A pencil-straight imaginary line connects Portland, Oregon, to Terlingua, Texas, about one,800 miles, unbending and uninteresting in between two disparate towns at close to-opposite poles of the U.S.

We located their connection in a 2018 Ford Mustang GT, and in the story of how the Ford Mustang grew to become shorthand for America.

For two months, Motor Authority editors buckled into a 2018 Ford Mustang GT to seem for the men and women and the stories that assisted make one particular of America’s most vibrant and iconic vehicles.

Above the days, weeks, and 1000’s of miles, a wealthy image emerged of an America that seemingly has no straight shots, except for the one particular that runs from April 1964 to 2018:

-Generations of owners in Portland gathered to inform us why their Mustangs meant so significantly, why they invested the income they saved to purchase or restore their heroes

2018 Ford Mustang GT (Matt Dayka/For Motor Authority)

2018 Ford Mustang GT (Matt Dayka/For Motor Authority)

-The streets of San Francisco, immortalized for automobile followers by Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt” Mustang, showed us anything far more than a automobile chase: it is gritty, raw, and complex

-Carroll Shelby’s Xanadu in dusty West Texas, a failed venture turned within joke race crew, spoke far more about the guy to us than his legend.

And we found the deeper meanings for the automobile named soon after one particular of America’s lasting photos. The mustang—the mutt of the Wild West—once was idolized and then it was marginalized. Then it was rescued by a established female, and now these wild horses dwell in outposts like Nevada’s Palomino Valley and in Arizona, in which some males now uncover 2nd odds on horses that are on their final possibility.

We seem at the Mustang we drove in intricate detail: What tends to make the GT? What manufactured the Mustang? And what’s the long term for efficiency between an onslaught of electrical vehicles?

We stopped along the way to drive the Ford GT, a halo efficiency machine that expenses virtually ten occasions far more than the efficiency machine we arrived in, as well.

Along the way, the men and women and stories we located brought us and our readers closer to America and its legendary pony automobile.

There are a lot of roads from Portland to Terlingua really worth taking.

We took a handful of of the undiscovered ones, and hope you will come along for the trip.

For two months, Motor Authority crisscrossed the U.S. in an automotive icon searching for stories about the Ford Mustang’s location in American background. These are our stories from the street about its owners, its background, and its standing as an evolving symbol of our connection with vehicles in America.