What do the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, Chrysler’s Plymouth Barracuda and the Dodge Challenger (specifically the second generation iteration) have in common? Besides all being sports-style coupes with long hoods and short rear decks, and belonging to the “pony” class of American-style cars, they were all inspired (along with the Toyota Celica and the Ford Capri, both imports) by the design of the Ford Mustang, the creator of the “pony” class of American vehicles.
In just six generations, the Ford Mustang has experienced plenty of ups and downs (the most obvious downturn happened after a reimagining of the Mustang as a larger, heavier version of itself during the early 1970’s), but has managed to remain one of the most iconic vehicles in history, as evidenced by its winning the Tiffany Gold Medal for Design in 1965 (making it the first vehicle to do so). The Mustang has also won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award twice, first in 1974 and again in 1994.
Unsurprisingly, the Mustang has been entered in and placed in several races, including the Tour de France (coming in both first and second in 1964), as well as different types of races, including drag racing (John Force became a 14-time champion driving a Mustang), sports car racing (Brandon Davis won the 2009 SCCA Challenge with a Mustang), stock car racing (Carl Edwards won in 2011 on the Texas Motor Speedway), and drifting.
In pop culture, the Mustang’s iconic look has long been a staple of the cool crowd such as James Bond in “Diamonds Are Forever” and Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” and the film “Need for Speed”. Outside of film, the vehicle has been featured in music (Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”), television (the original “Batman” series), and a documentary (“A Faster Horse”).
If you want to learn more about Mustangs, you can watch “A Faster Horse” (the documentary details the building of the 2015 Mustang) or visit the National Mustang Museum, which was opened in Concord, North Carolina in the summer of 2017. You can also check out a list of the ten most expensive Mustangs sold at auction at Mustang 360.