Is Ford’s Mustang Still the Movie Star It Once Was?

Ford Mustang

Ford’s (NASDAQ:F) iconic Mustang pony car has been featured in more than 3,000 movies and television shows in its life, driving its way through American culture and cementing its position in the American collective consciousness. As James Bond, Sean Connery evaded a Mustang driven by a beautiful female assassin in 1964’s Goldfinger; Steve McQueen drove a 1968 Mustang in the nine-minute, 42-second car chase in Bullitt; and an orange 1973 Mustang Mach I starred as the getaway vehicle in 1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds.

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Coinciding with the car’s fiftieth anniversary and Ford’s attempt to breath new life into its classic sports car, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has agreed to let the Mustang appear in Need for Speed, a film based on the popular Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) video game series. With the Mustang as the focus of the film, Ford will be able to target a worldwide audience that has purchased more than 140 million units of the video games during the past two decades, and, in the process, fashion the pony car as a cultural icon once again.

“We’ve been engaged with a lot of movies, but not to this extent with Mustang,” Mary Ellen Abraham, Ford’s experimental marketing manager, told The Detroit News in a telephone interview. “This is probably the biggest one we’ve done in the last several years. We see the biggest value with it.”