It’s a big week for Ford as it celebrates the Golden Anniversary of that original pony car, the Mustang, which made its debut on April 17,1964 at the New York World’s Fair.
Ford is lighting the candles a day early with a birthday bash at the NY Auto Show but it’s also offering up something special for Mustang aficionados in the form of a 50 Year Limited Edition Mustang of which an appropriate 1,964 will be made.
The special model is based on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT with the added Performance Pack, and comes with pretty much anything you can tick on the option list. Despite soft sales in recent months, the new model – and the Limited Edition, in particular – could generate some serious enthusiasm.
“When Mustang was approved for development more than 50 years ago, I don’t think anyone imagined it would spawn such a dedicated base of fans around the world and still be in production today,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “We are thrilled to be here in New York – where Mustang was first shown to the public at the 1964 World’s Fair – to re-create that historic event for today’s Mustang enthusiasts.”
(Mustang almost didn’t happen. Click Here to check out how the pony car made it to market.)
Indeed, while there are only fragmentary remains of the 1964-65 World’s Fair out in New York City’s Flushing Meadow, Ford is going back to the ’64 playbook for some of this week’s events. It’s even recreating a publicity stunt that saw it hoist the original Mustang up to the Observation Deck on the Empire State Building.
That’s no mean feat considering the 2015 pony car, like the original, has to be sliced into three pieces to get into the building’s cramped elevators, and then reassembled on the 86th floor of the iconic skyscraper.
(For more on Mustang’s trip to the top of the Empire State Building, Click Here.)
As for the Limited Edition Mustang, there had been talk that Ford might actually come out with a 2014-1/2 model, mimicking the way it marketed the original pony car. But half-year designations have gone the way of the rumble seat due to restrictive federal regulations, so the 50 Year model will have to be officially recorded as a 2015.
Then again, a lot of other thinks have changed over the last half century, and the special model’s 5.0-liter V-8 will be churning out a hefty 420 horsepower – more than twice that of the anemic, ’64-1/2 model’s 180 hp – and 390 pound-feet of torque.
One of the most distinctive touches added to the Limited Edition is the return of the “pony and corral” chromed logo found on the original 1964 and 1965 Mustangs. It will be used only the 50th anniversary edition and again retired.
The Mustang GT performance pack includes oversized, six-piston Brembo front brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels with high- performance Y-speed-rated Pirelli P-Zero summer tires.
(Click Here to find out about the new safety and technology features on the 2015 Mustang.)
The Limited Edition will be offered in just two colors, Wimbledon White or Kona Blue, in part, says Ford design chief Moray Callum, because they help highlight the chrome trim.
“Chrome trim was much more prevalent on cars in the 1960s than it is today,” he notes, “so we added some discreet highlights for the grille, side glass and tri-bar taillamps.”
Inside, the 50 Year model gets a cashmere-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel, the stitching also used on the instrument panel, shifter boot, center armrest, door inserts and seats. The seats,meanwhile, feature exclusive two-tone cashmere and black leather upholstery, and the Mustang 50 Year logo on the seat backs.
The anniversary model also will get special 50 Year number plates.
As for options, the only choice is whether to go for a six-speed stick or automatic. The latter is paired with a limited-slip differential and a 3.55:1 final drive. The manual gets a Torsen differential and a 3.73:1 final-drive ratio.