You have to wonder if Donald Frey and Lee Iacocca knew what they had when the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line in 1964. Despite having a storied career of dramatic highs and lows, the model has been an overwhelming success, standing the test of time. This week, Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly is celebrating that history after finishing production on the 10 millionth Mustang to grace this planet.
While this represents a grand achievement for a vehicle that’s undoubtedly an American icon, its sales volume is nothing compared to the mighty Toyota Corolla — which has sold 43 million units worldwide. Still, 10 million cars is incredibly good for any model and exceptional for a performance model. In fact, the Mustang is the best-selling sports car in history and has been for years. For the sake of comparison, Chevrolet has built roughly 5.5 million examples of the Camaro since its introduction in 1966.
“Mustang is the heart and soul of this company and a favorite around the world,” said Jim Farley, vice president of Ford Motor Company. “I get the same thrill seeing a Mustang roll down a street in Detroit, London or Beijing that I felt when I bought my first car — a 1966 Mustang coupe that I drove across the country as a teenager. Mustang is a smile-maker in any language.”
Ford said the 10 millionth Mustang matches the the first model ever produced (VIN 001) as closely as possible, cosmetically speaking. But that’s not saying much. Essentially, they’re both wearing white paint, but it’s a different story everywhere else.
The vintage steed housed a 164-horsepower 4.3-liter Windsor V8 mated to a three-speed manual, whereas the 2019 model uses a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 making 460 hp with twice as many forward gears and more tech than the first-generation car’s production team could have possibly imagined.
To celebrate, Ford assembled over 60 owners from various eras to park their cars in the shape of the number 10,000,000 — commas and everything. They then hung around to exchange pleasantries while WWII-era P-51 Mustangs flew overhead before having their photo taken. It was the first time in history that this many Mustangs gathered in a single parking lot without one of them crashing into a crowd of people upon exiting the area.
[Images: Ford Motor Co.]