Pony car pilgrims join Stampede

More than 1,000 Ford Mustangs from every era were on hand for last week’s reveal of the seventh-generation pony car.

Ford Motor Co. summoned Mustang owners from around the U.S. to Detroit to take part in the event. Some came from as far as Tacoma, Wash., with cars joining the procession along a nine-state, cross-country route that included stops at several automotive museums and Pony Express historic sites.

Participants included Mustang Mach-E electric crossovers and even a Ford Transit van — nicknamed Bustang — filled with nine members of a Kansas City family who drove through the night to get to Michigan in time, according to tweets from Ford spokesman Mike Levine.

The Mustang Stampede, as Ford dubbed the caravan, descended on the automaker’s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., the day of the unveiling, then traveled en masse the final 11 miles to downtown Detroit. The crowd gathered at the Hart Plaza amphitheater on the riverfront, in the shadow of General Motors’ towering Renaissance Center offices, to witness the debut of the 2024 Mustang.

To introduce the redesigned pony car, Ford called on a fifth-generation employee who works at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where the Mustang is built. The employee said she was wearing the watch her great-great-grandfather received as his retirement gift from the company.

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