Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car

May 18 – October 14, 2018

The AACA Museum, Inc. is welcoming its newest exhibit, “Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car” on May 18th through October 14th, 2018. This exhibit is guest curated by Museum Volunteer, Jim Aberts (aka Mustang Jim), a former Ford employee of 30 plus years and a life-long Ford enthusiast.

The Mustang began as a brilliant business model, based on the reliable and inexpensive Falcon, Ford built a new sporty model unlike anything else on the road. To make the car more appealing, its body design was unique in shape, showcasing a short deck and a long hood. The last step was to give it an affordable base price and then offer options allowing the owner to make it “personal.” The car could be built with many personalities ranging from a practical and thrifty six-cylinder runabout, high-performance muscle car or a sporty-looking cruiser.

The last step was to introduce the Mustang to the public, and the perfect venue was at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. The car was an instant sales success ad production has continued uninterrupted through 2018.

The “Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car” exhibit will showcase six generations of Mustangs as well as featured Mustangs such as the 1963 Mustang III Concept Show Car, a T-5 European Export Fastback, a Saleen prototype, Boss Mustangs, Shelby’s, GT 350s, and many more! Our goal is to tell the story of how the Mustang evolved over the years into a hugely successful nameplate and cultural icon. We would like to thank Mustang parts supplier, National Parts Depot (NPD) for sponsoring this exhibit.

The iconic Mustang has been a crowd favorite since its debut on April 17th, 1964, and has since become a universally-appealing vehicle over its six generations. The First Generation (1964-1973) includes vehicles such as the classic Shelby Mustang lineup, Boss Mustangs, K-Code Mustangs, the “Bullitt” Mustang GT 390 Fastback and other Mustangs that enthusiasts classify as “classic.” In the Second Generation (1974 – 1978) the 4-cylinder engine was born. During the Third Generation (1979-1993) the Mustang was based on the Fox platform and had a European influenced design.

In 1994, the Mustang celebrated its 30th anniversary during its Fourth Generation. To celebrate the 30th year, Ford introduced the SN95 Mustang which was larger in size than previous generations. As time moved on the Fifth Generation was introduced and was based on the D2C platform. This type of Mustang featured styling cues that were previously seen in the first generation. These then became known as the “modern” Mustang, due to its advanced features such as GPS navigation, satellite radio, and heated leather seats. The Sixth Generation (2015 – Current) revealed the new 2015 Ford Mustang, which had a completely new design that was inspired by 50 years of Ford Mustang heritage. Throughout each generation, the Mustang was created and marketed to fit every need.

Whether you own a first generation or sixth, that Mustang is universally known and celebrated among the Mustang community. To kick-off the exhibit at the AACA Museum, Inc., we are holding an Opening Reception on May 18th. Join us and be among the first to see these amazing vehicles. Enjoy light snacks, a cash bar, and other beverages while enjoying both the vehicles and the company of other Mustang enthusiasts.

During the Opening Reception, we have three extraordinary guests who will be participating in a panel discussion. Our guests are Mr.Chuck Cantwell, Mr. John Clor, and Mr. Gale Halderman. Chuck Cantwell  was the Project Engineer for Shelby American for the GT 350, and is also the author of the recently published book: Shelby Mustang GT350: My Years Designing, Testing, and Racing Carroll’s Legendary Mustangs. John Clor joined the Ford Special Vehicle Team in 1995 and spent the better part of the next decade working on SVT Communications, PR and Marketing. Clor is currently the Enthusiast Communications Manager for Ford Performance, as well as the author of two books: Mustang 2015 The New Generation and The Mustang Dynasty. Clor is also the host of his own local cable-access TV Show, “Cars in Context.” Gale Halderman is the Design Director for Ford Motor Company. Halderman led the team for the original Mustang through feasibility to production. He received the Industrial Design Society Design Award for the design of the 1965 Mustang.

Tickets for the opening reception are just $15 dollars per person for the general public or free for current Museum Members, making this the ideal time to join our growing Museum family. Reserve your ticket today here or purchase your Museum Membership by calling the Museum at 717-566-7100 or online here.

Our other exhibit that will open on May 18th is Trio of Thunderbirds, guest curated by Gerald Bartasavich, President of the International Thunderbird Club. The exhibit located in our recently renovated Williams-Clyne Gallery will begin with a 1957 Battlebird Thunderbird, a 1960 Thunderbird and a 1963 Principality of Monaco Thunderbird. Check back for additional vehicles that will be on view throughout the summer and into the fall here. It’s a Ford Lovers Summer this year at the AACA Museum, Inc.!