Ford Mustang Adds to Nearly 3,000 Credits With Leading ‘Hero Car’ Role in Upcoming “Need for Speed” Movie

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Ford Mustang Adds to Nearly 3,000 Credits With Leading ‘Hero Car’ Role in Upcoming “Need for Speed” Movie

  • A one-of-a-kind, customized Ford Mustang plays a prominent role in the upcoming film from DreamWorks Studios and Electronic Arts, “Need for Speed” based on the long-running video game series

  • Mustang fans have crowd-sourced a list of about 3,000 Ford Mustang appearances on the large and small screen over nearly five decades

  • Mustang made its silver screen debut in 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger just months after its launch

DEARBORN, Mich., June 10, 2013 – From appearances in James Bond’s “Goldfinger” to Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt” and now “Need for Speed,” the Ford Mustang has had one of the most prolific careers in Hollywood with appearances in nearly 3,000 feature films and TV shows. With a resume like that, Mustang may someday get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dedicated fans

Ford Mustang is the only car with its own dedicated movie and television appearance database on the web thanks to a crowd-sourced effort started by an enthusiastic fan, Stefan Thorarensen.

“My Mustang Interest started in 1966, when i was 14 years old. My aunt bought a Poppy Red 1965 Mustang Fastback, and I have never gotten over it,” said Stefan Thorarensen, founder and board member of The Icelandic Mustang Club.

Thorarensen began collecting VHS tapes and DVDs as his passion for the Mustang grew. In 2009, he used a list of 300 movie and television show titles as the starting point for the creation of a comprehensive, crowd-sourced site called About 100 contributors have grown the list of Mustang on-screen appearances to nearly 3,000 titles.

This crowd-sourced effort is just one demonstration of the power of Mustang with such a broad world-wide fan-base that it even includes clubs in such far-flung locales as Iceland, Poland and New Zealand where it has never officially been offered for sale.

Back to the silver screen in 2014

As Mustang celebrates its fiftieth birthday next year, it will hit the silver screen once again in the DreamWorks Studios and Electronic Arts film, Need for Speed. The new film, inspired by the long-running series of driving video games from Electronic Arts, features the Mustang throughout the adaptation of the gaming franchise. The film’s star, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), will be joined by a one-of-the-kind, customized Mustang playing the role of the hero car.

“We’re thrilled to have Ford play such an important part in a film adapted from one of the most popular video games of all time,” said Keith Koeppen, Ford marketing communications manager. “Mustang has an incredible history appearing in movies and ‘Need for Speed’ will be a great way to continue its ‘hero car’ legacy.”

Created with the help of designers at Ford, the one-off Mustang is perfectly cast for the high stakes racing and stunts included in the film that fans will love. The Mustang features a more aggressive look due to custom bodywork including wider front and rear fenders and features like a lowered suspension and custom 22-inch wheels and tires. Even the fog-lamps are new with high-tech LED halo lamps around the air intakes.

A hero car needs a hero engine so the Mustang has been fit with a 900-horsepower all-aluminum supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 modified by Ford Racing. To top it all off, the car gets a custom paintjob with specially formulated silver topped by blue stripes that glow when struck by light in the dark.

The film is scheduled for release in March 2014.

Leading roles

Mustang got off to a quick start in the movies and has never looked back. Just eight months after its debut at the 1964 New York World Fair, a Wimbeldon White convertible was the mount of choice for a beautiful assassin hunting down James Bond in Goldfinger. Several years later, Bond himself took the wheel of the pony car as he raced through the streets of Las Vegas in Diamonds are Forever.

By 1968, Mustang was already an icon on the road, but the late Steve McQueen transformed the pony car into a movie star in its own right, with what is widely acclaimed as the best car chase ever filmed, the nine-minute climax of Bullitt. Forty-four years later, that same sequence would be reprised on the small screen for the series finale of Alcatraz.

The 2000 remake of Gone in Sixty Seconds produced another iconic pony in the form Eleanor, the silver and black 1967 Mustang driven by star Nicolas Cage. That particular car was recently sold at auction for more than $1 million and it has spawned numerous replicas.

50 years of Mustang

The Ford Mustang is about to become the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years. In its first 49 years of production, Mustang has gained a worldwide base of avid fans, including more than 5-million on Facebook, the most of any vehicle nameplate. Mustang’s unique combination of style, performance and affordability established an entirely new class of sporty cars and it has led the segment ever since.

Over the past 49 years each of the more than 9.2 million Mustangs produced has been built in America, most of them close to Ford’s home base in Dearborn, Mich. From the race track to the silver screen to the airwaves, Mustang has become an enduring part of pop culture.

The 2014 Ford Mustang is built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit


Jason Lasecki

Alan Hall



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