Mustang Marks 50 Years +VIDEO
From Mac Gordon
April 27, 2014
It was 50 years ago this week that Ford launched the Mustang at the Worlds Fair in New York City. Auto critics drove Mustangs back to Dearborn from the fair overnight-and none had a negative word about the Mustang's performance. (The Camaro had not yet arrived!) Henry Ford II and Walt Disney sat in the passenger seats of Mustang Job I with Robert Moses. Lee Iacocca, Ford Motor's president, gave introductory remarks which foresaw bright futures for Mustang-like sports coupes.
In the front cars of the caravan were Martin Luther King, stylist-racer Carroll Shelby, and auto editors from all over the country. The Mustang logo had a pony running counterclockwise, a glitch for every racetrack. Ford's new V-8 fell short of Chevrolet's Corvette in the technical department, which foretold Mustang sales far above those of Corvette to this very day.
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Missing from the Mustang pony parade back then was firebrand UAW president Walter P. Reuther. The Detroit 3 had struck a bargain for peace with the UAW, which failed to foresee the freezeouts it received when foreign automakers launched production in the U.S. or built assembly plants of their own. By the same token, the Big 3 made no effort to turn away the UAW in the U.S. or the Canadian Auto Workers for its own union.
EDITOR’S NOTE: 50 years later UAW organizers are busy signing up college assistants, professors, medical interns, janitors and nurses as they rebuild depleted ranks. Other targets now are retail dealership networks, such as Penske, AutoNation or Group 1 Automotive.
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