Silverstone Festival to celebrate Ford Mustang’s 60th birthday

America’s original ‘pony car’ will be celebrated on and off the track

Ford Mustangs on the circuit at Silverstone
This year's Silverstone Festival will mark the Ford Mustang's 60th birthday in style

THIS summer’s Silverstone Festival will celebrate the 60th birthday of the Ford Mustang.

Running from Friday August 23 to Sunday August 25 at the iconic English racing circuit, Saturday’s programme will include a special anniversary track parade open to owners of Mustangs from any era, while a special Sunday afternoon ‘showdown’ will also take place featuring multiple track-spec Mustangs competing in the Pure Michigan Mustang Celebration Trophy Race.

As you no doubt already well aware, the Ford Mustang was an immediate hit upon launch, racking up over a million sales in its first two years. Its name and then revolutionary long bonnet/short boot design inspired a new breed of affordable, compact, high performance automobiles known as ‘pony cars’.

Mustangs at Silverstone
. (JEP)

To date, more than 10 million Mustangs have been produced, making it the world’s best-selling two-door sportscar - and it has also excelled on the race track.

The Mustang’s motorsport history also dates right back to 1964, when it made its racetrack debut within a month of its launch as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Later that year, Mustangs started racking up the first of many notable competition successes with a class victory in the Tour de France road rally. The following year, a 4.7-litre V8-engined Mustang driven by Roy Pierpoint for Alan Mann Racing won the British Touring Car Championship, while Shelby GT-350 Rs captured a multitude of top titles in the US.

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Today, many of those original models are still reliving their glory days and wowing the crowds at historic motorsport events like this year’s Silverstone Festival.

On Saturday, the circuit will host a huge Mustang anniversary parade featuring cars owned by members of the Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain and Northwest ‘Stangs.

Mustangs at Silverstone

A special Mustang Celebration Package has been introduced to encourage all Mustang owners to join the 60th birthday party by displaying their car over the weekend and joining the track parade on Saturday.

Also at this year’s event, the Pure Michigan Mustang Celebration Trophy Race will feature a packed grid of pre-1966 touring cars, including a plethora of big-engined Mustangs. Qualifying will take place on Friday, prior to the final 40-minute showdown taking place on Sunday afternoon.

“The Mustang is a true motoring legend and we are thrilled to be saluting such an icon’s 60th milestone with the backing of Pure Michigan,” confirmed Nick Wigley, Silverstone Festival event director.

“The 1960s were the zenith for all fans of powerful, big-engined American muscle cars and Sunday’s spectacular race will revive that incredible era in style. While a little less dramatic, Saturday’s track parade will be every bit as significant as it will pay tribute to 60 years of continuous Mustang production – and that’s a truly remarkable legacy well worth celebrating.”

Mustangs at Silverstone

“We are delighted to be partnering with Silverstone in the UK, a historic and iconic motorsport brand,” said Kelly Wolgamott, Interim Vice President of Travel Michigan, official destination partner of the 2024 Silverstone Festival.

“Our collaboration reflects the importance of Michigan and the City that put the world on wheels: Detroit. We are proud of our automotive heritage and the major impact our automobiles have made in the global market.

“The Ford Mustang is the longest-running continuous model in the Ford stable and we are pleased to support the Festival as it celebrates the Mustang’s 60th milestone.”

All Silverstone Festival tickets give access to both racing paddocks, open trackside grandstands, a special Ayrton Senna tribute plus demos, displays, live music and interactive entertainment over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Off-track highlights will include a Fan Zone featuring F1 team show cars, high energy stunt shows in the Shift & Drift Zone, a Foodie Fest with chef demos and Tasting Tent masterclasses, and live music on the eBay stage across all three evenings.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform her 2001 hit Murder On The Dancefloor
The singer will perform at the Silverstone Festival this summer (Yui Mok/PA)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor tops the bill on Friday evening, followed by Busted on Saturday and Olly Murs on Sunday -a good excuse to get away early and beat the Sunday bank-holiday evening traffic, then.

See silverstone.co.uk for full festival programme and ticket information.