Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Chinese Theater, Hollywood
On December 5, 2013, the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang debuted in six locations around the world, including in front of the iconic Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. If you’ve visited the Los Angeles area as a tourist, chances are you’ve been here. Located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theater is where numerous movie stars have come to immortalize themselves in cement by putting their handprints, footprints, and signature into the concrete in front of the theater’s doors.
To support and celebrate one of the new 2015 Ford Mustang Fastback’s first global showings, the automaker invited local Mustang owners to swing by with vintage versions of America’s pony car. After the car’s unveiling in Hollywood, Ford then transported the 2015 Mustang to Venice Beach for a Mustang club meet with loyalists and fans.
I tagged along for the day, arriving bright and early in Hollywood in order to avoid the crush of morning rush hour, and staying on blustery Venice Beach nearly until sunset. What follows is a series of photos chronicling the day the 2015 Ford Mustang came to L.A.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: The Original Pony Car
This 1964½ Ford Mustang hardtop sat outside the Chinese Theater in the early morning hours, immaculate in dark blue paint. Instantly popular after its debut in April of 1964, Ford needed to open two additional assembly plants to build the Mustang before the start of the 1965 model year.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1965 Mustang GT Fastback
With what appears to be a genuine Hollywood production set up in front of the Chinese Theater, a 1965 Ford Mustang GT Fastback arrives to take its place at the curb. This 2+2 model was new for 1965, a model year in which Ford sold more than half a million Mustangs.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Bullitt Mustang
Shown here is the 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback owned by local Los Angeles KABC news personality Dave Kunz. Painted Highland Green, it is as faithful a replica of the car that Steve McQueen drove to car-chase fame in the movie “Bullitt” as it can possibly get. Fittingly, McQueen’s handprints and footprints are just steps away from the car is parked.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1968 Mustang Hardtop
A super-clean 1968 Ford Mustang hardtop rolls up in front of the theater in advance of the 2015 Mustang’s debut. When this car was new, the Mustang was already getting bigger and heavier, and annual sales had dropped to near 300,000 cars annually.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1970 Mustang Mach 1
By 1970, the year this Mustang Mach 1 Sportsroof was built, Ford’s pony car could weigh more than 3,200 pounds, and was far larger than the original. This was the last year that Ford raced the Mustang, capturing the Trans-Am title in the process. In 1971, the Mustang would grow to truly massive proportions, and then for 1974 be ignominiously slapped onto a modified Pinto platform, dubbed the Mustang II, and driven by various members of the “Charlie’s Angels” cast.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1985 Mustang GT Convertible
This 1985 Ford Mustang GT Convertible, believe it or not, was a cool car back when I was a senior in high school. Looking at one today, umm, not so much. But hey, it was fast, it sounded great, and the top went down. Pop in a cassette of the “Miami Vice” soundtrack, and all would be right with the world. It sure didn’t take much to make a Detroit boy happy in the mid-1980s, did it?
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Ford Prepares for 2015 Mustang Reveal
Hollywood Boulevard is getting busy as the sun rises on the Chinese Theater. No, that gorgeous 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback isn’t wearing the all-new 2015 Mustang as a hat. The new car sits in the background, uncovered, as Ford prepares for the official unveiling.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2015 Mustang GT
Hollywood, California. December 5, 2013, 7:25 a.m. The redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang faces rows of empty seats as it waits for its big moment. This was, literally, the only time I saw the car without a swarm of people around it.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2015 Mustang, Undercover
Hours later, the new 2015 Ford Mustang sits under a cover, a fresh bed of cement poured in front of the car. Yes, Ford is planning to immortalize the moment, Hollywood-style.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2015 Ford Mustang Hollywood Reveal
Ford executives Joe Hinrichs and Raj Nair unveil the 2015 Ford Mustang at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. If you’re wondering why every single picture you see of the new Mustang via Google looks exactly the same, this is why. Take a break and Google “Raj Nair Ford” instead. Whoa, now that’s how to rock a party in the back, El DeBarge. Man, the Internet is brutal.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Immortalized, Hollywood-Style
The 2015 Ford Mustang GT rolls onto the wet cement in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood during its Los Angeles debut on December 5, 2013.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Executives' Photo Opp Time
Raj Nair and Joe Hinrichs, head honchos from Ford, press a metal galloping pony emblem into rapidly setting cement between the 2015 Mustang’s tire imprints in front of Hollywood’s iconic Chinese Theater.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: A Quiet Moment Alone
The new 2015 Ford Mustang GT sits inside of a transporter at Venice Beach, California. Here, it is easy to discern how much wider the car’s haunches are, especially in relationship to the side and rear window glass.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2015 Mustang Flexes Muscles at Venice Beach
