The Film "A Faster Horse" is a Love Letter To the Ford Mustang: Review
Henry Ford used to go around and ask his neighbors what they wanted, and nine times out of ten, they’d reply, “we want a faster horse.” A faster horse to plow the fields, a faster horse to get to the shops, a faster horse to deliver more goods. Ford aimed to bring the public something they actually wanted, and if there’s one car that the American public wants, it’s the Mustang. The film A Faster Horse, then, is a love letter to those that brought the Mustang into fruition, and who give the car new life to this day. RELATED: See More of the 2015 Ford Mustang Here
The documentary opens with all the Mustangs that have appeared on film. That includes appearances in Death Race, Drive, Bullitt, Need for Speed, and even Vaughn Gittin JR's Formula Drift car. All these cameos and starring rolls show the passion and love everyone has come to develop for the famed pony car.
Over the past fifty years, the Ford Mustang has become a cultural and automotive icon. When someone says Mustang, they know exactly what car you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, or what language you’re speaking, the Ford Mustang translates. And it translates to a pressure on those that design the next generation of the car. That weight hangs on the heads of the designers, the engineers, and everyone else involved in the project.
RELATED: Read Our Review of the Mustang GT350 Here
Gale Halderman, who designed the original Mustang, slyly stated, “Designing a good looking car is absolutely easy as pie. Designing a car that the company can afford, the manufacturing guys can assemble, the engineers can engineer, that’s damn difficult.”
What this doc truly excels at is telling the story of how all the passion, all the love for the Mustang has transcended merely the automotive industry, and has developed into a cult of personality that inspires, amuses, and affects owners and fans everyday life. It doesn't matter all the hardships the Mustang team faces, or all the setbacks. They do it out of love for the Mustang.
RELATED: Take a Look at the Original Ford Mustang Here
Dave Pericak, the man behind the latest generation of the Mustang, says why his team at Ford does it best.
“My job’s not to yell at people. I mean I’ll do that if I have to, but that’s not my job, my job is to be the biggest cheerleader in the group. It’s funny, I think people are more than willing to walk out on a limb, even if they think that limb might break. If they know that, that you’ll be there to catch them, and I think that’s the biggest thing…There’s a lot of smart people, a lot of smart people are held back by their own fears or inhibitions..."
He continues, "If you allow them to go out on the edge, hang out a little bit, knowing that no matter what happens, you will catch them. They will go out on the thinnest branches, even though they think that things going to crack, they’ll go. Because they know, you’ll be there for them. And when they start doing that, the power you unleash is unbelievable. Because when everyone stays reserved and ‘I’m not going to do that because I might fail or get hurt or whatever,’ then the whole team doesn’t progress as far forward as they could. But when they’re out there slaying dragons, because they know that if the dragon gets a little unruly, that you’re going to come in and finish it off, they’ll slay dragons all day long for you.”
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That’s the love, that’s the passion that goes into the Mustang. It’s Pericak letting his team challenge his ideas. It’s Lee Iacocca telling Ford that what the company needs isn’t another big-family sedan, but a two-door sports car. It’s the team at Ford slaying dragons.
The History Channel is full of aliens, conspiracy theories, and pawn shop bros engaged in forced drama. There isn’t that much true factual programming on supposedly "educational" TV networks anymore. If you actually want an in depth look into the story of an American icon, watch A Faster Horse.
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