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Mustang milestone saluted in style at Silverstone Festival

Author: Deborah Tee Published: 9th May 2024 10:44
One of America’s best loved destinations, Michigan is the home of Detroit – America’s illustrious ‘motor city’ – and, of course, the birthplace of the game-changing Ford Mustang, which was launched to sensational response back in 1964.
This summer’s Silverstone Festival (23-25 August 2024) will celebrate the 60th birthday of the legendary Ford Mustang in high octane style fuelled by the support of Pure Michigan, the US State’s official travel and tourism division.
One of America’s best loved destinations, Michigan is the home of Detroit – America’s illustrious ‘motor city’ – and, of course, the birthplace of the game-changing Ford Mustang, which was launched to sensational response back in 1964.
Marking that historic milestone over the end-of-summer Bank Holiday weekend, the Silverstone Festival racecard will include a special Sunday afternoon showdown featuring battalions of flame-spitting Mustangs. And ensuring everyone can join in the landmark celebrations, Saturday’s packed programme now includes a spectacular anniversary track parade open to all owners of Mustangs from any era.   
Introduced in 1964 as a small (by American standards!) sportscar, the Mustang was an overnight sensation with more than a million sales in its first two years. Its name, and then revolutionary long bonnet/short boot design, inspired a whole new breed of affordable, compact, high performance street machines still known today in America as the ‘pony car’ class.
The waves made by the Mustang phenomenon resounded well beyond the automotive world, too. The car quickly became a film star appearing in various early James Bond movies including Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever and, perhaps most memorably, when driven through the streets of San Francisco by Steve McQueen in Bullitt. It also featured in chart-topping songs such as the Wilson Pickett classic Mustang Sally.
Initially hardtop coupe and convertible body styles were offered but a sporty 2+2 fastback version was quickly added to the original model line-up. For those who wanted some extra performance, a collaboration with the legendary Carroll Shelby produced the even more muscular 300+ horsepower Shelby GT-350.
Underlining its on-going popularity the Mustang, complete with retro design cues, has remained in production ever since those early days with varying degrees of success. The seventh generation has breathed new life into the legacy with an all-electric Mustang Mach-E trailblazing Ford’s EV future. To date, more than 10 million Mustangs have been produced – more than enough to make the Mustang the world’s best-selling two-door sportscar. 
The Mustang’s outstanding motor sport history also dates right back to the early days. It made its racetrack debut within a month of its introduction as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Later in the same year, Mustangs started racking up the first of many notable competition successes with class victory in the Tour de France road rally. 
The following year, Alan Mann Racing entered a thundering 4.7-litre, V8 engined Mustang raced by Roy Pierpoint and won the British Touring Car Championship, while Shelby GT-350 Rs captured a multitude of top titles back home in the US. International victories have followed since, and today many of those original models are still reliving their glory days and wowing the crowds at premier historic motorsport events such as Silverstone Festival.
Furthering that reputation, the Pure Michigan Mustang Celebration Trophy Race on the Festival's 2024 race roster will feature a packed grid of pre-’66 Touring Cars – including a plethora of powerful, big-engined Mustangs – and will be one of the highlights over the fun-packed Bank Holiday weekend. Qualifying will be on Friday with the spectacular 40-minute showdown on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday the famous Grand Prix circuit will host a huge Mustang anniversary parade. Both the Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain and Northwest Stangs are registered to attend the event and they are expecting a strong member turnout. What’s more, a special Mustang Celebration Package has been introduced to encourage other owners to join the 60th birthday party whether they are a member of a dedicated club or not. This offers them the opportunity to display their car over the weekend and to join the not-to-be-missed track parade on Saturday.
“The Mustang is a true motoring legend and we are thrilled to be saluting such an icon’s 60th milestone with the backing of Pure Michigan,” confirmed an excited Nick Wigley, Silverstone Festival Event Director. “The sixties were the zenith for all fans of powerful, big-engined Amercian muscle cars and Sunday’s spectacular race will revive that incredible era in style. While a little less dramatic, Saturday’s track parade will be every bit as significant as it will pay tribute to 60 years of continuous Mustang production – and that’s a truly remarkable legacy well worth celebrating.”  
As the official destination partner to  Silverstone Festival 2024, Pure Michigan is delighted to be honouring one of its very own at the home of British motorsport.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Silverstone in the UK, a historic and iconic motorsport brand," said Kelly Wolgamott, Interim Vice President of Travel Michigan. "Our collaboration reflects the importance of Michigan and the City that put the world on wheels: Detroit. We are proud of our automotive heritage and the major impact our automobiles have made in the global market. The Ford Mustang is the longest-running continuous model in the Ford stable and we are pleased to support the Festival as it celebrates the Mustang's 60th milestone." 
Providing excellent value for money, all Silverstone Festival tickets give access to both racing paddocks, open trackside grandstands, a special Ayrton Senna tribute plus an incredible programme of demos, displays, live music and interactive entertainment over the Bank Holiday weekend. 
Off-track highlights include a Fan Zone featuring F1 team show cars, high energy stunt shows in the Shift & Drift Zone, a Foodie Fest with chef demos and Tasting Tent masterclasses, and live music on the eBay stage across all three evenings. Sophie Ellis-Bextor tops the bill on Friday evening, followed by Brit Award-winning Busted on Saturday and celebrated singer, songwriter and television personality, Olly Murs on Sunday. 
Full details of all tickets – including camping, hospitality options and Display Packages – can be found here.

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