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Goodwood Festival of Speed (2011)

Earlies this summer I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed (UK) for the first time in my life, and man was that a great event. Going back next year, I know that much.

It’s difficult to describe what the event really is, because it’s a lot of things at the same time. But that’s also not very important, the only thing you need to know it’s 4 days of classic & sports car galore like you have never seen before. And give it to Lord March, the Festival of Speed is also one of the best organized events of that size I have ever been to.

Mustang twins: Bullitt & P-51

There weren’t many Mustangs at the event, apart from the “Bullitt” and P-51 you see above, but if you’re into cars you will like what I saw there. Here’s the link to my Flickr set, giving you a bit of an idea of the overall event.

Marketing the Mustang: An American Icon

Apparently there’s a documentary titled "Marketing the Mustang: An American Icon." on the Mad Men Season 4 DVDbox-set extras. It tells how Ford executive Lee Iacocca persuaded a very reluctant Henry Ford to build the Mustang by citing research his agency guys gave him about the target demo (newly affluent boomers), and lays out the groundbreaking marketing of what would become an instant automotive classic.

Among the revelations in the doc: A lot of the Ford Mustang’s initial marketing was directed at women — the focus of the clip below. There are also a whole bunch of print ads shown in the this 2 min clip but if you’re a regular reader of this blog you have seen most of them already ;)

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Thanks for the heads up Steven.

[Via Steven / AdAge]

How Steve McQueen asked his ‘Bullitt’ Mustang back

… and didn’t get it. It appears to be so that in 1977 Steve McQueen wrote a letter to who appears to be the owner of the famous Bullitt Mustang used in the movie. Well one of them, as there were 2 different cars prepped for the movie, we’re talking about the one that wasn’t used for the stunts… and thus survived.

Who the owner was (and probably still is) nobody seems to know, but it is clear that they kept the Mustang, despite Steve’s request.

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Nice find from the car maniacs of Drivr.

The birth of the Mustang

“This is the spirit of the wild Mustang”. A conversation at today’s classic car show in Ghent learned that not everybody knows that the Mustang like we know is actually quite different from the original Mustang concept car. Here’s a great video of the real ‘first’ Mustang.

“One of the treats in the video is seeing Phil Clark at work on the original Mustang logo. We also see Clark hard at work shaping the clay on the buck and his sketches adorn the walls of the studio. It’s a tribute to an extremely gifted designer who died when he was only 32 but left behind a legacy of automotive design and a daughter, Holly, who’s dedicated to making sure the world remembers her father’s contribution to the Mustang. This Ford PR film captures the inside story of the team’s efforts that put the first Mustang on the road.”

Chasing the ghosts of ‘Bullitt’

The Wall Street Journal drives with Loren Janes, now 79 year old former stunt double of many movies including the incredible ‘Bullitt’. Time to debunk some myths:

As Mr. Janes and I drove around the city, three myths were shattered. First, despite the hype, McQueen did not do his own driving in the movie’s most dangerous scenes. "Steve was a great driver, but he was only behind the wheel for about 10% of what you see on screen," said Mr. Janes, who was McQueen’s stunt double from 1959 to 1980. "He drove in scenes that required closeups—but not in the ones that could kill him. Steve always asked me first whether a stunt was too dangerous for him to take on."

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When you’re strange: The Blue Lady

A colleague of mine shared this little Youtube clip with me the other day, Jim Morrison from The Doors driving his 1967 Shelby GT500.

Jim Morrison driving his 1967 Shelby G.T. 500. The clip is from the film “When You’re Strange” (directed by Tom DiCillo) which is in turn borrowed from the movie “HWY: An American Pastoral” which Jim made in 1969 with some friends. This footage is considerably clearer than my previous post of Jim driving the car. Go full screen with this clip, the resolution is killer. You can even see dust on the car it’s so crisp and clear.

I did a lot of research on the Shelby and all indications are it was trashed after Jim hit a telephone pole when he was drunk. He had clipped it before, but on that occasion he bent the frame, ending his time with The Blue Lady (his name for the car). Jim met the same fate as the Shelby two years later, though some think he’s still alive. It’s kind of fitting as some people are convinced this car still exists. Maybe he’s still driving it.

Shelby fans, note the car has no front grille emblem, no trunk emblem, small lettered Speedway 350 tires, uneven, hammered rear exhaust outlets, comfortweave seats, fender mounted antenna, and half the molding on the driver’s side taillight is missing. LOL. Best of all, it’s a 4-speed nightmist blue car with parchment interior and 10 spoke wheels. He knew how to pick ‘em, huh? That’s the way I would have ordered it. If only you could go back in time!

An identical car sold at Barrett-Jackson auctions for $330,000 in January, 2008.

GM’s original 1956 four seat sports car proposal

"Let’s revert to the slab stern and high luggage compartment, the nearly vertical rear window, the leather strap and ‘chunk of road machinery’ feeling."

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That’s from a multipage document describing the need for an American four-passenger sports car, a text leading to one of the most successful product launches Detroit ever enjoyed, Ford’s April 1964 Mustang. Written in 1956, it was presented to — and furiously rejected by — Harley J. Earl, General Motors’ styling chief. Its author, Barney Clark, wrote Corvette advertising copy at the time. A few years later, working for J. Walter Thompson on the Ford account, he talked with product planner Don Frey about it. Lee Iacocca may be the "father of the Mustang," but he got the notion via Frey and Clark, and thus indirectly from GM. Even the final 108-inch wheelbase was first determined by GM’s Anatole Lapine, who subsequently became Porsche’s design leader. Nothing’s simple in the car-design business.

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Read the original document here.

[Via Automobile]

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