Ford’s Mustang was a staple in auto parts ads since the beginning – Jeff Koch @Hemmings


Ford’s iconic Mustang has long been synonymous with automotive personalization, freedom, and a youthful vigor that either reinforces or belies its driver’s age. But what happens when that personalization and freedom drives an owner/enthusiast to move beyond the factory equipped? This is where a vigorous and healthy automotive aftermarket comes into play.

An Esso gas ad that appeared in the fall of 1968, judging by its “Vote” motif. The Humble Oil & Refining Company continued to run its “Put a Tiger in Your Tank” campaign with what appears to be an early Mustang convertible.Car-part companies have long sought to harness the Mustang’s image: its fun, carefree attitude; its long-hood/short deck style; its powerful, sharp-handling reputation. The knock-on effect should be obvious. If a Mustang is already a swell ride, wouldn’t a select group of parts make it even more so?

Use our motor oil and fuel, and your Mustang will run better—or maybe your clunky old breadbox will run like a Mustang. Use our tires or shock absorbers, and your Mustang will attack those curves with the tenacity of an octopus’ suction cups. Use our wheels, and your boring old look will stand out and sparkle. Your Mustang, rather than a carbon-copy cutout version of the other 100,000 that rolled down the assembly line that quarter, will really be your Mustang—tuned to your specific tastes. Or, perhaps, those parts will infuse Mustang-like qualities into your not-a-Mustang.

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