Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration April 17
David Newhardt photo, courtesy of Mecum Auctions.
While every muscle car enthusiast knows about the Mustang Mach 1, the 1970-only “Twister Special” version may be unfamiliar to those located outside the Midwest. Mecum Auctions knows its customers, however, and based on its success with a pair of Twister Specials in Kansas City last December, the auctioneers returned with a new pair of regional Mustangs for 2013. Lightning did indeed strike twice in the same location, as both Twister Special Mustangs offered this year again cracked the sale’s top-10 list.In an effort to increase Mustang sales in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Ford offered its pony car in several regional special editions. Those in California received the GT/California Special, those in Colorado received the High Country Special, and in 1970, Ford dealers in Kansas City received the Mach 1-based Twister Special. Available with either Cobra Jet 428 power or 351 Cleveland power, each of the 96 models built (48 with the 428-cu.in. engine and 48 with the 351-cu.in. engine) came painted in Grabber Orange with unique “Twister Special” graphics. Each featured a blueprinted engine and came loaded up with performance options instead of the usual luxury items, though buyers could choose between manual and automatic transmissions.
The 428-cu.in. Cobra Jet V-8. David Newhardt photo, courtesy of Mecum Auctions.
Grabbing the fourth spot in this year’s Kansas City top-10, a Cobra Jet 428 Twister Special with just 9,365 original miles sold for a hammer price of $107,000. Built on October 16, 1969, the car came equipped with the C6 automatic transmission and the factory Drag-Pak option, and included extensive documentation dating to the car’s original MSO, Ford invoice and title. Fresh from a recent restoration, Mecum never described the car as “numbers matching,” perhaps indicative of a former life lived in quarter-mile increments. While the selling price was good enough to be among the sale’s highest, it fell $33,000 short of the amount realized for a similar-condition Cobra Jet 428 Twister Special in last year’s sale.
1970 Ford Mach 1 Cobra Jet Twister Special 1970 Ford Mach 1 Cobra Jet Twister Special 1970 Ford Mach 1 Cobra Jet Twister Special 1970 Ford Mach 1 Cobra Jet Twister Special 1970 Ford Mach 1 Cobra Jet Twister Special
The second Twister Special available to Kansas City bidders this year was a 351 Cleveland-powered example, described as one of 39 built with this engine and an automatic transmission. Also the subject of a recent and thorough restoration, the car was reportedly unearthed in the barn of a Missouri farmer who had owned the car for two decades. As with the Cobra Jet-powered Twister Special, Mecum was also careful to avoid using the phrase “numbers matching” in regards to this Mustang, which hammered at a price of $82,000. That’s a significant drop from the $130,000 price realized for a comparable 351 Cleveland-powered Twister Special during last year’s sale, but good enough to place this year’s car at number six on the top seller’s list.
The Ford Motor Co will unveil its next-generation 2015 Mustang on December 5, in the first complete overhaul of the car since 2005, the U.S. automaker said on Tuesday.
The new Mustang, which marks its 50th anniversary next spring, gets a more modern design, a more nimble chassis and more efficient engines and transmissions, all intended to broaden the car’s appeal beyond its core American audience. The 2015 model is slated to go on sale next summer.
“We had a big decision to make about the execution of the vehicle, but most of all we had a chance to globalize this iconic vehicle,” Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley told reporters at an event held in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The company first announced the timing of the preview in a description of a video posted on its Ford Mustang YouTube channel. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pme49ufOEP0) To help broaden the Mustang’s appeal globally, Ford will introduce the new design simultaneously at its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney.
Toward that end, Ford is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the redesign of the vehicle from the ground up, sources previously said.
“It’s an interesting time for us to launch Mustang and we want to be relevant to the part of the U.S. customer base and global customer base that hasn’t thought of Ford first,” Farley said.
In the 15 days leading up to the debut, Ford is teaming up with Facebook and Instagram to showcase the car by having fans share photographic stories every day, including 15-second videos by select users, about the car using the hashtag #Mustang Inspires. Farley called social media the new platform for the company to get its brand message to consumers.
In addition, the No. 2 U.S. automaker is using Instagram to release the first image of the car to give fans a look at what to expect next month, and partnering with Dreamworks to allow the use of the Mustang in the movie, “Need for Speed,” due out in March 2014. The original Mustang was introduced at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, to national fanfare. It was featured on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazine, helping to cement the reputation of Ford’s then-sales boss, Lee Iacocca, and was purchased by more than half a million customers in 1965, its first full year on the market.
When it was last redesigned eight years ago, the Mustang took a step backward in time, with a retro design that has attracted fewer and fewer buyers. Sales last year totaled just 82,995 and were down another 8 percent through October.The automaker has developed a new rear-wheel-drive platform for the 2015 Mustang, which will ride on the same 107-inch wheelbase as its predecessor but is expected to shed several hundred pounds.
