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The Ford Mustang turns 50 years old this year, and this is the logo that will announce the milestone occasion on a special line of merchandise. The graphic is the result of an internal design competition, and Ford will give 50 different companies the license to use it on traditional logo merchandise like shirts and watches, along with some untraditional items like pinball machines.

Ford is going to begin the celebrations at this week's New York Auto Show and continue them throughout the year, but April 17 is the official birthday of the the pony car that just won't quit. You can expect to start seeing anniversary merchandise in the next couple of weeks.

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Ford Marks Countdown to 50 Years of Mustang with All-New Licensed Products

A select group of licensees will produce merchandise and apparel to celebrate 50 years of continuous Mustang production

Celebrating its centennial this year, Union, N.J.-based Schott NYC was one of the first manufacturers to sign on for the 50 Years licensing program, designing a one-off Mustang jacket to commemorate the occasion

NEW YORK, March 26, 2013 – The Ford Mustang will soon become the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years. To help mark this milestone, 50 companies will sell products including watches, T-shirts, model cars and more that celebrate the Mustang's first 50 years.

"During its first 49 years of production, Mustang has come to evoke a variety of emotions in our customers – freedom, independence and being true to one's self – just to name a few," said John Nens, Ford's team lead for Global Brand Licensing. "We're marking this Mustang milestone with a distinctive collection of licensed products from select manufacturers that will carry the unique Mustang 50 Years logo."

All of the new merchandise will be easily identified with a custom logo that celebrates 50 years of Mustang.

The logo was crafted by Ford designer Michael Thomson. It features the Mustang's trademark galloping pony in silhouette over the characters "50 YEARS." This new icon has a clean and sophisticated appearance in either white on black or black on white. Only 50 companies will be licensed to create products bearing this special logo including high-quality die cast models, videogames, watches and apparel.

"We're working closely with our licensees to ensure every item reflects the unique qualities of Mustang," said Nens. "Like the car itself, we want our licensed products to convey an attitude of strength, passion and the highest quality."

Over upcoming weeks and months, other Ford licensees will reveal a variety of Mustang products featuring the Mustang 50 Years logo to mark this special moment in automotive history and kick off the next 50 years of Mustang.

From the Tuskegee Airmen to 50 Years of Mustang

Celebrating its centennial this year, Union, N.J.-based Schott NYC was one of the first manufacturers to sign on for the 50 Years licensing program. Irving and Jack Schott established their company the same year Ford began producing the Model T on the first moving assembly line. Great-grandson and COO Jason Schott runs the family business today, along with his mother Roz Schott, president, and his uncle, Steven L. Colin, CEO, producing premium jackets, shirts and accessories.

During World War II, Schott NYC dedicated its entire capacity to making sheepskin bomber jackets, leather flight jackets and peacoats for American soldiers, sailors and pilots fighting overseas. Among those who went into battle in Schott jackets were the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

"I can't think of a better partner with whom to celebrate our 100th anniversary," said Jason Schott. "We are honored to collaborate with an iconic family business that shares our commitment to domestic production."

While the Ford Mustang is classically identified with the wild horse of the American West, it was actually named for the famed North American P-51 fighter plane, the preferred mount of the Tuskegee Airmen in the final year of the war.

Over the next half-century, the Schott Perfecto leather jacket figured prominently in iconic images of Marlon Brando, James Dean, Peter Fonda, the Ramones and Bruce Springsteen. Today Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Adam Levine can all be spotted in Schott jackets.

Later this year, Schott NYC will reveal a limited-edition leather jacket celebrating 50 years of Mustang.

"The Mustang attitude of freedom and mobility is universal and enduring, and fans around the world will be honoring that heritage with numerous celebrations as we move forward," said Steve Ling, Ford Car Marketing manager.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      The logo obviously is designed not to dilute the message. No gimmicks or strong graphics, just an impressive message that you see loud and clear. For simplicity sake, this logo also has to work on all kinds of products. So while a loud obnoxiously colored and busy logo wouldn't work on certain merchandise, this works on anything.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Like so many here....Are we missin' something besides simple math?
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the Mustang and what it did for the car industry. It gave us all the cool cars (even competitors) that made being a car guy more fun. I think the 50th should be very bold and have new features. Also I feel the need for another commercial with running ponies.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Next year, you mean.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did you guys forget that 2014 is next year?
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember when there use to be talk in the 1990s of the Ford Probe phasing out the Ford Mustang. I'm glad that didn't happen. I know a few people who owned a Ford Probe and those things were far more terrible than the Ford Mustangs.
      Jack Mulligan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually the Mustang turns 49 this year! It was introduced as a midyear model in 1964.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's about time they preview the new car, maybe a concept or some renderings to keep us all smitten.
        • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still the 1 after all these years let the party began, Power 2 the Pony
      The Porter Clan
      • 1 Year Ago
      They had a design contest to put "50 years" under the Mustang logo?.............Wow
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seriously? Did someone forget to do their homework or what?
      Mike Hunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Any student of graphic arts would rate that logo a D- at best. No imagination at all. At least they could have used the 5.0 font if they planned on keeping it so plain.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mike Hunt
        Why? Because it's not some crazy, over the top looking thing? What's wrong with this? It's simple, and yet gets the point across.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mike Hunt
        That would have been smart! At least put in some sort of badge emblem and not just floating out there. Very odd. Wonder how it will look when on the actual car.
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