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In Pictures: Ford Mustang marks 50th anniversary

More than 400 Mustangs filled the parking lot at Ford of Canada to celebrate the iconic muscle car's 50th birthday

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Mustang marks a major milestone this year - it’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic muscle car. And at Ford of Canada's headquarters in Oakville, ON, more than 400 Mustangs filled the parking lot to celebrate the occasion on July 26th and 27th. It was one of the biggest gatherings of Mustangs in Ontario, which included everything from classic pony cars to the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang with a sleeker look, a lower, wider stance, an all-new platform, and fully independent front and rear suspension.

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Construction worker Bill Annis, 62, drove from Buffalo, New York to Oakville in his ‘69 Mustang convertible, which he bought for $11,000 in 2004. He invested $40,000 into it. “I took it down to bare bones and rebuilt it – every single component. The interior and body are factory stock, but I added fuel injection and automatic overdrive to the engine. With all the upgrades it rides like a new car. Now, it would fetch $65,000-70,000.”

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Jerry Dunn, retired, bought this candy-apple red 1965 Mustang convertible 10 years ago for $20,000 – it was a childhood dream he fulfilled after retiring. “I always wanted a Mustang. I actually ordered one when I was younger and decided to cancel it and keep the car I had. I always wanted to get a ’65 so I finally did.”

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Ed Grzenda also bought his childhood dream car, but he went with a newer model: a 2008 Mustang GT. “I always wanted one in high school and now that I’m retired I thought it would be a great time to get one. I like them all – but a ‘68 Bullitt Fastback is my favourite.” That’s next on his list.

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Danny Morassut, who works in the car business, drives a limited edition 2012 Mustang Boss 302. “It’s a 444 hp motor and it’s a track car designed for drivers. It’s a fun car. You can drive it to work and then on the weekend take it on the race track.” But Morassut has yet to do so.

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Boilmaker Rob Holierhoek bought his ’65 Mustang eight years ago – at 43, its older than he is. “I always wanted one. Love the Mustangs!” He added a few modifications to it, too. “I’ve got a different motor in it – I’ve got a 302 in it, different rims, and different tires.” He has no plans on selling it, but giving it to his grandson when he’s old enough to drive.

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Ron and Mary Van Keulen bought their first Mustang last year. Ron wanted a Mustang and Mary insisted on a convertible so they settled on a 2013 Mustang convertible. “It’s a mid-life or late-life crisis car! In the year we’ve had it I’ve put on 60,000 kms. Its been great. Drives like a dream,” says Ron, retired.

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Rick and Pat McGladrey have put only 6,000 miles on their ’67 Mustang since buying it ten years ago. “I always liked them. I remember when they first came out. We’ve owned lots of Mustangs, but not the old ones. I like the old Mustangs. I grew up in the era. I like the look of them… And it has a 390 high performance with 235 horse. It’s the biggest motor you could get at that time,” says Rick.

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This isn’t your typical 1965 Mustang convertible. Mike Pepper, a contractor, 56, restored this pony into his dream car. “I bought this car for $2,250. This girl took five years to get to this stage. It’s brand new from front to back. Everything has been replaced, upgraded. It’s a pure race car. It’s got a 427 Ford racing engine – dynoed at 560 horsepower and 580 out the rear end. This car flies!” It’s appraised at $130,000. “This car will never be sold – when I die I’d like to be buried in it!”

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Margaret Wright bought her hubby, Ken, the perfect gift for his 57 birthday last year. “A ’66 Fastback GT, 289 4-speed, 4 barrel. When we were younger we had a ’70 and then we had a child and I said you have to get rid of it! I felt guilty for 35 years. He always wanted one again so I bought one… he was in shock. He couldn’t talk. I thought I was going to have to take him to the hospital!” says Margaret. “I married the right woman,” adds Ken.

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Mike Hamilton, 62 and retired, got his ‘68 Mustang coupe as a 50th birthday present from his wife, Noreen, 62. “We had a ’65 Mustang when we were going out together and it got wrecked in an accident. We always thought about getting another Mustang, but we never got around to it until I hit 50 and she bought that car for me,” says Mike.

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