Mustang is 50

The Clock Tower at The Henry Ford - Courtesy of The Henry FordOn April 17, 1964, something monumental happened in America. It was the day the Ford Mustang officially went on sale and immediately it seemed an American icon was born. Nearly 420,000 were sold that first year and the Mustang has been in continuous production ever since. Today, more than 9.2 million Mustangs have been produced and sold.

Mustang - Courtesy of The Henry FordThe 1965 Mustang Serial Number One in Henry Ford Museum 

When Stanley Tucker, a Canadian airline pilot, saw a sleek, new Mustang convertible at George Parsons Ford in St. Johns, Newfoundland, in 1964, he knew he had to have it. Unfortunately, the car was not meant to be sold to customers. It was one of 180 early examples of the car meant for internal testing and promotional purposes. It was never supposed to leave the showroom.

In March 1966, Tucker finally brought Mustang Serial Number One back to Dearborn in exchange for the keys to the one-millionth Mustang produced, another convertible.

Soon after the trade, Ford donated Mustang Serial Number One to The Henry Ford, and it has been on the floor of Henry Ford Museum since 1984, traveling for special events every so often. Operable, the car will run by its own power during Motor Muster in Greenfield Village, June 14-15, 2014.

The 1962 Ford Mustang I Roadster Concept Car in Henry Ford Museum 

Front grill of the Ford Mustang - Courtesy of The Henry FordAre you looking at this Mustang concept and thinking it doesn't really look anything like the Ford Mustangs you're familiar with? Thats because the 1962 Ford Mustang I Roadster isn't part of the iconic production pony cars story.

The 1962 Mustang I was a completely separate project from the 1965 Mustang, with different design objectives. Ford never had any intention of putting this car into production, said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford. Fords intention for the vehicle was to make people think of Ford as an exciting, forward-thinking company. And it worked. The car was as fast as it looked, and when Ford debuted it on the racetrack at the 1962 United States Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York (driven by road-racing champ Dan Gurney), the people and the press loved it. Every major car magazine clamored to feature the car.

Mustang concept and Mustang roadster - Courtesy of The Henry FordThe Henry Ford acquired the 1962 roadster in 1974, long after its show and promotional days were done. Ford designers had hid it in a trailer so it wouldn't go to the scrap heap like most concept cars did back then. The car was restored for exhibition in 1980.

See both of these icons in Henry Ford Museum or at a location near you when both vehicles hit the road as part of their first national THF OnWheels Tour.