The Ford Mustang celebrates its 50th anniversary around the world on April 13, 2014, and to commemorate this milestone the Mustang Owners Club of South Africa will display 50 of these iconic cars at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg on Sunday. Capetonians can look forward to an event at the Castle of Good Hope on that day.
Launched in 1964 at a price of $2 800, the Mustang created the American pony-car class of affordable high-performance street cars with long bonnets and short boots – and inspired competitors to launch rivals like the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
The Mustang sold over 22 000 units on the first day and more than one million in two years, becoming one of the most successful product launches in automotive history. Described by some as the heart and soul of Ford, the Mustang has sold more than 9.2 million units in its lifetime.
Over its lifetime the Mustang has been many things: a fashionable boulevard cruiser, an asphalt-ripping muscle car, a purpose built road racer, and stylish daily transportation for millions of buyers.
Originally named for the P-51 Mustang fighter plane, the horse motif quickly became the emblem. The first models were launched as two-door coupés but they were followed by fastback and convertible versions, while Ford collaborated with Carroll Shelby to produce muscular Shelby GT-350s and 500s.
The Mustang inspired a cult following and has starred in numerous Hollywood movies, perhaps most famously as Steve McQueen’s ride in Bullitt.
The recently-launched sixth generation Mustang comes in 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo, 3.7-litre V6, and 5-litre V8 derivatives.
And, as it’s being made in right-hand drive for the first time, it will arrive in South Africa late next year.
Sunday’s Joburg event takes place from 10am to 4pm at High Street in the Melrose Arch Precinct, corner Corlett Drive and M1 Highway, Melrose.
The Cape Town gathering takes place from 10am to 4pm at the Castle of Good Hope, on the corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets in Cape Town. Tickets are R25 or R10 for students. A host of other cars and bikes from various clubs will also be on show.