The Ford Mustang, which celebrates its 50th birthday this week, will be honoured at the Classic World of Motoring in Hall 5 at the 2014 Rand Easter Show which opens at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, this weekend.
The show runs from Friday April 18 to Monday April 28 at the world-class exhibition centre, south-west of the Johannesburg CBD.
The iconic Ford Mustang, a sporty car for the masses, was launched at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, as a 1965 model. This has led enthusiasts to refer to the very early cars as “64-and-a-half” models. The Mustang was the fastest-selling car ever, with over a million sold in the first 18 months after going on sale.
“We will be honouring the Mustang by a special drive through Hall 5 to the stage, where we will outline the history of the car and interview owners of the iconic, first generation car,” said motoring journalist Stuart Johnston, who is co-hosting the classic car show in Hall 5 with fellow motoring personality and F1 expert Hendrik Verwoerd.
“Not only will we have the tasty 1965 fastback and convertible models, but we will have later example of the Mustang at the show too.
“The Ford Mustang is big news, not just from a historical perspective,” says Johnston. “Last year it was announced by Ford Motor Company South African that the latest 2015 model would go on sale here, the first time it will be made readily available here in any volume in its 50 year history.
“Despite the fact that the Mustang was only available here on special import as a left-hand-drive car up to now, it is estimated that over 1 000 of these cars made it to South Africa over the last half century. And since movies like Gone in 60 Seconds hit the screen a decade ago, the Mustang has enjoyed a huge following here.
“For the past decade and more, the country’s right-hand-drive-only laws prevented the Mustang from being imported here as a new car. But there are hundreds of classic Mustangs still prowling the streets of Jo’burg, and in the other major centres.”
The World of Classic Motoring in Hall 5 will have over 100 classic cars on display, as well as selected competition cars, dragsters and classic racing cars. There will be displays by some of the top car clubs in the country, and interactive drive-throughs in the hall, as well as interviews with famous motoring personalities and the public conducted by Stuart Johnston and Hendrik Verwoerd.
“We will make the show rock,” says Johnston. “And yes, there will be lots of high-revving action in the hall too, with engine sounds that are probably more evocative than the current sounds of Formula One machinery!”