Category: Ford Mustang

One man’s quest to gather the lowest-mileage Mustangs of the ’80s and beyond – Terry McGean

One man’s quest to gather the lowest-mileage Mustangs of the ’80s and beyond – Terry McGean

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We humans have an odd tendency to collect things: coins, stamps, shot glasses… When we find some object that appeals to us, we seem to want to multiply the joy it brings by finding more of that thing, and in whatever variations may exist. Chasing down those variations often becomes the continuing challenge that makes the collecting exciting — the thrill of the hunt and the conquest of capture.

Following that logic, if desirable items that bring joy and that come in many variations are the basis for a fulfilling collection, cars are a natural focus, and car collecting has been going on since the time the earliest automobiles were deemed “classics,” once they’d become old enough to be somewhat scarce. Traditionally, that has meant at least a few decades beyond manufacture, but a shift seemed to occur in the early 1980s as the muscle cars of the ’60s and early ’70s started to become sought by enthusiasts. In most cases, the favored models weren’t even 20 years old yet, but a couple things happened to hasten the movement: The muscle car era ended rather abruptly in the early ’70s, and the original buyers of those cars started to feel the tug of nostalgia.

We’ve been celebrating those same cars ever since, but what about the second coming of Detroit’s performance wars? That next wave of factory-built hot rods began right around the time the earlier muscle cars first began to climb in value thanks to enthusiast interest. Shouldn’t those later models have followed suit?

1992 SAAC MK1

The 1992 SAAC Mk 1 was a special edition produced to honor the efforts of Carroll Shelby during his Ford period while also yielding a Mustang that outperformed standard 5.0 models. Only 62 were produced, and this one has just 13 miles.

“A good friend is into ’40 Fords; he used to make fun of these cars,” Dave W. says, standing in the building that houses his gathering of Mustangs from Ford’s Fox era. That sort of sentiment was not unusual from traditional auto enthusiasts, who still tend to view cars of the ’80s as “late models” that don’t warrant collector interest. Perspective plays a role — some people may not recognize that an ’83 Mustang is about to turn 40. To others, these cars were produced in numbers too great to be considered “rare.” But to Dave, there’s a vast performance history to highlight from this period of Ford’s past. Plus, a whole new generation of fans are now getting nostalgic.

“I have such fond memories of these cars — that’s a big part of their appeal,” he explains, but we couldn’t help but wonder why a Mustang fan had nothing from the model’s earliest days. “I’m not as into the early cars because I didn’t grow up with them; I grew up with the Fox cars — those were the years I followed them.”

Dave started out on the path to the Blue Oval camp early. “My grandfather worked for Ford and took me to the Metuchen [New Jersey] plant a few times when I was young. They weren’t building Mustangs anymore — it was Ranger trucks then — but the Ford influence set in.” Like so many car-crazed kids, Dave saved up his money and was able to buy a 1985 Mustang GT in 1987, citing reasons beyond the Dearborn connection. “The 5-liters were accessible and affordable; the IROCs and Trans Ams seemed expensive.

From there, the hook was set. He bought an ’89 Mustang LX 5.0 later, but when he started a business, the fun cars had to go for a while. Once the business grew, he was able to get back into it. “At first, I focused on ’85s and ’86s, since those were the cars I got started with,” Dave says, but it was just the spark for what he would soon pursue. When a friend and fellow Mustang enthusiast showed him some of the extremely low-mileage examples of the same-era cars, Dave was fascinated by their “Day One” time-capsule quality. It changed the course of his own collecting.

“Then I said, I really want to have a great collection of the best cars of this era. I want people to be able to see what they were like when they were brand new. I often call these ‘no-mileage’ cars, because a ‘low-mileage’ car can have 15-20,000 miles in most people’s view. The cars I am interested in usually have less than 100.”

The precedent established by muscle car collecting helped to create some real gems among the cars that came later — enthusiasts were more aware of the collector appeal of examples that were hardly used, as opposed to those that had been restored to that state. But many of the cars now in Dave’s collection take the “it’s only original once” mantra to the extreme, presenting not simply as they might have been in the showroom, but as they were rolling off the transport truck. An early addition to this gathering exemplifies this and came from Dave’s friend — the one who’d first piqued his interest in essentially untouched cars.

