Mustang 50th Anniversary roars into Concord, Kannapolis, Charlotte

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great grandson of founder Henry Ford showing off a new limited edition 50th Anniversary Mustang
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great grandson of founder Henry Ford showing off a new limited edition 50th Anniversary Mustang

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - It's not unusual to see a lot of Mustangs on the roads in our area, but this weekend if you are anywhere near the Kannapolis-Concord-Charlotte area, you're probably going to feel like you're in the middle of biggest herd of Mustangs ever assembled.

Thousands of Mustang lovers and their cars from all over the US and beyond are in town for one of the official celebrations marking 50 years since the legendary Pony Car went on sale.

On Thursday, Bill Ford, the great grandson of Henry Ford, and currently the Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, hosted the opening ceremony for a full weekend of Mustang related activities in and around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"There are days that are really special and this is one of them and this is as good as it gets," Ford told WBTV, moments after he unveiled a special limited edition 50th Anniversary Mustang.

Ford says the appeal of the car over the years is easy to understand.

"I think the original car when it came out caught America by surprise," Ford told WBTV.   "They hadn't seen anything like it and it really began a love affair with Mustang that's continued for 50 years."

When asked how quickly he might be able to sell all 1,964 of the new special edition car, Ford replied "about five minutes."

Among the thousands of visitors at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday were a group of folks who bought the original 1964 1/2 Mustang.

"I was going to pick up my girlfriend," Lyle Michaud of Livonia GA told WBTV.  "I went by the Ford dealer and saw those lights and everybody there and I went in and I bought the one in the showroom and the next day I was driving it."

One of the highlights of the weekend is sure to be an event in Kannapolis on Friday that just may have to be seen to be believed; it may be the single biggest gathering of Ford Mustangs in history.

An estimated 800 Ford Mustangs will depart from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the iconic car's 50th birthday celebration literally cruises into historic downtown Kannapolis.

Organized by the Mustang Club of America, the cars will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest number of Mustangs rolling (in motion) in a caravan.
Escorted by members of the Kannapolis Police Department, the Mustangs are expected to arrive in Kannapolis around 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening.

The caravan will follow Mooresville Rd. into downtown, where the cars will then park around the NC Research Campus "horseshoe," and along West Ave. To ensure the caravan is not broken, Mooresville Rd. and West Ave. will be closed while the Mustangs are en route and parking.
The City of Kannapolis is encouraging everyone to come out for this free, family-friendly event.

At approximately 7 p.m., food and craft vendors will open downtown, and the band, "Continental Divide" will begin performing. A map will be available prior to the event for those wanting to view the caravan as it arrives.
Trolley tours will be given during the event, highlighting the City's unique attractions, including the NC Music Hall of Fame, Gem Theatre, NC Research Campus, Curb Museum and Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza. Julie Hinson of the Cabarrus Visitors Bureau adds, "That's what is really important to us…to make that first, positive impression on the visitor so they are inspired to come back and really explore all the unique things Cabarrus County has to offer."