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Perhaps one of the most memorable events I had with my Mustang was attending the 50th anniversary  celebration of the Mustang at the Charlotte  Motor Speedway it is an event that I will never forget. I met so many wonderful people to include present and past Ford executives as well as the authors of several great Mustang books, including Donald Farr. We even got to meet a couple at breakfast one morning whom had traveled all the way from Australia to attend the event!  I was disappointed that we were not able to break the Guinness World Record for the most car in a cruise, but I was very glad to be a part of that event none the less.

Once I got back home to Long Island from the anniversary event, I found myself doing a lot of soul searching.  I had participated in many Mustang  activities, some of them once in a lifetime events,  met a lot of people, saw a lot of cars  with my 64 1/2 Mustang.  I had begun to think about the possibility of replacing my 64 1/2 with a modern 2014. I wanted a 2014 because it was to be an end of a generation of the S197 era.

The 2014 Mustang continued the vintage Mustang design cues that had always been so popular with things such as the faux side scoops on the quarter panels, the tri bar taillights and the front grill with the horizontal crossbar and the “pony in the coral” . The dash board also had the retro styling with the two large gauge clusters that looked like the 1967 instrument cluster.

The 2014 Mustang I purchased was a  Race Red with black interior,  V-6 convertible “premium” edition with “pony” package.  It has a 3.7: 4V TI-VCT V-6,  six speed automatic transmission, and side mirror reflection lamps. The shine an image of the Mustang pony on the ground when the doors are opened.

In the June 2015 edition of Mustang Monthly article “An Affair To Remember”  my friend Jim Smart perhaps said it best when he wrote “ It wasn’t that Rich had lost his Mustang heart,  it was that life evolved as it has for so many people. However for Rich, his 64 1/2 convertible will always be and affair to remember.”

I would like to clarify why my 2014 license plate say “PONY50”. While technically the 2014 was not the 50th anniversary model, because I am a purist I want to explain why I chose to have my license plate made to say  that. I believe that Ford has confused the general public about the 1964 1/2 Mustang because they grouped it with the 1965 model. Mustang purists like myself know that there were many differences between the 1964 1/2 and the 1965 models, in fact there were more differences between these two than here were between the 1965 and 1966 models.

To prove my point, in 1964 the Ford pavilion at the NY World’s Fair had 1964 Ford cars which included the 1964½ Mustang. For the 1965 World’s Fair Ford switched out all the 1964 models for 1965 models including the Mustang. So the way I see it (including other Mustang purists) the 2014 Mustang is the 50th edition which is why I have the special edition NY plates.

It’s my theory that Ford wanted to make a big splash with the introduction of the 2015 Mustang and they did!  Our local Mustang club was invited to  the Good Morning America  TV  show on December 5, 2013 to see the “reveal” of the new car with Ford CEO Alan Mulally. This same event happened simultaneously all over the world as the new Mustang with an available 2.3 liter engine was now for the first time  being sold on a GLOBAL basis. This was a new era for the Mustang and the styling gave way to some European influence.  Ford didn’t want to call the 2015 Mustang  the 51st anniversary edition, so they did not count the 1964½ as a separate  model year and subsequently introduced it as the 50th anniversary car which in my opinion was a lot of baloney!

Rich Carlsen

Posted in 74 to present V-6's