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Mustang Turns 50: The Five-Decade Evolution of an Iconic Car

America's favorite muscle car is celebrating its 50th anniversary -- take a look at how the Ford Mustang has changed over the years.

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Ever since the 1960s, the sleek design of Ford’s pony car has earned fans across the world. The car debuted on April 17, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. By 1965, Ford had sold 73,112 Mustang convertibles and 409,260 coupes, according to Edmunds.com. Not bad for a car based on the Ford Falcon, an unremarkable compact sedan.

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Even though the Mustang was already a huge success, it became even more famous thanks to a 1965 publicity stunt. In October of 1965, Ford disassembled a Mustang convertible into four sections and brought it to the top of the Empire State Building where it was reassembled on the observation deck. Ford will do the same thing with a 2015 Mustang this week.

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Part of the reason for the car’s popularity was its affordable price range.

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The 1970 Ford Mustang.

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The 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra.

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By the 80s, the Mustang had developed a decidedly boxier look. Seen here: the 1986 Ford Mustang SVO.

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The 80s also saw the return of the Mustang convertible. Pictured here: a 1987 Ford Mustang GT.

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Over the next decade, the car returned to an earlier, sleeker look, as seen here with the 2000 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra.

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The 2005 Ford Mustang GT.

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2007 Ford Shelby GT500: The Ford Shelby GT500 seamlessly combines the modern Mustang muscle car with classic Shelby performance cues, such as the famous Shelby Cobra logo.

The 2007 Ford Mustang.

Ford Motor Company
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You don’t have to look far to find Mustang enthusiasts -- Gail Wise bought the first-ever Mustang sold in America just two days before the car’s official introduction in New York. She and her husband held on to the car for decades and then eventually had it restored to its original condition.

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Mustang collector Taylor Cassidy with her father, James Taylor.

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For Cassidy’s family, the Mustang has been part of the family for generations. Here, Taylor Cassidy’s mom sits atop a ’67 Mustang.

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Brian Williams shared a photo of his 2008 Mustang GT.

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profile, static, silver

The newest generation of Mustangs favor sleek, round curves and a turbo 4-cylinder engine.

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