Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gail Wise's First Mustang Ever Sold -- and a personal note from Ed Garten

Gail Wise, retired Chicago schoolteacher, on her Mustang—believed to be the first one ever sold—as told to A.J. Baime for the Wall Street Journal (November 13, 2013)
“I bought my Mustang on April 15, 1964, for $3,447.50. I had just graduated from Chicago Teachers College and I told a salesman at Johnson Ford on Cicero Avenue that I wanted a convertible. He had none on the floor, but he invited me into the back room, where he had a baby blue convertible under a tarp. And there it was.
I had never heard of the Mustang. It hadn't been launched yet, but they let me drive it out of the showroom that night. Everyone stared at me. I felt like a movie star! Two days later, Lee Iacocca unveiled the Mustang to the rest of the world at the New York World's Fair.
In 1979, the car's battery got stolen and my husband, Tom, put the Mustang in the garage. It stayed there until 2006, when he fully restored it. A year later, Tom was reading a story about a Mustang purchased the day after I bought mine; that owner claimed to be the first buyer. This summer we brought the Mustang to a car show in Dearborn, Mich., where we met some Ford executives. The car was a hit, and that was the beginning of Ford recognizing us as owners of the first Mustang ever sold.”
Note: A Ford spokesman says Ms. Wise's paperwork convinced the company hers was the first known retail purchase of a Mustang.

A Personal Note from Ed Garten: In May of 1964, my stepfather’s sister purchased an early 1964 Mustang coupe in light blue.  In backwoods West Virginia where we lived the car was the talk of the town and everyone wanted a ride in it.  This was one of the last cars purchased from the Ford dealership owned by my grandfather Garten since in late 1964 he sold the small dealership and retired to Florida.  My late uncle told me that the dealership sold only two Mustangs that first year

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