields normally reserved spectator parking.

When the track wasn't being used for racing, vintage and late-model Mustang owners got the chance to see what their cars could really do. The distinctive whine of Roush superchargers melded with bassy roars of 40-year-old small-blocks for a pulse-quickening aural collage, providing a singular soundtrack for the event.

Looming clouds began to gather on Saturday afternoon, but only a few sprinkles had fallen by mid-day Sunday. For the most part, temperatures in the upper 60s made walking around the landscaped track a truly memorable experience.

Happy Birthday, Mustang. Here's looking forward to another forty five!

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love photo #49 with the yellow GT500 edging out the blue GT on the track. New Background :) Wonder what they'd say if I'd showed up in my mustang based '67 cougar?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Photo #42- What is that?
      • 6 Years Ago
      '66 GT500H? You might want to double check that...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Whoops. Thanks for the catch, EXP. Now corrected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish Shelby would build an Automatic in his cars also so everybody that wants to drive and own a GT-350 or GT-500 they would be able to drive it not everybody has two hands & two feet.But we all love the Shelby Mustang's
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chris, thank you for sharing all of these great pics! As usual, I missed what was happening around the park while volunteering in the Museum. This is great!!

      Like you, I met wonderful folks from all over the globe: France, Germany, Norway, Australia, New Zealand - and yes, California, and while at times there was the occasional language barrier, we could all communicate about one thing - cars!

      Interestingly enough, the Mustang Concept car (which was on display in the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum along with Mustang 001) originally sported tires that were made by Lotus, and quite often Colin Chapman, Founder of Lotus, used Ford power plants in his cars.

      The BVMM has the largest collection of Lotus Race Cars in the world and needless to say, there were a lot of surprised looks when the Ford name was spotted on the placards or on the cars themselves. I had so much fun sharing the rich racing history between Lotus and Ford with all of the Mustang Fans who stopped in to visit and they really were a fantastic crowd to experience!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Photo #53 is actually an awesome channeling of a '69 Mach 1.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I live here and damn, there were Mustangs EVERYWHERE all weekend. It was insane. There were even old 5.0 Interceptors with light bars on the roof. Didn't even think that was legal. It was an interesting weekend to be driving around in an Evo, that's for sure.
    Share This Photo X