The 10 millionth Mustang recently rolled off the production line at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant. Now, 10 million of anything is pretty impressive, but even more impressive for Ford Motor Company was Mustang sales in the first year of production—they left no doubt about Mustang’s success The Mustang broke fast from the starting gate and sales took off at a gallop. Ford received 22,000 orders the day the Mustang made its public debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City and by the end of the first year, 419,000 Mustangs had found new homes.
10 Millionth Mustang Celebration
Ford’s 10 millionth Mustang, a 2019 Wimbledon White convertible with a black interior, and sporting a 460 horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine with a six-speed manual transmission, joined 1964 Mustang 001 on loan from the Henry Ford Museum, also a V8-powered Wimbledon White convertible, and more than 60 other Mustangs and their owners at Ford’s global headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan to celebrate the latest milestone of their favorite pony car.
“Mustang is the heart and soul of this company and a favorite around the world,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company’s president of global markets. “I get the same thrill seeing a Mustang roll down a street in Detroit, London or Beijing that I felt when I bought my first car – a 1966 Mustang coupe that I drove across the country as a teenager. Mustang is a smile-maker in any language.”
But Ford officials had more than just a parking-lot party up their sleeves. Following the welcome by company officials and chatting among old and new Mustang friends, the group mounted up and with a State Police escort headed off to Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant for more festivities. Upon arriving at the plant, the Mustangs were herded by plant workers into their special parking area where the cars were arranged to form the number “10,000,000”.
For the rest of the day, the owners could get up close and personal with every model of Mustang ever made and admire celebrity cars, such as the original Mustang from the movie Bullitt and an original ’64 convertible still driven by Gail Wise who bought it from a Chicago dealer two days before the Mustang was publicly displayed. The conversations and good times were interrupted only by the unmistakably melodious sounds of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines as three P-51D Mustang fighters, heroes of World War II, offered their overhead salute.
The Best Mustang Generations
Trying to select the best Mustang based on vehicle comparisons would be an impossible task, as automotive technology has made quantum leaps forward in the fifty-four years that the Mustang has been on sale. Perhaps a better indication would be how each particular generation was received by the buying population during the time it was available. Before we analyze the Mustang generations, we must say ‘Thank you’ to whoever came up with the name “Mustang” and whoever signed-off its use. Other names in contention were the “Cougar”, the “Allegro”, and the “Stiletto”. Cougar, of course, was later used for Mercury’s pony car; Allegro was used on several Ford concept cars; and fortunately Stiletto—defined as a “slender dagger with a blade thick in proportion to its breadth” by Merriam-Webster—was avoided. Can you imagine having a “10 millionth Stiletto” celebration? It would sound like a massive gang war!
If we use “acceptance by potential buyers at the time” as a basis for our ranking system, then the first generation, from 1964 to 1973 would take the top spot. This generation was the most popular, with just under 3 million sold in 10 years of production, averaging 297,908 car sales per year. The generation in second spot may surprise you. Many car fans, and even some Mustang fans, look down their noses at the Mustang II built between 1974 and 1978. It offered a smaller, lighter, more economical version of its predecessor, but the changing times rewarded these qualities over gas-guzzling performance. Sales of the Mustang II ranged from a high of 385,993 cars in 1974 to a low of 153,173 in 1977. In just over five years in production, 1.1 million were sold for an average of 221,544 sales per year.
The first Mustang generation and the Mustang II had the two highest sales per year of all the Mustang generations. Following the Mustang II, each successive generation had decreasing average yearly sales. But that doesn’t mean you can’t like them. Indeed, one of the great things about the Mustang from day one was that you could make the car whatever you wanted it to be. You could be frugal and make your Mustang a thrifty commuter car, or if you had the means, beginning in 1965, you could buy a full-race version, the GT350R built by former racer Carroll Shelby, and head for the race track.
10 Millionth Mustang Trivia Quiz
OK class, it’s time to put on your “thinking caps” for our multiple choice, 10 Millionth Mustang Trivia Quiz. All of the correct answers may be found in the article. Good luck to all.
Mustang Trivia Question 1:
At what famous 1964 event did the Mustang make its public debut?
A) Ed Sullivan Show B) World’s Fair in New York C) World Series in New York
Mustang Trivia Question 2:
What other name was considered before “Mustang” was chosen?
A) Stiletto B) Corvair C) Pinto
Mustang Trivia Question 3:
Approximately how many Mustangs were sold in its first year?
A) 187,000 B) 1 million C) 419,000
Mustang Trivia Question 4:
Which former racing driver began producing racing versions of the Mustang in 1965?
A) Roger Penske B) Rufus P. Jones C) Carroll Shelby
Mustang Trivia Question 5:
How many Mustang orders did Ford receive the first day the Mustang went on sale?
A) 1,500 B) 22,000 C) 40,300