When Samuel Crawford's class teacher asked students what they wanted to do when they grew up, classmates said they wanted to be doctors, lawyers and accountants. Sam said he wanted to build Mustangs, and his classmates laughed.
"The 64 Mustang had just come out," Crawford said. "All I could think of was the brand new pony car."
Of his 31 years at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant south of Detroit, Crawford has spent the last nine putting racing strips on Mustangs. On Wednesday, he came to thousands of Ford workers who celebrated the production of 10 million Mustang.
"I do what I said I would do," he said. "I did not know how they were built, but I knew I wanted to be part of it. And I've worked with 4000 or 5000 Mustangs."
The iconic vehicle has been America's best-selling sports car in the last half century and the world's best-selling sports car three years straight.
More than 60 Ford Mustang owners representing all model years gathered for a tribute at the plant Wednesday, followed by flyovers from three WWII era P-51
"Mustang is the heart and soul of this company," said Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets. "I get the same excitement when a Mustang rolls down a street in Detroit, London or Beijing that I felt when I bought my first car, a 1966 Mustang coup that I drove across the country as a teenager."
The 10 million Ford Mustang is a high-tech 460-horsepower 2019 Wimbledon White GT V-8 six-speed manual convertible fitted with driver-assisted technology and built on Flat Rock. The first Serial Mustang (VIN 001) produced in 1964 was the same color and model with a three-speed manual transmission and 164-horsepower V-8.
& # 39; It gives you goosebumps & # 39;
Tra Von Palmer, 42, a final area manager on Flat Rock, monitors overall trim and chassis mounting that includes carpets, dashboards, airbags, tires, seats and fluid fills.  "Honestly, the sound of the engine when they start the vehicle at the end of the line? It gives you goose skin. Every time, Palmer said." It's like a deep ditch that sits down in a hum. It's not something you've ever used to. "
Palmer owns a black 2000 convertible GT he helped build as an hourly staff.
" We have a sense of pride with this vehicle, "said Palmer, a 24- year-old employee whose father started with Ford as hourly wages.
During its 54-year production history, Mustang has been built in San Jose, California, Metuchen, New Jersey, and the original production plant in Dearborn. All Mustangs are built in Flat Rock now.
Mustang is the country's best-selling sports car based on Ford analysis from 1966-2018 total new vehicle-accumulated registrations for all sports car segments delivered by IHS Markit.
Chevrolet built more than 1.6 million corvettes and more than 5.5 million Camaros, which did not see production between 2003 and 2009.
The best-selling car model is Toyota Corolla, 44 million in 52 years, said Curtis D. McAllister, a Toyota spokesman.
"Many cars have hit 10 million markers over the years, but they tend to be either convenient family cars – like the Volkswagen Passat and Honda Accord – or long-term, utilitarian carriers – like the Ford F-150," said Matt Anderson, a carrier at The Henry Ford Museum. "Mustang is a fun car – some owners tend to buy as a second – or maybe third vehicle instead of a one and a daily driver. It makes Mustang's 10 million milestone even more impressive."
"Today Mustang succeeds in capitalizing on his heritage. The view is retro without being dated, and the name is established, but not" establishment ", says Anderson.
This guy owns 64 Mustangs  Mike Berardi, 56, of Canton owns 64 Mustangs.
"My first car was a Mustang back when I was in high school. A friend of mine had a "73 Mach 1 It was red. I thought, one of those days, I'm going to get one of them, "said Berardi, who resigned from Ford as global customer service manager in 2017.
Now he runs the 2015 Shelby GT350, white with blue.  "In the parade on Wednesday, I drive a 72 convertible, a red, white and blue model designed for the Olympics, he said." In the summer months, from July to August, I drive convertibles. It's a convertible season. Excel spreadsheets for the year. If they have good heaters, they will expire in March, April and November. The classes will go out in June and September. I have a method of madness. "
While the first Mustang team lives on The Henry Ford museum, it has not been planned 10 million Mustang. Jiyan Cadiz, Ford spokesman, said that the vehicle will be screened at the Detroit auto show in 2019 and go on a trip.
"People will see it," said Cadiz. "Where it ends, we are open to opportunity. It may be the museum. It may be a collector. We hear people out."
After the thrill dies down this week, and the vintage flight and dignitaries depart, things will return to normal for Crawford. Life is fine, he says, and soon he will retire. His wife also builds headlights for Magna. His son is also working at the Ford factory.
He describes the rhythm of a native Detroiter as the son of a Hutzel nurse's health and a father who built F-150 trucks Today, Crawford arrives at the plant at 5 o'clock and finishes at 3.30pm, one of 22 people on the strip team. He will be "working all day every week" by attaching racing stripes to Mustangs. And when he goes home, well, his work does not end.
"Some days I dream of the strips. If I have problems, I think about them," Crawford said. "It's like an art. As I dream about it, the strips continue to spread butter."