By: IOL Motoring Staff
New York Auto Show - Fifty years almost to the day since the original Mustang was first shown to the public at the New York World's Fair in April 1964, Ford has revealed the Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition, which will go on sale in the third quarter of 2014.
It's based on the all-new 2015 Mustang GT fastback with performance pack and it will come with nearly every optional extra in the book - the only choices the customer will have to make will be between a six-speed manual and a six-speed auto transmission and between two colours.
Exactly 1964 examples of the 50 Year Limited Edition will be built, and they will be available only in an exclusive metallic finish called Kona Blue or the iconic Wimbledon White - the colour of the very first Mustang, serial No. 0001, sold to Captain Stanley Tucker in April 1964.
The commemorative Pony Car features a number of detail cues that echo the 1964 original; 60's cars had a lot more chrome trim than today's less flashy muscle-cars, so Ford has added some discreet highlights to the grille, side glass and tri-bar tail lights.
TRUE TO THE 1962 CONCEPT
The chromed bezels surrounding the base of each of the three tail light blades is derived from the original 1962 design proposal by Gale Halderman that became the basis for the 1964 production model.
The three individual lights on each side of that design were combined into a single tri-bar cluster for production, but the original concept has returned, five decades later.
The Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition will be the only 2015 model with a large 'dummy fuel cap' badge on the vertical section of the boot lid - and it will be a special badge with the words “50 Years” added to the GT designation.
Another visual element that won't be found on any other Mustang is the louvered rear quarter windows - but, the external louvers on the quarter-windows of the 1965 fastback, the new windows are made from layered sheets of glass, laminated using built a technique specially developed for this car.
A VERY SPECIAL CAR
Anybody lucky enough to drive a 50 Year Limited Edition will know that he's at the wheel of a very special car. The aluminium trim panel across the instrument panel gets an engine-turned finish different from the standard 2015 Mustang, and there's a special, numbered 50 Year Limited Edition badge on the passenger side, individually etched at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant where the Mustang is built.
The 50 Year Mustang is also the only variant with tan-coloured contrast stitching on its leather-wrapped steering wheel, and there's more tan stitching on the instrument panel, shifter boot, centre armrest and door inserts.
The seats are trimmed in two-tone tan and black leather with (of course) tan stitching on the black panels and the Mustang 50 Year logo on the seat backs, and each limited-edition car will come with a set of loop-carpet floor mats with tan stitching and suede binding that are not available for other Mustangs.
BUILT TO BE DRIVEN
It's a sad fact that the majority of the 50 Year Limited Edition Mustangs will never turn a wheel; they'll be on display in private museums (a fate worse than death for a car or motorcycle) or sealed into nitrogen-filled plastic bags while their investment value builds up.
But the few enthusiasts who buy these cars to drive them properly will discover one of the most accomplished Mustangs yet.
Each example will have an uprated five-litre V8 good for more than 310kW and a no-bullshit 530Nm of torque, delivered to the back wheels via either a six-speed manual 'box (for purists) and a Torsen differential with a 3.73:1 final-drive ratio, or the optional six-speed self-shifter with a 3.55:1 limited-slip differential.
The standard-issue Mustang GT performance pack includes massive six-piston Brembo front brakes and 19-inch alloy rims in a special Y-spoked design inspired by the chromed steel wheels that were offered on the original Mustang 50 years ago, shod with high-performance 255/40R front and 275/40R rear Pirelli P-Zero tyres.
BY THE BOOK
The 50 Year Limited Edition cars will be among the first 2015 Mustangs built when production begins later this year. Each of the 1964 editions will also be supplied with a unique owner's guide in a leather portfolio with the 50 Year badge on the cover.