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Ford Mustang Turns 45 With Throwback Blowout In Birmingham

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Classic, Collector Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Ford, History, muscle cars, Mustang, Newsworthy, Old Cars, Pictures, Popular Cars, Sports Cars by Suzanne Denbow | March 19th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


The only pony car in history to have remained in continuous production since its inception, the iconic Ford Mustang will celebrate its 45th birthday this April with a four-day celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. Hosted by the Mustang Club of America, the event will kick-off on Friday, April 17, 2009, exactly 45 years to the date since the Mustang’s first official unveiling at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964. On hand at the birthday celebration will be Joe Oros, chief designer of the original pony car, as well as Don Frey, chief product planning manager who helped ensure Oros’ product was a smashing success. “We built the first prototype in an experimental garage, and employees flooded the place to see it,” recalls Frey. “Their reaction was spectacular, and it was very revealing to us. We knew the car was going to be roaring success from the start.”

Perhaps an exercise in humility, Frey’s claim of the Mustang’s “roaring success” is nevertheless quite an understatement. Referred to as the “1964½” due to its uncommon introduction during the mid-point of the model year, Ford originally expected to sell a modest 100,000 units annually, but by the end of the Mustang’s first 12-year run, the final sales tally stood at 417,000. By the two year mark, sales had surpassed 1 million. Incredibly, despite many fluctuations within the industry and the death of nearly all its pony car competitors, the Mustang remains as popular with the American public as it was more than four decades ago. Remarked a rightfully proud Frey, “We created an icon, and I had a hand in it.”

To this day Joe Oros, too, harbors a passionate love for the Mustang. “He wants me to stop in the middle of the freeway whenever he sees a Mustang, and I tell him that we can’t do that,” said Oros’ driver and caregiver Violeta Orlanda. “When we do stop somewhere, he searches the parking lot to find the Mustangs, and he insists on checking them all out in detail from front to back.”

“It makes me feel proud every time I see one,” explained Oros. “After all of these years, Mustang has never lost its luster.”

Ford Mustang, First Generation 1964-1974

Source: Ford Media

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