Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car

Mustangs: Six Generations

Photo credits: Vanderbilt Cup Races and Waxman Photography

May 18 – October 14, 2018

This exhibit will cater to the serious Mustang hobbyist as well as the general public, including a story-line of how the Mustang concept was developed along with some unusual models.

Mustang Six Generations from Sean Whelan on Vimeo.   Thank you to volunteer Sean Whelan for providing this video of our exhibit.


The Mustang began as a brilliant business model:  You start with a reliable but inexpensive car, the Falcon, which is well-established that no costly engineering is needed.  Then, you design a body with an appealing and unique shape — a short deck and a long hood.  Give it a base price that suggests almost anyone can afford to buy one.  Then, offer it with enough options that it can become anything its owner desires:  a practical and thrifty six-cylinder runabout, a high-performance muscle car, or a sporty-looking luxo-cruiser.  Introduce it to the public in a high profile venue:  the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

The idea worked; the Mustang sold like the proverbial hotcakes, and Lee Iacocca became a household name overnight.  But after you achieve this remarkable success, how do you keep it going for over 50 years?  That is the story that we will tell as part of this exhibit.

The exhibit covers six generations of Mustangs, as well as a few featured Mustangs such as the 1963 Mustang III Concept Show car, an early production special order prototype ordered by Henry Ford, II (1 of 3), a T-5 European Export Fastback, a Saleen prototpe, Boss Mustangs, Shelby Mustangs and many more!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to view the video from our opening night program – lots of interesting behind the scenes information from our Ford Expert Panelists – Gale Halderman, John Clor, Art Hyde and Chuck Cantwell.   On Wednesday, October 10th we will be honoring Mr. Gale Halderman with our AACA Museum Automotive Heritage Award for his contributions to the automobile hobby.   Both Gale Halderman and John Clor will be here that evening and will both also have brand new Mustang books being released that they will have available here along with an autograph signing for the books. Tickets are available to join us for this annual event – learn more>>


1963 Mustang III Concept Car

photo credit: Vanderbilt Cup Races

Fun Facts about this vehicle with content credit to Vanderbilt Cup Races:

Chassis:  VIN # 5S08F10009

  • From August to December 1963 Ford built 15 pre-production pilot Mustang chassis to establish assembly procedures, to determine engineering revisions necessary for future production at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plan and to create concept show cars.
  • These 15 mustang pilot units with S-code VINs were built at the Allen Park Pilot Plan before the first assembly of production Mustangs which began in early 1964.  After their use, all Mustangs with S-code VINs were scheduled to be destroyed since they were not built for the road.
  • This automobile was the ninth pre-production Mustang ever built.  The first eight S-code Mustangs have been destroyed, or their existence is unknown.
  • This is the only known existing Mustang with an S-code VIN, and according to Mustang historian Bob Fria, it is likely “the oldest known Mustang on the road today.

For more on this vehicle visit Vanderbilt Cup Races>

Click here for more information on the Mustang III Concept car.


1964 Home Office Special Order Prototype Mustang Convertible (DSO#842510) with custom leather interior done as a design center “styling Exercise” per Henry Ford II.

1964 Home Office Special Order Prototype Mustang Convertible











1968 Elinor replica Mustang


Opening Night Reception & Program – May 18, 2018

If you weren’t able to join us live for this program, we’re happy to share that we will have a video of the presentation here >>


We have some extraordinary guests who will be here as part of a panel program:

Chuck Cantwell – project engineer for Shelby American for the GT 350 and other vehicles.   Chuck is also an author of the recently published book: Shelby Mustang GT350:  My Years Designing, Testing, and Racing Carroll’s Legendary Mustangs.  Chuck Cantwell Bio


John Clor Ford Performance John ClorEnthusiast Communications Manager for Ford Performance: Veteran journalist John Clor has owned, raced, worked on, written and spoken about Fords and Mustangs for some 45 years. After a 15-year career at The Detroit News, Clor shifted to automotive journalism with stints at AutoWeek magazine and later He joined the Ford Special Vehicle Team in 1995 and spent the better part of the next decade working on SVT Communications, PR and Marketing. Since 2007 he’d been managing a club outreach program and enthusiast communications for Ford Racing, a job he now does for Ford Performance, as well as managing all enthusiast content on Clor is an Iacocca Award Winner, author of the book Mustang 2015, plus Mustang Dynasty (2007 & 2009), and host of his own local cable-access TV show, “Cars In Context.” He’s also a member of several Ford-based car-clubs, and is the proud owner of two ’70s era Mustangs, including one he calls “a long-term project.”       John Clor Biography


Gale HaldermanFord Stylist Gale Halderman worked closely with then-division vice-president Lee Iacocca, his special projects manager Hal Sperlich and Ford studio chief Joe Oros to help create the design that defined the original Ford Mustang. Under direction from Oros, Halderman was asked to come up with design ideas overnight for a new sporty car concept, and the next day one of his six sketches was selected out of the two-dozen designs that were submitted. After penning Mustang’s now-iconic shape, Halderman was then tasked with leading the design team responsible for taking the 1965 Mustang from concept sketch to clay and from feasibility on through to production.

 Halderman served as deign chief for the Ford Mustang for eight more years. Mustang design advances under Halderman’s leadership included the ’65 Mustang 2+2 Fastback, the ’67 SportsRoof and the ’71 Notchback and full Fastback designs. Later, Mr. Halderman oversaw the design development of the 1979 Fox Body (3rd generation) Mustang under design chief Jack Telnack.  Halderman Bio

Art HydeArt Hyde – After attending the 1964 World’s Fair and falling in love with the Mustang, Art came up with the idea and then created the original Bullitt Mustang in 2001.  He did the same for the 2003 Mach 1 and led the design, and he also led the design and engineering teams for the all-new 2005 Mustang.    Art is one of only two Mustang Chiefs who were responsible for two different generations of Mustangs.  Current Adjunct Professor of Integrative Systems and Design. Art was the former Chief Engineer at Ford Global Product Development System, and also worked as Mustang Chief Program Engineer. Art started his time at Ford in 1977 completing various engineering and planning positions.  Art Hyde bio


Two Shelbys

Art Hyde, John Clor & Gale Halderman during their visit on May 18, 2018


Thank you to our exhibit sponsor: