Ford’s (NYSE:F) iconic Mustang debuted at the New York Auto Show 49 years ago on April 17, and ever since that moment, the car has been an important part of American culture. Its appearance in more than 500 movies has cemented its position in the American collective conscious. As James Bond, Sean Connery evaded a Mustang driven by a beautiful female assassin in 1964’s Goldfinger; Steve McQueen drove a 1968 Mustang in the 9-minute, 42-second car chase in Bullitt; and an orange 1973 Mustang Mach I starred as the getaway vehicle in 1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds.
The longest-tenured Ford employee, Ed Salna, drove the one-millionth Ford Mustang manufactured at the company’s new Flat Rock Assembly Plant — a ruby red 2014 convertible — off the assembly line Wednesday afternoon, on the vehicle’s birthday. Nine years ago, the automaker moved Mustang production to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, located approximately 25 miles southwest of Detroit, from its original location in Dearborn, Michigan. The one-millionth Mustang rolled off the line in Dearborn back in 1966.
Ford’s Mustang has lived a life full of twists and turns. “I remember when Ford Motor Company wanted to end the Mustang,” United Auto Workers Vice President Jimmy Settles, who was present for the event, told AOL Autos. “I also remember when it was $99 down and $99 a month.”