Bond movie Goldfinger is where you’ll find the first Mustang to appear in a movie, a white convertible with red leather interior. Bond must have had a thing for them because another one appears in Thunderball the following year (1965), another convertible, turquoise in colour. The original Gone in 60 Seconds movie had 1971 Mustangs fitted to resemble 1973 Mach 1’s, with the name Eleanor first appearing – not unique to the ’00 remake. Bond is at it again in Diamonds Are Forever with a real Mach 1, a hint at the difference a real budget can make. 1968 is the year the car was immortalised though obviously, with McQueen in San Francisco. The car seems to have taken a bit of a resurgence in the late 80’s appearing in action movies like Lock Up and K-9.
The first generation are somewhat less frequent in movies nowadays, not just because of age but because Ford, if they’re going to sponsor a movie for example, will want to plug the newer models instead. A recent appearance is The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which to me is one of the superior movies of that franchise because it actually features actual talk about tyres, sparkplugs etc instead of being a bank robbing caper. The original Mustang is eventually the road-weapon of choice in that movie, not sure about that engine transplant though. A beautiful ’69 Mustang can be seen in Death Sentence (2007) with a ’71 Mach 1 429 Big Block transplant. Those decals at the front though – too garish for a car of that pedigree. Ideally, a Mustang should also be appearing in Jack Reacher, it will not. Which is kind of fitting because Tom Cruise shouldn’t be appearing as Jack Reacher either from what I hear.
Just about the manliest shit you’ll ever see. This is where the Mustang has appeared at its best. After some cruising between both through the streets to whet the appetite and tease the viewer, the seatbelts are buckled – almost like a gun being cocked. It shows you business is about to get handled. That’s the kind of small detail that puts this among the best chase scenes ever. Wisely, as the chase starts in earnest, the director cuts all background music. The only thing we want to hear here is the rasp of McQueen turning her loose, although the notes heard during the actual chase are not from an actual Mustang rather dubbing recorded from a GT-40. The real sound can be heard when Steve is sitting idle or cruising. Not sure why they felt the need to dub. And of course McQueen himself, its like the car was made for him and vice versa.