Mustang at 50: An American Icon 

June 14-November 2, 2014

The Ford Mustang is an enduring icon of Americana, with one of the most widely recognized profiles in automotive history. And in 2014 it became the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years.

Mustang at 50 illustrates the evolution of the Mustang and its impact on automotive history, its role in auto racing, and its place in popular culture. The exhibition features cars from each generation of the Mustang starting with early production cars, including examples of the storied muscle cars created by Carroll Shelby’s collaboration with Ford, and ending with a 2014 TdF Mustang built by Holman Moody. Several short videos highlight various aspects of Mustang history.

An important racing Mustang is on display: the 1965 Shelby GT350 R-type Mustang that won the SCCA National B-Production Championship in 1966, driven by Walt Hane. This car won more races in its career than any of the 36 R-types built, and is still campaigned at vintage races today.

Special edition Mustangs in the exhibition include a 1992 Mustang 5.0 New York State Trooper’s car outfitted with the Ford police service package; a 1966 Mustang Shelby GT350H in black and gold Hertz Rental Car livery (one of the Mustangs Hertz rented out to customers who sometimes took them racing before returning them); and the WD-40/SEMA Cares customized 2011 Mustang GT displayed at the 2010 SEMA Show, an event for aftermaket equipment manufacturers.

Mustang at 50 also includes a rare and interesting automotive experiment: one of three 1965 Mustangs that were converted into all-wheel-drive vehicles by Harry Ferguson Research.

The exhibition illustrates the Mustang in popular culture with a replica of “Eleanor,” the 1967 GT500 featured in the 2000 remake of the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, along with movie and music memorabilia, toys, and collectibles. Marketing takes a bow for the textbook-perfect launch of the Mustang in 1964, explored through photos of its introduction at the New York World’s Fair, various PR events, and creative period advertising.

The design and engineering of the 1965 Mustang is explored through a comparison of the Mustang and the Ford Falcon (the platform on which the ’65 Mustang was based), as well as photos and sketches of the two Mustang concept cars and design studies for the production car. The exhibit includes an original scale model of the Mustang I concept car on loan from The Henry Ford.

Mustang at 50: An American Icon was curated by Mary Seelhorst, an award-winning exhibit developer who has worked on automotive projects with organizations including The Henry Ford and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Tony Swan, Editor at Large for Car and Driver and veteran sports car racer.


Currently on Display

1962 Concept Scale Model: On Loan From The Henry Ford Museum

1964 1/2 Pre- Production Mustang: On Loan From Bruce Beeghly

1965 GT 350: On Loan From Jim Taylor

1965 GT350 R Race Car: On Loan From 3Dog Garage

1966 All Wheel Drive Mustang: On Loan From Olivier & Susan Cerf

1967 Fastback GT: “Eleanor”: On Loan From Dave Singleton

1968 GT 350 Hertz: On Loan From Wayne & Peggy Hymers

1970 Boss 302: On Loan From Charlie McCormack

1985 5.0: On Loan From Craig Dunleavy

1992 NYS State Police Cruiser: On Loan From David Olney

2004 SVT Cobra: On Loan From John Hitchcock

2011GT 500 SEMA: Show Car On Loan From Jim Taylor

2014 Holman Moody TdF: On Loan From Lee Holman

Ralph Pascucci - visits Amelia Island.