Ford Debuted Iconic Car at World’s Fair
BY JOE VULTAGGIO
Fifty-five years ago, an American icon made its world debut right here in Queens. On April 17, 1964, Henry Ford II unveiled the first Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The exhibits at the 1964 New York World’s Fair were dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe.” At its center was the Unisphere, which is still standing proudly in the borough today.
More than 51 million attended the fair, where they viewed many exhibits on technological advancements and grand visions of the future. Did any of those visitors realize just how far into the future the Ford Mustang would go?
Ford Mustang launched an entirely new market sector: the “pony car.”
Last summer, Ford celebrated the ten-millionth Mustang to come off the line at Flat Rock Assembly in Michigan. The celebration included a flyover by the vehicle’s namesake, the P-51 Mustang fighter plane.
Once only available in North America, Mustang is now sold in almost 150 countries. Ford Mustang has been the top-selling sports car in the U.S. over the last 50 years, and Ford celebrated Mustang’s Emerald Birthday by announcing that Mustang was the top-selling sports car in the world for the fourth straight year.
Mustang also captured the hearts of Americans and has been immortalized in American popular culture. It inspired Wilson Pickett’s 1966 hit “Mustang Sally,” and to date has made 3,300 television and film appearances.
It is a classic for car chases, from Steve McQueen’s Bullitt to John Wick. During the filming of “Bull Durham,” Kevin Costner even added a provision to his contract so that he could keep the moonlight blue Mustang that his character drove in the film.
Ford Mustang is not slowing down any time soon. In January, Ford announced the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, the most powerful street-legal Ford ever.
It is capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hours in three seconds and boasts a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 producing more than 700 horsepower.
Mustang is the heart and soul of Ford Motor Company. Most cars don’t last more than a decade, let alone more than five decades. Mustang has, and it’s become a true icon.
Mustang has stood the test of time because it represents the very best of Ford Motor Company – an affordable, everyday car that delivers something for almost everyone. The world’s favorite sports car is still racing strong.
Joe Vultaggio is principal dealer of Ford Lincoln of Queens.