Ford is revamping the car’s suspension, steering and brakes, and upgrading engines and transmissions, with a new EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine to be offered as an option.The exterior sheet metal and the cabin have been completely redesigned to give it a more modern look and feel, but the 2015 Mustang will have styling cues inspired by past Mustangs, the sources said.
By Ben Klayman
Ford Introduces The Very First Mustang, 50 Years Ago! – Celebrating Ford Mustang upcoming 50th birthday.
The Ford Mustang was officially launched on April 17, 1964. The price of a base model was $2368 The Mustang will turn 50 years old in April 2014, and Ford is already getting ready to celebrate. As a throwback, the automaker’s press team has re-published the work of its predecessors: the press kit for the very first Mustang. The 27-page document shows that when it comes to revealing new cars, not a whole lot has changed in the auto industry. Journalists are still sent a pile of information about styling, engine specs, and optional features. Car introductions are still accompanied by waves of advertising, though the newspaper and magazine ads of old have been mostly abandoned for social media campaigns.
While there’s always a lot of hype around big new cars, the Mustang is one car that lived up to its promise, becoming one of the best American vehicles of all time. It’s fun to see how it all started: With three transmission choices, four available engines, two bucket seats, and “nylon-rayon deep-pile! carpeting.”
Ford’s Risky 2015 Mustang Could Alienate Loyal Fans? – Celebrating Ford Mustang upcoming 50th birthday.
Ford has a big year coming up in 2014. The company will launch next generation designs of its body and soul — the Mustang and F-150.
Ford sits between a rock and a hard place when approaching the redesign of its iconic muscle car, as sales of the Mustang have crashed and haven’t been able to regain much momentum. This will be Ford’s attempt to kill the retro styling and bring the car into the 21st century as a lighter and faster sports car.
In addition to reviving sales in the U.S., Ford needs to expand its sales to the global market — a tough balancing act. “Ford wants the car to appeal to a global market, but the last time the company tried to make a global Mustang, we ended up with the Ford Probe,” Andrew Stoy, digital editor of Autoweek, told me. “Any time a halo vehicle as quintessentially American as the Mustang is re-engineered for broader markets, the risk of alienating the car’s core audience rises. That risk is even more acute in the face of the Mustang’s strong domestic competition — namely the Chevy Camaro.”
Stoy hit the nail on the head. Ford has to avoid the worst-case scenario of losing its core U.S. consumer with a modern design, yet if it doesn’t evolve enough to appeal to a new global audience, it will fall short of Ford’s sales ambition. Simply put: For the Mustang to succeed overseas, it needs to shed a few hundred pounds and shrink in size.
‘Stang on a diet?
The current Ford Mustang weighs in at 3,523 pounds, and according to Edmunds, Ford is working with lighter materials to remove a minimum of 400 pounds for the 2015 model. To provide the smaller vehicle necessary to sell overseas, it’s believed the next-generation Mustang will be as much as 15 inches shorter and 6 inches narrower.
For those worried that the weight loss will make the muscle car any less “Ford tough,” there’s nothing to worry about. “They are going to use more aluminum, better structural engineering in terms of spot welds, and so on and so forth, basically using less material and making it stronger,” an unnamed source said, according to Edmunds.
There are rumors that the Mustang will receive an EcoBoost engine, which left some ‘Stang loyalists puzzled and anxious. I doubt there is anything to worry about, as Ford has a lot of engine flexibility that will help it sell well here in the U.S. and overseas. A turbocharged EcoBoost would help sell the muscle car in Europe, while the power-hungry U.S. consumer will no doubt have a top-of-the-line V-8 option. Also to the delight of U.S. loyalists, the pony car will finally kick the live rear axle in favor of an independent rear suspension.
Ford’s had an excellent run of success with vehicle sales lately, and that’s helped boost Ford’s stock price up 70% over the past 12 months, as of this writing. Ford set a July record for sales in China, topping over 72,000 in wholesale units — good for a 71% gain over last year. Ford’s year-to-date sales are up a staggering 50% in China through July versus last year. Ford is also increasing its market share in Europe amid an industry still in decline — pretty impressive. That recent success is due to the Fusion, Fiesta, Focus and Escape, which continue to sell well globally. Ford now looks to bring its Mustang to the global lineup in hopes it will bring yet another surge in sales and market share.
One thing is for sure: Ford is on a hot streak of designing successful vehicles, and that’s brought the company back strong from the brink of bankruptcy. For that reason, I expect the 2015 Mustang to be yet another hit here, and abroad — much to the delight of Mustang loyalists and investors alike.