DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford’s going to love the Mustang come rain or come shine, though nobody was expecting 32 degrees Fahrenheit with ice and snow Tuesday, 54 years after the launch of the iconic pony … er, sports car. Ford had invited its employees and retirees to bring their personal Mustangs to the celebration, and so the weather thinned out those ranks.
Ford also took the opportunity to announce that the Mustang is the world’s bestselling sports car for its third year in a row. Ford sold 125,809 Mustangs in 146 countries in 2017, with sales of 125,809 in the U.S., and 7,125 in China. Ford says it has sold 418,000 globally since the Mustang went international again in 2015, and despite the cost of gasoline elsewhere, the GT with its 5.0-liter V-8 is the most popular model. So perhaps the marque might claim “world’s bestselling muscle car,” too.
Despite the bone-chilling temperatures and morning snow, Ford Mustang aficionados tend to be a hardy group. Here’s a look at the hardcore:
1. Leo Bechard, of Ann Arbor, calls his 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible a “continuous improvement project.” With the help of an Edelbrock TVS 2300 supercharger, E-Force Competition Cold Air Intake, Roush high-flow fuel rail with 47-pound injectors and a Kenne Bell 40-Amp boost-pump system, among other mods, it’s good for 650 horsepower, he says.
2. “The original EcoBoost,” a Fox-body Mustang turbo.
3. And …
4. ’69 Mustang convertible with the 351 Cleveland V-8.
5. Scott Fullerton’s ’68 Mustang 390 fastback coupe.
6. Fullerton, of Garden City, added this under-hood tribute to his father, William T. Fullerton, a Vietnam War veteran who was the second owner of the ’68 Mustang 390.
7. Fullerton’s 390 has 26,000 original miles. Originally an automatic, it was converted to a manual, and Scott recently upgraded that to a five-speed manual.
8. And …
9. Mike Brudzinski, of Canton, didn’t drop the top of his ’88 5.0.
10. This ’66 Mustang GT was one of only two original models to brave the cold.
11. The other was this ’66 289 coupe that was part of Ford’s official display.
12. A new GT 350.
13. And …
14. Ford’s display.