The Mustang is turning 50 on April 17th, 2014. Ford is planning a big celebration for the occasion in New York City, where it made its debut a half-century ago, but isn't revealing all the details just yet. It's likely, however, that a special 50th Anniversary Edition 'Stang will be part of the festivities, and spy shots of a 2015 (2014 1/2?) model with retro touches has been spotted out and about. With that in mind, let's take a road trip down memory lane.
Ford waited until the Mustang turned 20 in 1984 to roll out its first anniversary edition. The mostly paint and stickers job resurrected the GT-350 name first used by high-performance Shelby Mustangs in the 1960's, but was offered with either a V8 our four-cylinder engine. It also heralded the arrival of several performance and refinement enhancements available across the lineup that year.
Ford let the Mustang's silver anniversary pass by with nothing more than a "25 Years" badge on the dashboard. The upside? Every car made that model year got one. The downside? Every car made that model year got one.
Ford sat out Mustang's 30th anniversary, but returned with a special edition for it's 35th birthday in 1999, which coincided with a redesign of the car. Along with the commemorative badge sported by all Mustangs that year, the 4,628 35th Anniversary Limited Edition GTs offered also featured unique hood and side scoops, a black paint stripe and honeycomb grille.
The 40th anniversary version got plenty of stickers, plus beige paint stripes, beige-tinted alloy wheels, body-color sideview mirror housings and upgraded tan cloth roofs on convertible models all for just $895.
With 50 years in its sights, Ford pretty much skipped the Mustang's 45th birthday party, but the car's daddy did his baby well. Lee Iacocca, who headed up the Ford division when the Mustang was born, teamed up with Galpin Ford of "Pimp My Ride" fame and Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters to create the most extreme anniversary version yet. It featured custom bodywork, a luxuriously appointed interior and performance upgrades from the Ford Racing parts catalogue. Just 45 were built at a starting price of $90,000, about three times the price of a standard issue Mustang GT.
Happy birthday, pony.