TATUI, Brazil - As the world prepares to celebrate 50 years of the Ford Mustang on April 17, 2014, @Ford reached out to Ford team members outside of North America to share their unique ties to the car. These stories serve to illustrate how, despite being an American icon, Mustang pride is felt around the world.
Name: Wanderley Pella Junior
Title: Vehicle Test Engineer at Tatuí Proving Ground, Brazil
Years with Ford: 7 years
Q: Describe the moment you saw a Ford Mustang for the first time, what were your first impressions?
A: When I saw a Ford Mustang for the first time in my childhood I thought "When I grow up I will have a Mustang!" It is simply a power symbol, you feel you can go anywhere and do anything when you are in a Ford Mustang.
Q. Did the Mustang change the way you looked at cars in general?
A: Yes, especially here in Brazil where Mustangs are rare, other cars seem not to have any glamour after you see a Mustang passing by.
Q. Why is the Mustang special?
A: Because it is awesome, it looks like a rocket on the street but not that rocket you see on cartoons. It is beautiful, sporty, stylish, delivers a powerful sound and excellent handling – it is a fine car.
Q. Have you ever owned a Mustang? Which model?
A: I have a 1974 Mustang II Guia V6, which I am restoring. It is my first Mustang.
Q. How did you obtain the vehicle, was it easy to find?
A: This is a lovely story. In 2009, the year I first met my wife, she was driving the same 1974 Mustang II Guia that I am restoring today. One night, after a date that included rock and roll concert and dancing, she invited me to take a ride in her father's Mustang. Sometime later, we were still dating, the Mustang was needing restoration and I wanted to do it, so I bought the car and started the work in my garage.
Now, we are all married, me, my wife and the 1974 Mustang II!
Q. Are you a member of a Mustang Club? Which one?
A: No, not yet. In fact, my Mustang club is my garage. When I finish the restoration, I think I will look for a real club.
Q. Do you think people outside of the U.S. have a different or unique Mustang experience? Why?
A: Yes, especially here in Brazil. As I said before, Mustangs are here are rare, so I think even more here than in the United States, people admire when a Mustang appears.