Tuesday 14 August 2018

Ford marks production of 10 millionth Mustang sports car

The woman who bought the first model in 1964 attended the event.

Mustang vehicles are parked to spell out 10,000,000 (Ford/AP)
Mustang vehicles are parked to spell out 10,000,000 (Ford/AP)

By Mike Householder

Ford has marked production of the 10 millionth Mustang sports car with celebrations at its headquarters and at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant where the vehicle is made.

A parade of Mustangs from 1964 to the present day rolled into the car park at the Dearborn headquarters in Michigan before making the 30-minute drive, complete with police escort, to the Flat Rock complex.

There, the cars were organised into a configuration that spelled out 10,000,000.

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A 1985 Ford Mustang is driven outside the the Flat Rock Assembly plant (Carlos Osorio/AP)

The commas were represented by the first Mustang produced and the 10 millionth, a 2019 Wimbledon White GT V8 six-speed manual convertible.

Mustang is the best-selling sports car of the last 50 years in the US and the world’s top-selling sports car for three years in a row, according to company analyses.

“Today, when we say the word, Mustang, isn’t it amazing that you don’t think of the horse? You think of the vehicle,” Ford chief executive Jim Hackett said at the Dearborn gathering after strolling through the lines of sports cars.

“It’s changed the perception because of its popularity.”

During its 54-year production history, the Mustang was built in San Jose, California, and Metuchen, New Jersey, as well as at the original Mustang production facility in Dearborn.

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Employees Rose Boylan, left, and Michelle Cotter stand next to the 2019 GT Mustang, the 10 millionth Mustang built by Ford (Carlos Osorio/AP)

These days, Flat Rock is the home of the Mustang.

Technically, the car’s first home belonged to Gail Wise, who holds an important place in Mustang lore.

Fifty-four years ago I bought a car, (and) we're still talking about it Gail Wise, who bought the first Mustang

“Ford says that I am the first person to buy a Mustang,” the Park Ridge, Illinois, resident said while standing next to her prized possession outside Ford’s office complex.

Then a 22-year-old school teacher, Ms Wise strolled into Johnson Ford in Chicago on April 15 1964, and left the owner of a brand-new car, one that still resonates with so many.

“Fifty-four years ago I bought a car, (and) we’re still talking about it,” said Ms Wise, who bought the baby blue Mustang for 3,447.50 dollars.

“I said I feel like a movie star at 76 as well as I did at 22.”

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