“The ’90 LX notchback is one my friend bought years ago from a Ford dealer’s personal collection. The car had never been prepped and was still on MSO [Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin]. It was in their warehouse, and when the dealer finally decided to part with it, my friend got it — there are still only around 81 miles on it now,” Dave explains. Looking at this specimen will trigger a memory jog for anyone who ever paid attention to Fox Mustangs when they were new. The details of the factory paint surface quality, the single narrow pinstripe, the finish on the “10-hole” wheels, which have never had their center caps installed. It really is a trip, particularly on a model that was not typically saved on speculation of future value — these cars were bought to be driven, yet this one still has the factory crayon markings in the windows.

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The night of 1,000 Mustangs takes over Detroit for unveiling of seventh-generation pony car – William Hall @Hemmings

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Wednesday night’s reveal of the 2024 seventh-generation Ford Mustang kicked off the Detroit Auto Show in dramatic fashion. Not only did it introduce a new, sleek evolution of the iconic pony car in a festival setting at Hart Plaza, but it reset the standard for future vehicle introductions, particularly at the North American International Auto Show.

The lead up to the reveal was more than two weeks long, with the popular The Drive Home to The Mustang Stampede bringing at least one example of each of the six generations of Mustangs “home” to Detroit, along with a camouflaged seventh-generation prototype driven by the S650 Product Development Launch Leader Marty Mosakowski. Crossing more than 3,400 miles from its start in Tacoma, the tour invited Mustang enthusiasts from all across America to drive with the group for an hour, a day, or a week. Some diehard Mustang fanatics logged 1,000 miles or more to be a part of this historic event.

Mustangs from all eras filled the parking lot at Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, for a sprawling Mustang lovefest prior to a police-led procession downtown for the reveal. Per Ford’s suggestion, many owners showed up in period costume, with the Sixties and Seventies styles most popular.

Joining the fun was the Allen family from Kansas City, Missouri. Sean Allen had owned a 1996 Mustang in college, and had been following the coverage of The Drive Home here on Hemmings. At 11 a.m. the previous day, he and his wife Caroline decided to have an adventure, and loaded up their seven kids – Israel, Carrianna, Olivia, Emily, Deborah, Sophia, and young Jackson – into their “Bustang GT” Ford Transit van, determined to catch up to our group. They arrived at 1 a.m. in Auburn, Indiana, only to find one hotel room available, prompting Sean to sleep in the van overnight. Arriving more than 750 miles later in Dearborn with their Transit playfully painted-up, the photogenic family quickly became one of the media darlings of the event.

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Seventh-generation Mustang prototype leads The Drive Home road trip to its official debut – William Hall @Hemmings

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No road trip really becomes official until you have a few hours of driving under your belt. So while Tuesday night’s cruise-in kickoff at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, was the official start of America’s Automotive Trust and the North American International Auto Show’s The Drive Home to The Mustang Stampede, it wasn’t until our 8 a.m. fire-drill start from Yakima that our trip began in earnest.

A contingent of Yakima-area Mustang owners had driven over the pass to the Tacoma launch party to escort us back to their home town. One of them was Captain Jeff Pfaff of the Yakima Fire Department in his white 2012 Boss 302. Captain Jeff left word with his colleagues at the Yakima Police Department, who put our hotel parking lot on their overnight patrol, allowing for a measure of comfort in our short sleep. Jeff is also a co-founder of Cars, Chrome and Coffee in Yakima, an inclusive event with emphasis on turning out young car enthusiasts. As we are finding out, passionate and helpful Mustang guys are all across this country.

Yakima Fire Captain and Mustang enthusiast Jeff Pfaff stops by for a morning chat.Photo by the author.

Joining us on the trip is one representative of each of the six generations of Ford Mustangs, along with the yet-unreleased Gen 7 car, wearing a thick armor of skunk works camouflage vinyl and prosthetics. Designed with a fair amount of science involved, the wrap was tested at Ford’s wind tunnel at 150 mph. The mimicked porthole opera windows, a nod to the iconic 1955 Thunderbird, were just the S650 production team having some fun.

