The First Mustang Hardtop
Still here for the world to enjoy
Story Bob Fria - February 05, 2014 10:00 AM
The highly anticipated 50th anniversary of the Mustang could never have happened without a strong beginning, a beginning that survives today
The great-grandfather of over nine million Mustangs is still with us. A long documented history supports VIN 5F07U100002 with the authenticated title of “First pre-production Ford Mustang hardtop to receive a VIN number”. The hardtop is the twin brother of the “First pre-production Ford Mustang convertible”, VIN number 5F08F100001, owned by the Henry Ford Museum.
According to Ford Motor Company, the first production Mustang was formally rolled off the assembly line on Monday, March 9, 1964 at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan, assembly plant, located 12 miles from Detroit in the massive Rouge Industrial Complex.
Prior to the first production car roll off, Ford built a number of “pre-production” cars to implement assembly line procedures and to provide vehicles for testing and company internal use. There were approximately 180 pre-production Mustangs off the assembly line by March, the end date for pre-production vehicles.
The first pre-production hardtop, a Caspian Blue Mustang, assigned VIN 5F07U100002, was built on the first day of pre-production, February 10, after its pilot plant-built partially completed chassis was relocated to the Dearborn assembly line for final assembly. Out of all of those first day cars known to exist, this 002 car was the only one to be painted blue. It also was the only one known with a six-cylinder engine.
The first two Mustangs assigned VIN numbers were built with eventual sale in Canada. The Wimbledon White convertible, VIN 5F08F100001, was the other car. As to why the first two cars were sent to Canada, only an educated guess can be made. Ford was planning a spectacular Mustang introduction to the public internationally on the evening of April 16, at which time the actual car would be shown for the first time to millions of viewers at home on their televisions. In order to be sure that Mustangs were available to be seen in dealerships the very next day, it was imperative that key dealerships had at least one car on display in their showroom.
According to M. C. W. “Moe” Grant, then general manager of Whitehorse Motors in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, this Mustang was sent to his dealership by mistake and arrived in May of 1964. Wayne McKenna, the Whitehorse Motors salesman who first sold the car, states the Mustang was never ordered by his dealership. There was an error made by the shipping company in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the car was dispatched from there to his dealership in the Yukon.
Read Bob Fria’s complete story in the April issue of Cars & Parts, on sale Feb. 25.