This is the First Mustang Sold in the U.S.

By Tori T.

Gail Wise walked into a Ford dealership looking for a convertible to drive around Chicago, where she lived and worked after having just graduated from college. They didn’t have any such models, save for one car tucked quietly away in back. She bought it on the spot.

It wasn’t until the moment she drove it off the lot that she had an inkling she might be behind the wheel of something special. Two days later that was confirmed: Almost 50 years ago, and two days before it officially went on the market, Gail took ownership of the very first Ford Mustang sold in the U.S.

She still owns it today, and it wears only 68,000 original miles. “I didn’t go shopping for a Mustang,” she told Ford Social. “I don’t recall any hype” surrounding the much- anticipated all-new sports car. Hers was a top-of-the-line model, with bucket seats and V-8. But what truly appealed to her was it was a convertible, since that was the style of car she was used to driving since her family had already been both convertible and Blue Oval fans forever, having a ’49 Ford and a ’57 Ford Fairlane.

Back in the day, Gail used the Mustang as a commuter car for work and to visit friends, and once she was married, her husband Tom also put it through regular driving in the mid to late ‘70s. But then some minor mechanical problems forced him to push it into the garage, where it sat for 27 years. “I was always a car guy, so I told my wife that this could be a good retirement project for me,” Tom recalled. And so, he handled some of the work himself, while a restoration shop did the major part of the overhaul; the restoration was completed in 2007. Not long after, while researching Mustangs,Tom stumbled across someone claiming to own the first one sold in the U.S. That person’s paperwork showed the sale of April 16. Gail’s paperwork showed hers as April 15.

This special Mustang has lived quite the life since being pulled out of the garage and having its true history revealed. It is seeing road time once again, taking Gail and Tom to local car shows where they and the car are a hit with the crowd. They even took it to the Ford Dearborn campus in August 2013, where the couple and car mingled with executives from Ford.

With the Mustang’s 50th anniversary coming up in April 2014, we asked Gail and Tom why they thought the Mustang was so timeless. “People today relate to a car from the ‘60s. It’s not real old and people say, ‘My dad had one’ or ‘I drove one in college.'” Added Gail, “Everybody has somebody who has that car, and so many people have them in their garage that they’re going to fix up one day, too!”
SFP 12/26/2013

Are you really going to argue with the company that actually built the car? I think they would know...
pat 10/23/2013
Congrats, Gail on buying the first Mustang, ever built. You made a wise decision. Better yet,you have that same Mustang, and restored it . Good for you . Enjoy !. I, too, am a Mustang lover. I do not have my first Mustang,a 1969 Mach 1. But, now have a 2009 Mustang. I enjoy having my Mustang back . Cruising, like I did, in my glory days . See you on the road.
Good for them! Mine is a 1966 Fastback and I can't get any info on it. However, it is in the process of home restoration and I hope someday it will look as good as theirs does!
Phil R 10/23/2013
Way to go Gail and Tom ,you sure have a Jewel of a Mustang there.I owned a 1969 fastback while I served our Country during the Vietnam era. She saw some storage time,but was ready to go when the door was opened,Sad to say,but it was totaled in an accident in 1974 and I had a couple of other Mustangs afterward,but none compaired to the 69. Great story and Great Car.
John Gafeller 10/23/2013
I thought 1964 1/2 were the first V8 Mustangs, First ones to come out in 1964 were all 6 cyl.
JBS 10/23/2013
Glad she hung on to the Mustang for so long.
Too many stories of the cars people once had and sadly let go.
This is the First Mustang Sold in the U.S.
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