She hardly looks a day over 55.
We can scarcely believe it, but the Mustang - a Ford icon that arguably launched America's whole pony car segment - has turned 56 years old.
April 17, 1964 is the date that Henry Ford II first introduced the Mk I Ford Mustang to the motoring world, at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. And this year, the car has plenty to celebrate, having earned the bragging rights of "world's best-selling sports car" and chalking up its fifth consecutive "best-selling sports coupe" title.
Not only that, but the sleek, two-door Mustang has now spent a combined 50 years atop the list of America's best-selling sports cars.
The Mustang has been selling at a full gallop ever since Ford made the decision to start producing factory right-hand-drive models for 2015, making the pony car more accessible to enthusiast markets in countries like Australia and the UK. The model line sold more than 100,000 units worldwide last year - enough to secure the No. 1 spot in the IHS Markit "best-selling sports car" and "best-selling sports coupe" categories.
A couple of markets went especially gaga for the Ford Mustang, including Germany, where sales surged 33 percent, and Poland, which saw a stunning nearly-50-percent increase. But those markets were put to shame by France, where Mustang sales just about doubled year-over-year.
"We're proud of our growing Mustang stable and performance variants," says Ford's Chief Operating Officer, Jim Farley. "From Sweden to Shanghai, more and more driving enthusiasts are enjoying the feeling of freedom and the American open road in these new Mustangs. We are honored to serve our owners, enthusiasts and fans for 56 years and counting."
What started off a simple play to appeal to hip, young buyers in the 1960s with an affordable, import-inspired sports coupe, the Ford Mustang quickly became a cultural icon, inspiring copycats including the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and AMC Javelin. Today, of course, it boasts a breadth of high-performance variants, including the track-focused Shelby GT350, the Hollywood-bred Bullitt, and the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500.
Happy 56th, Mustang. Here's to 56 more years.