When new cars come out, people these days will scramble their cash together to get that coveted 000001 off the assembly line. But sometimes the first car is reserved for someone famous, or whoever has the most money for that special car. It’s almost insane that someone would pay so much money just to have the first one ever put into production, but that’s what the enthusiasm is all about for some people.
But image that you’re at the dealership looking for a new car and nothing really catches your fancy. So you’re about to leave, and the salesman says, “I have this little car out back that we just got in, want to take a look at it?” You’re willing to take a look, and it appeals to you, so you decide to take it for a drive and check it out on the road.
You decide to buy that car and take it home, and you don’t think a whole lot about it until later when you realize that the car you bought was supposed to be officially unveiled two days after your purchase date, and you somehow got the very first one. Wouldn’t that be exciting – to know that you got the first car before the manufacturer was ready to introduce it to the rest of the world?
This is where the story of the very first Mustang ever sold, a 1964 convertible, comes into play. You see, way back in April, 1964, a school teacher by the name of Gail Brown was looking for a car to get her to and from work. She went to a Chicago Ford dealership to look at cars and after nothing interested her, the salesman told her about a car he had out back, a light blue convertible with a 260 cubic inch V-8 and a power top.
After some negotiations, Gail drove the car home, and as she told Yahoo Autos, she was tickled pink to have it and had no idea about the popularity of the car. It didn’t take long, however, for her to realize she had something special, because people started flagging her down to look at the car, and she got lots of waves from approving onlookers.
A couple years later, Gail married and her husband, Tom, adopted the Mustang as his own daily driver after the two had raised their kids. In 1979, the Mustang was parked and was to be a retirement project for Tom, and he built an addition onto their garage to keep the Mustang safe.
In 2006, Tom was taking on the restoration of the Mustang and had heard something that made him curious about the Mustang. Another Chicago resident had claimed that he had bought the very first Mustang ever sold, and shared his bill of sale, dated April 16, 1964. It got Wise rather curious, so he dug up some of their old paperwork that they had saved from the sale of their Mustang, and sure enough, Gail’s bill of sale was dated, a day earlier – April 15, 1964.
After sharing their story and their Mustang with Ford and Mustang clubs, the 1964 convertible belonging to the Wise family was given the title of being the very first Mustang ever sold to the public. To think that it took over 40 years for that little fun-fact to become significant is almost as astonishing as the fact that the very first owner, Gail Wise, still owns that car today.
The Mustang has about 68,000 miles on it, and has gone through a four-year restoration to get it back into good condition. The Wises plan to keep the car, and even though it’s such a significant vehicle in history, they do drive it occasionally, and have no qualms about showing it at local car shows, or cruising around with the grandchildren.
They have yet to get an updated appraisal on the car, it doesn’t seem to be high on their priority list. Tom has stated that he never would have taken it out of the garage if he was overly concerned about it. They like driving it, and they like the fact that they have the very first one ever sold. But unlike some purists, they don’t keep it in a bubble, protecting it from the elements. After all, it was never bought as a memento or collector’s item – it was bought to be driven, and we think it’s pretty cool that after 49 years, Gail and Tom still like to drive the car.
And to think some people would pay up to a million dollars just to get the first C7 convertible Corvette. The original sale price of the Mustang wasn’t discussed in the Yahoo Autos article, but from the sound of it, and the fact that a 1958 Chevy was traded in for $400, the car probably sold for below sticker price.
So what would you do if you had the very first Mustang and you knew that everyone wanted it – would you keep it or sell it? What if you were merely the original owner, would it always have significant meaning to you?