We already know that the first will be the last – again.
Ford’s Mustang didn’t just precede the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger. It inspired their creation. Had Ford – under Lee Iacocca – not created the 1964 Mustang, there would never have been a Camaro or a Challenger. Both of these cars were developed hurry-up style in response to the startling success of Ford’s pony car – as the Mustang came to be called. That term came to be used generally – much the same as muscle car became the appellation for all the cars inspired by Pontiac’s GTO, which – interestingly – also made its debut in 1964.
It was a very good year for people who liked cars.
The Mustang is now the last such car.
It has been before.
Dodge stopped making the original Challenger (and its Plymouth sibling, the ‘Cuda) after the end of the 1974 model year – chiefly because the ’75 models would have had to have been fitted with catalytic converters to comply with federal regs – and that would have been the mechanical equivalent of wrapping the face of a pretty girl in a “mask.” Dodge decided not to – and the Challenger was gone for the next 34 years, until a latter-day resuscitation in 2008.
The ‘Cuda was gone forever.
GM almost dropped the Camaro, too – and did drop the Z28 version of it after 1974 (and for the same reason). It came back in ’77 (in appearance rather than substance) and Camaro, itself, enjoyed a remarkable Indian Summer all the way through the early 2000s, when GM cancelled the car that – along with its Pontiac-badged sibling, the Firebird – had been one of its best-selling cars ever.
After the end of the 2002 model year, Mustang was all by itself – again.
Dodge has had to cancel the Challenger – not for lack of demand but on account of government demands. History repeats – only this time, as farce. In ’74, there was air pollution. In 2024 there is “climate change” – which is the air quality parallel of “asymptomatic spread.” It does not matter that no one’s actually sick. Or that the skies are blue.
What matters is the government is controlled by people who are very sick.
GM is cancelling the Camaro for similarly sick reasons. The company is not the same company that tried to keep the Camaro alive during the dark days of the early-mid ’70s. It is a company that internally despises cars like Camaro because they are not battery-powered devices and as such stand at odds with battery-powered devices, which the current management of GM regards as “the future,” having bought into the one decreed by the government that bought GM back in ’08 at a bankruptcy-sale price – and has owned it ever since.
The Mustang stands fast. It will be the last – again – come 2025, which will be the year Camaro goes away (again) and this time it looks like for good.
But for how much longer can the Mustang last?
An ugly rumor was going around back in December – during the UAW strike contretemps – that the Mustang-as-we-know-its’ last year would be 2028. The italics are important for the same reason it is important to bear in mind that while names continue, what they mean can change.
For example, “vaccine” used to mean a substance that, when introduced into the body of a healthy person, rendered that person immune from getting (or giving) a particular sickness. It now means a drug that – supposedly – reduces the severity of the sickness it doesn’t prevent the individual from getting (or giving). Kind of like aspirin, which doesn’t prevent headaches but can make the sufferer feel less headachy.
“Mustang” already means something not the same as it did.
There is the “Mustang” Mach E – which is a battery powered device shaped like a five-door crossover. It is a “Mustang” in the same way that drugs that don’t immunize are “vaccines” – in that both are materially different things, in the literal meaning of the latter term. The Mach E isn’t just shaped differently. It is entirely different in every meaningful way – other than using the same name to describe what it isn’t.
Ford, of course, has the legal right to call anything it likes (that it sells) a “Mustang.” The name could be affixed to a battery powered scooter. The question is whether people who like Mustangs will accept a battery-powered device using that name.
Probably not. It will be like trying to persuade people who like steaks to eat ze bugs by calling ze bugs “steak” – and perhaps molding ze bugs into the shape of a steak.
Ford says the rumor about the Mustang’s forced retirement come 2028 is “not accurate.” But Ford does not say the Mustang-as-we-know-it will not be retired – and replaced by a device called “Mustang” after 2028.
GM is going to make a battery powered device called “Corvette.” But it is just another device under a different name. A name that used to mean something else.
Will it be the same for Mustang, which isn’t – yet – another device? Will the car that started it all be the last such car?
And this time, for good?
It probably will be, if the psychological sickness that has metastasized into a global pandemic – about a “climate” that’s “changing” in some vague but apocalyptic way – isn’t cured in time to prevent it.
. . .
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