Last weekend’s 12th annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction was a huge home run on several fronts for Ford Motor Co., which had a strong presence at the South Florida event.
One of the star cars of the show was a totally tricked out 2013 Ford Mustang, which was used in the actual making of the “Need For Speed” movie and is just like the one used in the video game of the same name. The high-performance custom Mustang sold for $300,000 to Dave Flynn of the Flynn Automotive Group in Youngstown, Ohio. All of the proceeds went to benefit the Henry Ford Health System.
On top of that, the timing of Barrett-Jackson coincided nearly perfectly with the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original Ford Mustang on April 16, 1964. There are huge Mustang celebrations this week in Charlotte and Las Vegas, and the Barrett-Jackson event gave Ford the opportunity to showcase its all-new 2015 Mustang, which will go on sale this fall.
The 2015 Mustang in the Ford display at Barrett-Jackson certainly drew plenty of attention. And that, combined with the success of the “Need For Speed” auction car, made the event a home run for Ford executives.
“It’s big on a couple of levels,” said John Felice, Ford’s vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “It’s a very special time for us, because Thursday of this week is the 50th anniversary of Mustang. … It’s very busy, but we’re just getting started. We’re super excited. We’re expecting more than 80,000 people at those two events (Charlotte and Las Vegas) and thousands of historic Mustangs for people to see and share. It just shows the kind of passion Mustang brings out.”
Steve Ling, Ford car marketing manager, agreed that Barrett-Jackson was the perfect event leading into the Mustang anniversary.
“In a word, electric,” Ling said of the reception the 2015 Mustang got at Barrett-Jackson. “From the gala that kicked things off at Barrett-Jackson here on Thursday, people seeing the car – just the whole thing. It’s a perfect fit for the whole environment of enjoying cars, enjoying the hobby, appreciating the ‘Need For Speed’ car and everything that the game brings to life. It’s been fun to see here.
“Plus, being Mustang’s birthday, being the 50th, it’s finally here,” said Ling. “We’ve been talking about it a long time.”
Ling said the Mustang’s unique status made the big parties possible.
“This doesn’t happen for every car,” he said. “The outpouring of volunteers, the number of people that are going to show up, the cars. It’s just staggering. Nothing’s ever happened on a scale like this before.”
So now that the party has wrapped up in South Florida, it’s off to Las Vegas and Charlotte. Stay tuned, much more to come.