Sweet 16 Mustang

Low Mileage Beauty

John Gunnell - June 11, 2014 10:05 AM


For 16 model years old, it's nearly as close to new as possible

Courtesy of John Gunnell

The engine is still waiting for the end of its break-in period.

Courtesy of John Gunnell

The odometer reading is lower than most trip meter readings. The car hasn't made it to one "fill up" point.

Courtesy of John Gunnell

Image 1 of 3

      Sixteen model years have passed since the Christinsons’ 1999 Mustang was new….sort of. More accurately, 16 model years have passed since the car was made. Marc’s 35th Anniversary Mustang convertible is, by some definition, still new. It only has 136.7 miles on its odometer!
      The car is not one of the 5,000 Limited Edition models made in 1999, but it does have the beautiful wreath-design front fender emblems that feature a solid ring encircling the classic running horse and a tri-color bar. In 1989, Ford had been criticized in the press for “forgetting” the Mustang’s 25th anniversary, So, in 1999, Ford gave fans of the marque a year-long surprise party. All Mustangs (whether powered by the V-6 or V-8) were 35th Anniversary models.
      James Sarria was a electrical engineer working for Ford International at the time the 35th Anniversary Mustangs came out. He was involved with supplying batteries for cars exported to other countries since they were shipped overseas without batteries in them. He was also Christinson’s wife’s uncle.
      Sarria was near retirement and had plans. Around 2000, he bought his wife Marian a T-Bird convertible. Then, he started looking for a ragtop for himself so they could tour together. His buddy was in charge of selling used cars from Ford’s corporate fleet. He told Sarria about a Performance Red ragtop that had spent the last year on display at Ford International Headquarters in Dearborn.
      The car had never been used and was for sale for $20,000. Sarria bought the car, but then his wife got sick with cancer. She passed away and he fell into a state of depression. He developed congestive heart failure and moved to an assisted living facility before he also died. Both convertibles remained in their possession, but sat, under custom made car covers, not being used. The T-Bird still has very low miles. The Mustang has traveled only 136.7 miles in 16 years.
      Christinson got the car from the estate, He has put only about three miles on it, driving it to a shop that checked it over for him. The shop ran the VIN and told him that the car is the 35th car made in the 35th anniversary year. Mechanics who went over the car said there was not even dust in the engine compartment. It is brand new in every sense except for the number of years that have passed, The red body and beige convertible top are like new, the interior looks like it did when the car rolled off the line. The engine bay is spotless. Christinson has complete documentation for the car and it even wears Sarria’s Michigan plates.
      In addition to the Performance Red paint, the car has the 4.6-liter V-8, power seats, power steering and brakes, a high level audio system, and a host of other options because it was a special display unit. Christinson, a school system administrator, wants to sell the car and thinks it might be worth at least double what it sold for new. With 2014 generating tons of excitement over the Mustang’s 50th birthday, who knows what a car that’s probably the only “new” 35th Anniversary model around may bring? One thing’s for sure,,,the car is Sweet 16!