The interior of the car is cloaked as well, and none of us are allowed inside. We get it. Keeping secrets has been a problem on the Gen 7 rollout, Ford’s biggest and most anticipated in years. First, pictures of the gauge cluster and interior were caught by Dearborn paparazzi, and images of the front end hit the internet. Then, the reveal at the Detroit Auto Show as leaked. “We’ve fired five people over this,” said S650 Launch Leader Marty Mosakowski. “Three (breaches) were accidental. Some engineers had to pull over in a Kroger parking lot to gather analytics, and raised up the cloak on the dash, and pics were snapped by industry spies. Two other in-house guys purposely took photos of the front end, and were caught on camera at our facility. Two hundred and fifty engineers attended a mandatory ‘stand down’ meeting, where camouflage policy was discussed and disciplinary actions reinforced. Secrecy has been a top priority on this project.

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R

More Ammeter Stuff – From One Man and His Mustang

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Interesting share from the excellent One Man & His Mustang blog

The blog post has a really good detailed approach on how to replace the ammeter with a voltmeter all whilst keeping the stock appearance.

Background:

Since I have owned the car and knew I would have to re-wire it I knew that the stock ammeter was not going to be a working option. My American Autowire Upgrade loom strongly recommended not to use it as well. The main reason they don’t recommend it is that the single wire alternator I now have is 100amps and not the tiny 48amp as stock. The amount of amps going to the ammeter would probably melt something and destroy my car via a fire. This leaves the options very limited to say the least, I could blank of the hole which would look rubbish, put a clock in there, better but not ideal or find somebody who has done some work to make a bespoke gauge very expensive I expect. I have investigated if anybody has done this before which of course they have with various results. They can look out-of-place being new with old, or only seem to work with the stock loom, again not an option for my upgrade wire loom. Many hours and thoughts have gone into looking about in old car accessory shops, online and eBay, and I think I have found a good alternative to the stock ammeter. I purchased the gauge from eBay in the end and it was shipped over from the far east which only took a couple of weeks to get here. My thoughts were along the lines of, it’s not a lot of money to wreck the meter if I have too and its worth a go. I gauge I found a VDO gauge that was plain black and white and the style of letting matched the stock gauge look. There is a wire from the back that will light up the meter via single white LED to only show up the gauge range at night so it wont flood the rest of dash. The only down side I could see was this was a big gauge depth wise due to the casing and the fulcrum of the gauge was at the bottom not the top as the other gauges.

This modification was going to require me to drill the back of the dash case. I made the decision this would be worth it. If you don’t want to drill your dash case back then this not for you! Obviously not concours but you will not see the drill marks from behind the dash, yeah I will get the anoraks saying “ooh, that’s not a genuine part is it?” My car is not going to be stuck in a garage cleaned and put away again, my car will be driven and enjoyed, that gauge will help me identify if there is a problem.

Tip: Before I started this little project I did check the gauge to make sure it worked. I crocodile clipped The terminals and touched the terminals. Which sprang the dial into life.

You can read the full article here

A rare pair of pre-production Ford Mustang convertibles come up for sale – Barry Kluczyk @Hemmings

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By their very nature, pre-production vehicles are born to die. They’re automotive ephemera — cars created to help validate assembly procedures and serve as test beds, before being sacrificed to the crusher.

Theirs are lives typically measured in months, and when it came to Ford’s genre-establishing Mustang, in the spring of 1964, approximately 180 pre-production pony cars were constructed. Not all were scrapped, however. At least fifteen are known to have slipped past the crusher, surviving to illustrate a number unique and distinctive differences compared with the regular production models that started rolling off the Dearborn assembly line in March 1964.

All of the pre-production models carried an arbitrary “05C” production date, for March 5, 1964. They weren’t all constructed that day, as each involved a slower process that included a number of hand-assembly methods. In fact, the known pre-production models that have been tracked and studied show many signs of hand-formed or hand-trimmed components. The cars have also demonstrated a number of variances in the chassis/suspension components, as well as the trim, which were changed by the start of regular production.

At a glance, the pre-production Mustangs wore gunmetal grey-painted grilles rather than the darker gunmetal blue grilles of the production models. Also: The running horse emblem in the grille had an eye on the pre-production models, but it disappeared for the cars made for paying customers. A handful of the early cars were even fitted with silver-painted engines that reportedly made it easier to spot leaks on test vehicles, compared to the production black-painted engines.

