Mustang, welcome. The original ‘pony’ car, long in hood, short in deck and often vast in engine, has too long lingered in the tall grass of European car culture.
In the US, its fame in Ford’s canon is rivalled only by the impossibly influential Model T and the unimaginably big-selling F-Series trucks.
Since its launch in 1964, it has never been off sale, even if its popularity has waxed and waned. But away from North America, and certainly in the UK, the car’s import status has rarely progressed beyond ultra-low-volume novelty – despite widespread nameplate recognition.
The reasons for this are simple enough. From Ford’s perspective, it did export the Mustang, but it was the idea, not the metalwork, that was dispatched across the Atlantic.
In retrospect, this was no bad thing. Cared-for, impossibly pretty mid-1960s classics and V8-engined, late 1960s Mach 1 muscle cars are the Mustangs most encountered in Britain, ensuring that the badge remains largely unsullied by at least three generations of intervening mediocrity.
Around a decade ago, though, with the fifth generation, Ford rediscovered its stride. Moreover, with the European version long dead and the concept of ‘global’ cars suddenly fashionable in Dearborn, the possibility of the model’s expansion overseas was finally on the table.