Car Mania struck the United States in the latter 1940s. World War II had ended and, for the most part, everyone’s attention turned homeward bound. Young men were coming home to resume the lives they lived and the activities they liked to pursue. One of the most popular of those activities is the car. Of the various marques that have won the general public’s love, the Ford Mustang, it could be argued, is truly the most American in its soul. It was, in a very technical sense the car that finally beat the dreaded Ferrari at endurance racing in LeMans. As the two remaining American auto companies continue doubling down on the SUV market, which nearly crippled the industry in 2008, when the financial bottom nearly fell out of the world, the Mustang has been all but put out to pasture. The once icon has been forgotten by the people it depends on the most, everyone that pounds their chest and claim to be American.
Most people know the long, distinguished history of Ford’s golden child so I won’t linger long on the telling of the Mustang’s history. It is, instead, the interpretation of that history what is of the most importance.
The 1960s, to this day, remains one of the most volatile decades in American history. A president was assassinated; his brother, the one-time attorney general followed suit five years later; open public revolt against the US government by its citizens to one of its highest degrees; a very unpopular war for reasons not made entirely clear by the US government, inducing civil unrest; George Lincoln Rockwell and the rise of the ultra-right wing Republican philosophy that threatens our freedom now more than ever.
Old glory was embattled with greater problems than it had faced since the Civil War. To this culture, came the Ford Mustang.