With only 15 pre-production Mustangs known across the globe, they’re exceedingly rare, but an Arizona collector not only has two of them, they carry consecutive VINs: 5F08F100139 and 5F08100140. They’re convertibles, and while one has a black top and the other a white one, they’re otherwise identically equipped, with F-code 260 V-8 engines, C-4 three-speed automatic transmissions, 1-code 3.00-geared rear axles and black vinyl interiors.

That collector has decided to part with these historic cars and they’re offered right now on Hemmings Auctions, where the pair is being sold as a lot. He notes a concours-level restoration was completed on car 0139 in 2019, and it earned multiple awards after that, while car 0140 was reportedly restored in 2009. It, too, has won a number of awards, including two Mustang Club of America Gold awards, and it has appeared in three magazines. A Web site outlining the restoration of 0139 can be found at pony139resto.com.

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1994-’95 Ford Mustang GT Buyer’s Guide – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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It’s time to put some old opinions about Detroit’s “late-model” cars from the ’80s and ’90s to pasture, in particular that they lack character. In terms of the performance car market, the ’80s was a time of renewed interest in power and speed, and Detroit was finally making things progressively more interesting in showrooms. Today, performance cars of that period offer excellent value and remain practical drivers, while also delivering a dose of nostalgia to those of us who fondly recall these models when they were new.

The Generation-X bunch learned quickly that cars such as the 1987 Ford Mustang GT offered thrilling straight-line acceleration with a respectable ability to manage lateral G-forces thanks to a tuned suspension. Continued fuel management engineering yielded another bonus, as the 5.0-liter small-block sipped noticeably less fuel than many of its performance V-8 predecessors.

These same enthusiasts also discovered that the generation of Mustangs to follow the Fox offered numerous improvements. The 1994-’95 Ford Mustang GT boasted sleeker styling, more power, and improved handling. Nearly three decades later, the redesigned “SN-95” Mustang is getting a second glance, not only from those who want to rekindle a relationship with their old flame, but from others who have discovered that ’90s performance is both underrated and remarkably affordable… for now, at least.

The standard GT engine remained the high-output 5.0-liter. Minimal upgrades to the 302-cu.in. V-8 meant it was now rated for 215 hp.

ENGINES

In true performance fashion, the GT’s engine remained a spritely 5.0-liter V-8, which translated to 302 cubic inches, but to clear the redesigned body, a new low-profile intake manifold was used. Internally, a 4.00 x 3.00-inch bore and stroke, as well as a 9.0:1 compression ratio, were carry-over measurements, but the new corporate EEC-V electronic engine management system controlled it all. Coupled with the continued use of a roller-cam valvetrain, 60-mm throttle body, tuned stainless-steel tubular headers and a dual exhaust system, the high-output 302 was now rated at 215 hp (10 more than the last Fox-body 5.0 the year before, though that rating had been dropped from 225 hp in 1992) and 285 lb-ft of torque.The reconfigured 5.0 was also used in the GT the following year, which seemed to bother no one, since the Ford small-block was familiar to fans of performance Mustangs and had proven somewhat bulletproof during the Fox era. It also remains easily rebuildable thanks to a vast supply of OE and aftermarket parts. Just as compelling, aftermarket parts suppliers have been able to support the needs of those who desire increases in power output from the V-8 in the early SN-95 models.

The newly redesigned SN-95 Ford Mustang GT was introduced alongside Mustangs from the past.

DRIVETRAIN

The 1994-’95 Mustang GT was delivered with one of just two transmissions. The standard unit was the then-familiar BorgWarner T-5 five-speed manual, introduced to the Mustang with the 1983 model that, by 1993, could manage 300 lb-ft of torque. Optional was Ford’s “electronically controlled” four-speed automatic with overdrive, often referred to as the AOD-E.

