And by hot, we don’t mean sleek and sexy. We mean stolen. Swiped. Jacked. Gone in 60 seconds, and not in the good way. For over 25 years, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has published its annual Hot Wheels report, pinpointing America’s 10 most stolen vehicles of each year – something we here at E3 Spark Plugs watch for each January. But 2012 marks the first year that it’s published a Hot Wheels Classics report focusing on a particular make and model. What better choice for a debut than the Ford Mustang, arguably America’s most iconic muscle car?
Researchers made some surprising conclusions. While conventional thinking would place newer and pricier Mustangs atop a most-stolen list, the data suggests that thieves prefer older, less flashy models. Namely, it was the 2000 Pony that topped hijacker’s target lists over the past decade. Figures show that 7,085 2000 Mustangs were reported stolen between 2001 and 2011, followed by 6,790 1995 models and 5,394 1998 Ponies.
Here’s a rundown of the figures for top Mustang thefts by model year over the past 10 years:
- 2000 model – 7,085 stolen
- 1995 model – 6,790 stolen
- 1998 model – 5.394 stolen
- 2001 model – 5,103 stolen
- 2002 model – 4,226 stolen
- 2003 model – 3,966 stolen
- 1994 model – 3,949 stolen
- 2004 model – 3,234 stolen
- 1996 model – 3,045 stolen
- 1989 model – 2,629 stolen
All total, 45,421 Mustangs were reported stolen throughout the past decade. To get to these figures, NICB researchers reviewed data from 1964 to 2011. Keep in mind, though, that pre-1981 records are questionable. Researchers cite inconsistency in reporting protocols and in VIN (vehicle identification number) protocols before they were standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1981. Click here to for the press release with a link to the full, downloadable report.
Got the lowdown on a possible car theft or insurance fraud? Report it anonymously by calling 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or visiting the NICB website.
In our next blog, E3 Spark Plugs offers a few tips on protecting your ride from thieves.