Off the truck and parked near the sand, the 2015 Ford Mustang gathers a throng at Venice Beach. Due to blustery weather conditions, though, none of the onlookers are wearing thongs.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2015 Mustang GT, Venice Beach
Once the Mustang owners gathered at Venice Beach realized that it was Autobytel reporter Christian Wardlaw standing behind the new 2015 Ford Mustang GT, they all whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures for their blogs.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Black-Plate 1965 Mustang Hardtop
This 1965 Ford Mustang hardtop rolled up to the Venice Beach gathering with a young driver behind the wheel and a tattered but original California black-plate bolted to the front of the car. This is exactly the kind of buyer Ford hopes will upgrade into a 2015 Mustang.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Hot-Rodded 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback
A tastefully hot-rodded 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback rolls into the party. Most of the owners attending the Venice Beach event for the new 2015 Mustang were modified in some fashion, many seemingly without regard to good taste. And don’t even get me started on the dudes in the rental cars who were admitted to the display lot. Guys, see that bar code sticker in the windows? Dead giveaway.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1967 Shelby GT500
Clearly, the owner of this gorgeous 1967 Shelby GT500 didn’t rent it for the Venice Beach event. Weighing close to 3,400 pounds, the GT500 came equipped with a 428 cubic-inch V-8 engine, the equivalent of a 7.0-liter motor today. Car and Driver magazine tested the GT500 and found that it accelerated to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, topped out at 128 mph, needed 287 feet to stop from 80 mph, and circled a skidpad at .74g. Fuel economy rated 12 mpg on a good day, and the car could go about 200 miles between gas stops.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 1971 Mustang Mach 1
Though enormous, the 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 was still a force to be reckoned with in advance of more stringent regulations, escalating insurance costs, and the crippling Arab Oil Embargo. This one looks terrific in black and silver with Ram Air intakes and a matte-black front splitter.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: SVT Cobra with IRS
One hallmark of the redesigned 2015 Mustang is its new independent rear suspension. It’s not the first Mustang to have one, though. Back in 1999, the Mustang SVT Cobra received bolt-in components in place of the live axle rear suspension included for the standard Mustang and the Mustang GT. The SVT Cobra pictured here is a 2003 or 2004 model, equipped with a supercharged 4.6-liter V-8 engine, 390 horsepower, and the ability to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The folks on the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) nicknamed this Mustang “the Terminator.”
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: 2007 Shelby GT500
In 2007, Ford re-introduced a high-performance version of the Mustang. The SVT Cobra nomenclature was dropped in favor of Mustang Shelby GT500, and thanks to a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 churning out 500 horsepower, it wasn’t slow. However, as can be seen here, it lacked a reversing camera, which this car’s owner has added after the fact.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: California Special, the Sequel
In addition to resurrecting the Shelby GT500 name from the late 1960s, Ford also decided that a new California Special was in order. Originally offered in 1968, the modern California Special was an appearance package offered for the both the Mustang GT Coupe and Mustang GT Convertible between 2007 and 2011. The one shown here at Venice Beach is vintage 2008 or 2009.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Bullitt Mustangs, the Sequels
In order to capitalize on the infamous car-chase scene in the movie “Bullitt,” Ford offered performance-tuned iterations of the 2001 Mustang GT and the 2009 Mustang GT, each painted Highland Green and offered with gray-painted Bullitt-style wheels. Here, they are parked side-by-side at Venice Beach.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Fifth-gen Mustang, Refined
Ford updated the fifth-generation Mustang for the 2010 model year, revising the car’s look to recall the 1969-1970 models while adding horsepower, torque, and improved handling for the GT. I particularly liked this clean white example of the Mustang GT, which had red leather and the optional Track Pack. Later, another example of this same car arrived at the Venice Beach event, equipped with the rare Glass Roof option.
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Vintage Ford GT40
And then, there’s this guy, driving his original Ford GT40 to the 2015 Mustang reveal at Venice Beach. Naturally, because security was told that only Mustangs could enter the lot, guards told the driver to back up and park in the main public lot. In this shot, the GT40 is reversing, door open in order for the driver to see as he complies with directives. After the dude whipped the GT40 into a regular spot next to a Toyota Sienna minivan, he sauntered over to take a look at the new Mustang, wearing some kind of a vintage Ford racing jacket. Is that the epitome of cool, or what?
Classic Mustang Photos and Gallery: Venice Beach Mustang Club Gathering
Just before leaving the beach, I snapped this group shot of the gathered Mustangs. December 5, 2013, was a cold day for California, with temperatures in the low 50s and, as sunset approached, a bracing wind coming off the chilly Pacific. And yet, Ford’s “loyal Mustangers” were present in significant numbers, getting a closer look at the sixth-generation version of an American automotive icon. Young, old, male, female, rich, and poor, they all gathered to check out the cars, swap stories, and gaze upon the latest object of their affection. Not many cars can bring people of all walks of life together quite like a Mustang can.
All photos by Christian Wardlaw, copyright Autobytel and Speedy Daddy Media, Inc.