Regardless of which transmission was ordered, all V-8 Mustangs received Ford’s 8.8-inch rear axle fitted with a Traction-Lok limited-slip differential as standard equipment, initially containing a final drive ratio of 2.73:1. Ford soon made the 3.08 gearset optional in manual cars, with the 3.27 available in automatics. Changing ring-and-pinion sets has long been a common practice to improve acceleration, and the 8.8-inch axle is well supported both by Ford and the aftermarket, with many additional ratios available

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Looking Back At The “Stockholm Syndrome” 1971 Ford Mustang Getaway Car – Mark J McCourt @Hemmings

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It sometimes happens that an ordinary car becomes famous through extraordinary circumstances, like the Triumph Herald whose inadvertent parking spot on Abbey Road made it part of pop culture royalty. Perhaps infamous might be the more appropriate term for an otherwise unremarkable 1971 Ford Mustang Hardtop. It was one of more than 65,000 built; it just happened to have been sold new in Sweden.

That Swedish pony car also just happened to play a small but important role in one of the most internationally famous bank heists of the 20th century, and it recently came up for online auction with the firm, Bilweb Auctions.

The Ford, chassis 1TO1F100286 and license plate AMP 083, is known today as the Norrmalmstorgsdramat Mustang. It was to be the getaway car for Jan-Erik “Janne” Olsson and Clark Olofsson, Olsson being the man who, on August 23, 1973, held up the Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, and set off a five-day saga that involved four bank employee hostages and the demand for freedom of notorious criminal Olofsson, then in Swedish prison. This event, and the hostages’ ultimate reactions to the robber who held them captive, led to the coining of the psychological term, “Stockholm Syndrome.”

The history of this blue Mustang—factory-equipped with a 2-bbl.-carbureted 302-cu.in. V-8 and C4 SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic automatic—was quite interesting from the start, as it had diplomatic ties, having been purchased new by the Embassy of Brazil in Stockholm. From the fall of 1971 through the time of the siege, it belonged to Kenth Svensson, the on-duty policeman who was shot in the hand during the drama.

The car was parked in front of the bank with a full tank of fuel, as demanded by Olsson, but was never used; the hostage crisis was ended with no fatalities or criminal escape.Its five days of fame over, the Mustang faded into obscurity, being sold off and eventually heavily modified with the intent to turn it into a drag car. It was last registered in 1987, when it showed 46,600 kilometers, or 28,956 miles. Bilweb Auctions tells its history:

After the robbery, he used it as a utility vehicle for the family became too large and it was sold to Mats Fahlgren in Umeå. Mats drove the car until 1987 when he had to rebuild the car for drag racing (he then had no idea about the history). The car was emptied of interior, wheelhouses at the back were widened and rebuilt at the front. A roll bar and some reinforcements had time to be fitted before a reporter came to do a report on the car and the history was discovered for Mats. Then he decided to interrupt the construction and parked the car with parts in a dry lodge.

It stood there until 2019 when the current owner Fredrik Johansson in Trensum bought it and aimed to build it completely original. He has meanwhile collected a lot of parts and a donor car that is included in this auction. As the time is difficult for Fredrik who is self-employed, he chooses to sell this exciting object on to someone who wants to take over.

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After 45 Years, a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Is Transformed From a Racer Into a Show Winner – David Conwill @Hemmings

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If you pay under $100,000 for an authentic 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 these days, you’re doing pretty well. It’s not at all uncommon for nice examples to tickle the quarter-million mark at auction. Rare and exclusive to begin with, Shelbys have only gone up in value as the young men and women who wanted one when they were new have now reached the peak of their disposable income and free time. A Shelby like this was the dream of every Fordophile teen in the late ’60s, but they only built 2,050 of them, so they’ve always been an exclusive car.

Not every 17-year-old in 1967 could own a new Shelby G.T. 500, either, but John Briggs could. That’s because his mother, Mitzi Stauffer Briggs, was an heir to the Stauffer Chemical fortune and could easily afford the $4,714.67 sticker price. His father, also named John, had flown fighter planes during World War II. Perhaps unsurprising, then, that the big-block pony car seemed a perfect fit for the teenager with both money and a taste for high performance. Maybe it was, as that teen went on to become an adult who regularly competed in the Formula 2, Formula 5000, Formula Atlantic, and Can-Am racing series before his untimely death from leukemia at age 46 in 1996.

