From the 1964 1/2 Coupe that cost $2,368 when it was first released on April 17, 1964 to the 2014 Shelby GT500 which carries a sticker north of $55,000, the Mustang has held an almost hypnotic hold on its loyal fans. There are more than 80 members of the Northeastern Ohio Mustang Club, as well as more than 5,000 who are involved in the Mustang Club of America nationwide.
“Through the years I have seen a lot of club members come and go, but the popularity of the Mustang has only grown,” said John Koza, technical director of the Northeastern Ohio Mustang Club, who also manages the body shop at Montrose Ford of Alliance. “The younger members who are coming in to the club are really interested in their cars. They take pride in ownership.”
Koza, who lives in Kent with his wife Martha “Marty,” owns two Mustangs. His show car is a 1989 Saleen with the 5.0-liter under the hood as well as suspension upgrades. His 2006 Mustang is used as an everyday driver. In addition to his involvement with the Northeastern Ohio Mustang Club offering technical assistance to members on parts, accessories or color codes, Koza has also attended the world famous Woodward Dream Cruise up in Michigan for the last five years, displaying his cars in Mustang Alley.
“Our club also has its annual show at Montrose Ford in Fairlawn,” said Koza, who has been with the Montrose Auto Group for more than 31 years. “Last year, we had more than 200 cars at the show. It took up the entire lot.”
As one of the largest Roush Mustang dealers in the nation, it comes as no surprise that Montrose Ford of Fairlawn is so involved with the Mustang community. This year the annual Northeastern Ohio Mustang Club’s show is tentatively slated for Sept. 7.
In addition to the upcoming show, pony car fans in Northeastern Ohio will also have something else to cheer about this fall. That’s when the Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition will be available.
Rolled out at last week’s New York International Auto Show and created to honor five decades of Mustang heritage, only 1,964 examples of the 50 Year Limited Edition will be built. Based on the all-new 2015 Mustang GT fastback with performance pack, the 50 Year Limited Edition is designed to provide customers with outstanding performance and a unique appearance that will be instantly recognizable on the road. The only options for the 50 Year Limited Edition are the choice of two exclusive colors and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Exclusive colors include Wimbledon White, like Mustang serial No. 0001 that was first sold to Captain Stanley Tucker in April of 1964, or Kona Blue. Both are exclusive to this limited-edition car.
Chrome bezels surrounding the base of each of the three taillamp blades on the Limited Edition take inspiration from the original 1962 design proposal by Gale Halderman that became the basis for the production model that debuted in 1964. Back then, the three individual lamps on each side of the design were combined into a single tri-bar lamp cluster for production, but the original concept has returned five decades later.
Powered by an upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine delivering more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, every 50 Year Limited Edition will be equipped with the Mustang GT performance pack that includes massive six-piston Brembo front brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels with high-performance Y-speed-rated Pirelli P-Zero summer tires.
“We are all very excited to see the new Limited Edition,” added Koza. “It should create a lot of excitement.”
It will also continue to build the mystique and attraction of this iconic pony car, which has lived for 50 years. It should live for 50 more.