Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2009
Mustangs, Mustangs, everywhere! Even with nearly three days of walking we probably missed a few of them, but we did our best to capture 45 years of Mustangs in the following photos (and dozens more online!).

The Mustang started as a dream of one man, Lee Iacocca, who at the time was the vice president of Ford. The year was 1961 and he envisioned a small, sporty car with bucket seats, floor mounted shifter, seating for four, and weighing no more than 2,500 pounds. Oh, and it had to sell for less than $2,500 too. While the Mustang I concept of 1962 was nothing more than a styling exercise and to build excitement for the new car, the 1963 Mustang II concept was indeed a four-place vehicle and was actually built off of a pre-production '641/2 Mustang body.

While we often celebrate April 17 as the Mustang's "birthday," the date is technically the day the car went on sale-April 17, 1964-and also the day it was first displayed at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York. Truth be told, the first Mustang went down the Dearborn assembly line on March 9, 1964. The dealer showrooms were flooded with people wanting to be the first to buy Ford's new sporty, fun car (the fact that Ford placed ads for the new Mustang on all three major television networks the night before didn't hurt either). Ford sold more than 22,000 Mustangs on that day alone, more than 400,000 the first year, and more than 1 million in less than two years, a sales record no other single model of vehicle has ever been able to reproduce in the history of the automobile. It's why Ford had to open two other plants (Metuchen, New Jersey and San Jose (Milpitas), California). There's a reason it's one of Ford's longest running nameplates, only being preceded by the F-series truck.

Today the Mustang is still a strong seller and still being built in the Motor City (though the Dearborn plant has given way to the Auto Alliance Plant in nearby Flat Rock, Michigan). With the Mustang breaching 9 million sold units in April of 2008, there's no slowing down Ford's Mustang, especially when you consider the fact that for every two sports cars sold in the U.S., one of them is going to be the Mustang, the car that today is still "the car designed to be designed by you," just like it was 45 years ago

For every Mustang ever built there must be 100 Mustang stories out there for each one of them. When driving your Mustang, be it the weekly stop for fuel in your daily driver, or the weekend drive to the park with the family, think how many times you've been stopped with the "my dad drove a Mustang just like that," or some other memory from years past. Every time it happens to us it still puts a smile on our face and we can't help but stop and talk Mustangs with a total stranger.

One of the first Mustangs we laid eyes upon Friday morning is Dwight Becker's super clean modified '66 coupe. From the billet grille to the straight as an arrow body Dwight should be right proud of his project. We especially appreciated the effort made inside with the custom interior as well.

Have you ever wondered why this happens in your Mustang and not your F-150 or other vehicle? It's due to the never ending love for America's original Pony car. Others have come and gone, and still others will come in the future to compete against it for your performance car dollar, but the Mustang's longevity, affordability, ability for personalization, and performance are what consistently puts it head and shoulders above the rest. Owning a Mustang is like owning a Harley Davidson or a John Deere, it's a part of Americana and is known world wide and one of the reasons why the Mustang is still with us to this day and why we can celebrate 45 years of Mustangs.