G.T. 500 was a lot of car for any driver, thanks in large part to the 355-hp, 428-cu.in. “Cobra Le Mans” V-8 — an FE-series big-block topped with two four-barrel carburetors. The ’500 only became possible for the 1967 model year because Ford had widened the engine bay in the Mustang to accommodate the FE-series 390 in its GT models. Shelby recognized immediately that where a 390 fit, so would go a 427 or 428. The milder, more streetable 428 got the nod for all but three special 427 powered 1967 GT500s that left Shelby American.

Based on casting dates, this seems to be the original 428. The first owner raced it and the car still wore period speed parts when restoration began. Luckily, most of the factory gear was still with the car

As a part of the package, Shelby also included additional cooling, a suspension beefed up for handling, a special steering wheel, a deluxe interior, an integrated roll bar, a remote mirror, a tach, and additional gauges to monitor oil pressure and amps. The G.T. 500 also included power steering, power disc brakes, shoulder belts, a radio, and a fold-down rear seat. The four-speed was a no-cost option and California emissions equipment was mandatory.

Right off the lot, Car and Driver discovered a G.T. 500 was capable of 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and a quarter-mile run in just 15 seconds at 95 mph. Box stock, it was a highly capable machine and a flourishing aftermarket existed to make any muscle car even more muscular.

Despite its impressive equipment list and the current desirability of all things Shelby, young John didn’t keep his G.T. 500 long, selling it to the family gardener, Joe Tanouye, for $1,500 in August 1969. In the two years he owned it, however, John made extensive use of the car, road racing it at Laguna Seca (now WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca) and drag racing it. He also took advantage of many aftermarket parts for his Shelbyized pony car

A “For Sale” sign discovered in the Shelby during disassembly boasted that the car was capable of accelerating from 0 to 120 mph in 12.5 seconds, thanks to over $6,000 in modifications, including Traction Master bars, an Isky Racing camshaft kit, headers by Doug [Thorley], 4.11 gears, Super-Duty Monroe load-leveler rear shocks, a Hurst shifter, American Racing mag wheels, Goodyear tires (inside rear-wheel arches radiused to accommodate slicks), and a magneto with dual coils. The sign also suggested that the interior had been gutted, though it was included in the sale.

What was missing was the entirety of the California emissions equipment, which prevented Tanouye from ever registering the car for road use during his ownership. Instead, it sat on a paved slab behind his house in Redwood City, California, until 2014. Joe Tanouye had died in 2012 and his son, Nick, put the car up for sale. It was spotted by Ward Gappa, of Quality Muscle Car Restorations LLC, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Ward was impressed with the completeness and low mileage of the old Shelby and acquired it to restore, although it had been “beat to death in its first two years.” That decision was bolstered by the lack of rust and early ownership history, making it what Ward felt was a “good investment.”

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Like The Beatles, The Mustang’s Influences Went Far and Wide – Terry McGean @Hemmings

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I was watching a documentary on the Beatles recently and it made me realize that I’ve been hearing their music for my entire life. It’s quite possible one of their songs may even have played on the car radio as my parents drove home from the hospital after I was born, given that it was New York City during the late ’60s; in that time and place, the sounds of the Fab Four were somewhat ubiquitous.

In a sort of similar way, I’ve been seeing Ford Mustangs my whole life — something else that was introduced to America in 1964 and an integral part of the landscape by the decade’s close. By the time I was old enough to be conscious of popular music and cars, both the Beatles and the Mustang felt like very familiar elements of the background of everyday life, even though by then the group had split and Ford’s original pony had morphed into the Mustang II —the early works were still everywhere you’d turn.

And just as the Beatles inspired the formation of many other bands, some that went on to be hugely popular in their own right, the Mustang triggered imitators from Ford’s competitors that became icons themselves. You can debate over whether we’d have had The Who without the Beatles, but there’s little doubt that without the Mustang, there’d have been no Camaro.

I’m certainly glad things played out the way they did, and that the resulting impact was lasting. I saw The Who live in 1989 and I’ve owned a ’69 Camaro since a few years prior to that. The Camaro was not my first car —that was a Chevelle —but once I’d experienced the first-generation F-body, I was hooked. It just seemed like the perfect size for a car —big enough to comfortably house a V-8 engine, hold at least four people, and with a trunk that was sized to be useful.

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