2005 Ford Mustang Tour
27th May, 2004
The Mustang that Earned America's 'Stamp Of Approval'
A Ford Mustang convertible owned by
David Williams of Clifton, Virginia -- one of only a dozen cars to ever grace a
postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service -- will be on display next
Wednesday (2nd June 2004) at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. The event
coincides with the 40-city 2005 Mustang Tour, which will stop in the nation's capital and
showcase a red GT version of the new model.
Williams' Mustang was the "poster pony" for a special stamp issued by the
Postal Service in 1999 as part of its "celebrate the century" commemorative
series featuring the major icons of the 20th century as determined by a public
Of the 3,800 regular and commemorative stamps issued by the Postage Service between
1847 and 2003, only 12 have featured specific car models, according to Wilson
Hulme, the curator of philately (stamps) at the museum, a part of the
Smithsonian Institution. The Mustang is the only honoured car still in
"It's remarkable enough just knowing that there are 120 million pictures of
my car on stamps around the world," said Williams, 56, an administrator at North
Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia. "It really makes me very proud
that it represents the Mustang's mark on the history of this country."
The Mustang became a stamp in 1999 when the Postal Service asked Americans to
vote on the most memorable and significant people, events and trends for each
decade of the 20th century. The 15 winners of each decade were included in its
"celebrate the century" stamp series. It was the first time the public,
including school children, were invited to put their personal stamp on history
by voting on the subjects to be honoured.
The only other car to make the "celebrate the century" series was the Model
T, which was awarded one of the 1900-1910 stamps, along with the Wright
Brothers' flight, Ellis Island and the teddy bear.
"Mustang's extensive presence in books and songs underscores how it's
been woven into the fabric of American popular culture," said Jim O'Connor, Ford
Motor Company group vice president for North America Marketing, Sales and
Service. "The recognition on the U.S. stamp was particularly gratifying for us,
since the public -- especially school kids -- voted for it."
The original owner of the car on the Mustang stamp was Tom Werbe of
Indianapolis who wanted to surprise his wife for her birthday in May of
Eighteen years later, the Mustang, affectionately known as the "Rangoon
Red Ragtop," landed in Williams' caring hands. He restored it to its original
lustre in 1985, and still drives it on special occasions. It has 189,000 miles
on the odometer.
After Williams and his Mustang make their appearance at the National Postal
Museum with the 2005 Mustang next Wednesday, the Rangoon Red Ragtop will be
displayed in a special salute to transportation at the Smithsonian.