In the year 1964 the Ford Mustang sports car, is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, on April 17, 1964. On the same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were ordered by customers. Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations.
1) To celebrate such a huge launch at the time three of the biggest magazines at the time all held articles on the Mustang. The Mustang was first automobile to have an editorial feature in all three big USA publication’s April 1964 editions – Time, Life and Newsweek…
2) This was significant as Time and a Life tended to only focus on ‘life changing’ and ‘significant events’. Newsweek was more like a newspaper and was full of current issues and views.
3) The only copies left from those April 1964 issues are because people subscribed to the magazines and we tend to keep old mags!
4) As that generation reached an age when they either downsized or left estates to be cleared, the magazines show up from time to time as part of house clearances.
5) The magazines (Time/Life) tended to get kept and those that survived are in pretty good condition – often still in the original addressed envelope and some even unread.
6) The rarest is the Newsweek copy as it tended to get thrown after reading.
7) Individually, the Life magazine can be bought for a reasonable amount while the Time edition has become extremely rare as the popularity of the iconic first Mustang has grown – particularly after it celebrated its 50th birthday. The Newsweek edition has always been rare and therefore expensive when those copies are found and offered for sale.
8) Together in one collection, the three copies are hard to come by and, if you could find a collector willing to sell all three as a group, the cost would be very significant – well into 4 ($) figures.
9) Rarity can be evidenced by looking for the big three magazines other editions before or after these Mustang editions on a well-known auction site, they are easy enough to find and go for very cheap prices considering their age. The Mustang editions on the other hand are not that easy to find nor are they cheap.
The magazine covers are very well-known especially the Time magazine and Newsweek editions, all these pictures are from my own collection.
These imagines are not for distribution or copying, no copyright infringement is intended. Where applicable the copyright remains with the owner of the works. I am using the images for fair use to show the editorial coverage of Ford’s historical Mustang launch from the World Trade Fair 1964. Under fair use I believe it’s in the interest of the new generations of Mustang owners and automotive historians to see where it all began. Without tracking down these rare, out of print and now expensive magazines, nobody would be able to appreciate the excitement the Mustang launch caused at the time, in my opinion that would be such a shame to loose such great editorial works. These images are to allow you to read the articles whilst considering their historical importance to the automotive world.
What is less known is what those articles actually said. I have taken a few pics of the Mustang articles, and a small sample of the adverts from each of the magazines of that long bygone era.
Time Magazine – April 17th 1964
Advertisements from Time Magazine;
The magazine still has the subscription card in place.
Life Magazine – April 17th 1964
Advertisements from Life Magazine;
Newsweek – April 20th 1964
Advertisements from Newsweek;
Something else just as rare as those editions but much less known which I didn’t know existed is the following pocket guides.
‘Visitor’s Guide to New York City & Long island’.
This little a5 pocket guide is full of vouchers and all sorts of tips for the City, subway map, travel information, services, entertainment and surrounding area.
I just love this little booklet as it’s a snapshot in time of New York in 1964.
The last booklet may have come with Newsweek I believe, other than that I have no idea of its origin;
‘What to wear at the fair and what to do when you get there’.
Another little pocket-sized booklet of only sixteen pages and another insight to the fashion of New York in 1964.
All these magazines and guides are just incredible, it amazes me that the paper has stood up to the ravages of time as these editions were disposable and not intended to be kept.
I hope this enables fellow enthusiasts to be able to read the magazine’s articles in full on the Mustang launch and to see just what all the fuss was about way back in 1964.