I remember M.A.M.M.
by Dean V. Ricci, Editor
Has Ford ever been swayed by public opinion with regards to the Mustang?
Sure it has. For the 1984 model year, which was Mustangs' 20th Birthday,
Ford had nothing, and I mean nothing planned. It wasn't until Donald
Petersen was interviewed by Mustang Monthly Magazine that the idea of a
20th Anniversary Edition of Mustang came to be. Since then Ford has been
celebrating the Ford Mustang every 5 years during the car lines'
production. The last special Edition was in celebration of the 50th year
of Mustang production.
But something big happened shortly after the 20th Anniversary Mustang.
Ford was developing a car with its Mazda subsidiary that was a front wheel
drive platform. The car was slated to become the Ford Mustang. When word
got out to Mustang enthusiasts, they were upset. Upset in a big way.
This happened before the age of social media so the die hard Mustangers
out there hit the streets with petitions. Petitions that
proclaimed a simple Battle Cry if you will. "M.A.M.M. - Mustangers Against
Mazda Mustangs. The petitions were supported by letters to the Ford Motor
Company, pleading that they change course. It was a tremendous movement
spanning all 50 States, and all these petitions and letters wound up on
the desks of Ford Executives.
Original editorial written by Donald
Farr in July of 1987, expressing his feelings towards a Mazda Mustang
(courtesy Mustang Monthly)
Ford Execs took notice of the anger, and I hear tell the Director of
Marketing told the designers, "What's wrong with you guys? I can't sell a
front wheel drive Mustang".
No one really can say if it was the Director of Marketing, or the volumes
of petitions that swayed Ford into dropping the Mustang
on the little car, and instead naming the vehicle The Probe, in homage to
its MPG champion test vehicle of the same name.
end, the Probe was a cheap little car with many problems and quickly
forgotten about. Imagine that happening to the beloved
The recent introduction of the Mustang Mach E reminds me so much of
M.A.M.M. because of what is happening on social media right now. Thousands
of people are furious, just as there is a faction that say "what's done is
done, get over it". "You don't like it, don't
buy one". However, the anger outweighs the complacency in a big way.
As of this writing, I've seen three separate online petitions asking,
pleading with Ford Motor Company to call the vehicle something
else. "Don't stain the sacred name of Mustang by mucking it up with an
Electric SUV as part of the mix", is what they are saying. I've even
already seen a quick rendering of what a Shelb-E might look like.
Can you imagine?
These petitions are gaining in popularity. I opened them up and I could
see the numbers of signatures increasing like the numbers
an odometer rolling over. There is a lot of angry Mustangers out there.
The motoring press is a curious case as well. "Nice car, but it's not a
Mustang" seems to be the common thread in all the automotive
press that these eyes have seen.
Will Ford change its mind? Is it too late? I remember M.A.M.M. The only
thing that is constant, is change. Stay tuned.....