Ford Throws Ultimate Birthday Party for Mustang’s 60th

In a year when Mustang’s two biggest competitors have announced they will be withdrawing from the market, Ford has announced it will be doubling down at the Mustang 60 Celebration. The event, which kicked off on April 17th, 2024 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, was a celebration of all things Mustang.

Coming through the tunnel to the infield, the parking lot was filled with thousands of Mustangs of all generations. Walking through the gates, the same could be said – privately owned vehicles lined pit row and Ford had clean examples of every generation of Mustang lined up in the garage. It was in part, a massive car show.

As you walk closer to the track along pit row, however, Ford had an impressive collection of race cars. Not only could a Dark Horse R be spotted, but Ford unveiled the brand-new Champion Spirit livery on the Mustang GT3 for the IMSA series to honor the last 60 years of Mustangs. The factory IMSA GTD PRO Mustang GT3s are set to debut in the new livery at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 10-12).


Each historic livery is depicted as battle-worn, layered into the Mustang GT3’s design.

The Stewart-Haas race team was also practicing its impressively fast tire changes on the NASCAR Mustang Dark Horse. If you have never seen it in person, it is a truly athletic display as these men work perfectly in concert with one another to change all four tires in a matter of seconds.

Speaking of motorsports, RTR and Ford Performance were located across the bridge nearest the skidpad and road course. Ride-alongs were offered during drift sessions with some of RTR’s drivers as they burned up tires by the hour on both the S650 and the Mach-E-1400, as well as the Ford Performance Racing School’s drivers pinning participants into the seats of a Dark Horse to give them a taste of what they could experience in the 1-Day racing school.

Promptly at 5pm EST, the crowd of rabid enthusiasts were called to gather round the stage for some important announcements. One of which was the unveiling of the aforementioned Champion Spirit livery on the IMSA GTD PRO Mustang GT3 that successfully pays homage to past race cars. Another announcement was the limited edition 60th Anniversary package offered for the 2025 model year that faithful Ford Muscle readers already got a glimpse of.

Another neat noteworthy announcement was the new Mustang Heritage Gauge Cluster, inspired by the ’67-68 Mustang, which is an “over the air” update to any seventh generation Mustang’s digital dash. If you have a 2024 Mustang, all you have to do is have “Automatic Software Updates” turned on to receive this feature. “Hundreds of individual Mustang gauge clusters spanning multiple iconic years were evaluated to create this new Heritage Gauge Cluster. A realistic chrome render wraps these gauges, just like the polished metal used in 1967-1968.”

The two biggest announcements were appropriately kept for the end. Mustang Brand Manager John Bellino unveiled the rendering of the Mustang Experience Center, which is set to open next year and is located just adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway. A Ford Heritage Gallery will be a central feature, which celebrates all 60 years of Mustang history as well as an aftermarket parts shop, retail store for Mustang merchandise, and conference space for corporate events. You can even get married there!

The Mustang Experience Center expands on the on-track instruction program and its partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway with Ford Performance Racing School’s Mustang Unleashed, a new program for Mustang EcoBoost and GT, builds on the Dark Horse Track Attack program. All 2024 Mustang owners can get first-class instruction on how to wheel these increasingly powerful and capable vehicles.

Last but not least, they even teased us with a new Mustang model. We’re not ones to speculate – OK, that was a lie – but there’s some scuttlebutt that RTR could have been involved, which immediately calls to handling and drifting.

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Scott Parker

Scott dreamed of being in the automotive media in high school, growing up around car shows and just down the street from Atco Raceway. The technology, performance capability, and craftsmanship that goes into builds fuels his passion.
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