Listen to this article

The Mustangs are coming, and it's safe to say they will be heard miles away. Ford is planning a big party in Detroit to launch the seventh-generation Mustang, and now, that party includes a full-blown costume contest to celebrate six decades of pony car fun. Better dust off those bell bottoms, mend those acid-washed jeans, button up the flannel shirt, you get the point.

Actually, you might really want to get hopping on some period-correct apparel, because the contest winner will get a free 24-month lease on the all-new Mustang, and in GT trim to boot. Second place wins an early drive in the new pony, while third place scores a hot lap in the passenger seat with a "Ford Performance driver." It's unclear if that means an engineer or a professional racing driver from one of Ford's racing endeavors. In any case, all three prizes seem worthy of raiding thrift shops for an appropriate late 1960s Bullitt turtleneck and sports jacket.

How does one partake in this tomfoolery? The contest is part of The Stampede, a Ford-planned cruise from Blue Oval headquarters in Dearborn to downtown Detroit for the 2024 Mustang debut on September 14. Ford offers an open invitation for Mustang owners to register for the cruise online, though it is billed as first come first serve. The event begins at 3:00 PM local time, with cars scheduled to depart headquarters at 5:30 PM. Arrival at the debut site is slated for 6:30 PM, at which point folks will party until the 8:00 PM debut.

Gallery: 2024 Ford Mustang Spy Photos

And it should be a big party indeed. According to Muscle Cars & Trucks, over 1,000 Mustangs are already signed up. Ford confirmed that figure to Motor1.com, adding that more information on the logistics of such a cruise –  through Detroit rush-hour traffic no less – would come shortly. As for the costume contest, a panel of Hour Detroit magazine editors will serve as judges, narrowing the field down to 12 finalists with two representing each of the Mustang's six decades. There's no mention of a cost to participate in either The Stampede cruise or the costume contest.

Keen for more Mustang content? Check out the Rambling About Cars special podcast on Mustangs, available below.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com