'Stangs for the Memories: Ford Marks Half-Century of Mustang Milestones

'Stangs for the Memories: Ford Marks Half-Century of Mustang Milestones

the 10 millionth mustang ford has built since the iconic pony car debuted in 1964 rolls off the assembly line today, a wimbledon white gt convertible with a six-speed manual transmission — identical to the first production mustang in color, trim and transmission type, although the '64 model only had three speeds instead of the modern six. the cars' v-8s differ, as well: the 2019 mustang gt's v-8 has 460 horsepower, while the model-year 1964.5 v-8 had 164 when new.

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let's take a look back at key moments in the mustang's storied history:

  • 1964: mustang debuts
  • 1965: shelby gt350 and fastback body style arrive
  • 1968: "bullitt" hits theaters, starring a mustang 390 gt and some guy named ... *checks notes* ... steve mcqueen?
  • 1969: boss 302 and boss 429 versions are released. nice.
  • 1970: ram-air "shaker" hoods are first offered
  • 1974-79: absolutely nothing happened. nothing. (ok, the mustang ii debuted at the height of the gas crisis. this wasn't a good period for any american sports car.)
  • 1979: "fox" body mustang debuts, is beloved by high school jocks for decades after
  • 1982: mustang gt returns after 12-year absence
  • 1984: mustang svo arrives, powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder
  • 1993: first appearance of the mustang svt cobra
  • 1996: 4.6-liter v-8 replaces 5.0-liter v-8 in gt and svt cobra models
  • 2000: mustang svt cobra r race version returns in a limited run of 300 models, wins over my 14-year old heart in "gran turismo 3"
  • 2003: mustang mach 1 returns to the lineup
  • 2004: production switches to flat rock, mich., plant after 40 years at dearborn assembly plant
  • 2007: california special is an option package once again
  • 2008: mustang bullitt edition reappears after seven-year absence
  • 2011: "coyote" 5.0-liter v-8 enters production, making 412 hp
  • 2012: boss 302 is back after 41 years with a 444-hp v-8
  • 2015: sixth-generation mustang debuts with model-first independent rear suspension; shelby gt350 and gt350r models get a flat-plane crank 5.2-liter v-8 that sounds magnificent
  • 2018: the third iteration of the coyote v-8 is built, putting out 460 hp, and the performance package level 2 option package is unleashed upon the world
  • 2019: the latest version of a bullitt edition mustang arrives at dealerships

congratulations to ford on the mustang's 55-year production run. please don't ever put it out to pasture like you did to the rest of your cars.

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