A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £23,625
The Ford Mustang was conceived in the full knowledge that in the mid-'60s, the biggest population bubble in history was now coming of age in America, 'baby boomers' would rule the 1960s and there was little or no reason to think they wanted to drive cars that were anything like the ones their parents owned.
Lee Iacocca, Ford's then General Manager, commissioned his design team to come up with a two-seat roadster that would compete with popular European cars as well as Chevrolet's Corvette Sting Ray. A design team headed by Iacocca's assistant manager and engineer, Donald Frey, was formed and the new project was entitled "T-5". After some consideration, it was agreed that a crossbreed roadster and Ford Falcon would be more suitable to modern demands considering that the Thunderbird, which was Ford's most recent two-seater car, did not fare very well at all with sales way below expectations. The T-5 team were given a new design commission and Lee Iacocca gave much credit to the efforts of stylist David Ash for making the renamed "Mustang" the most incredible success.
In early 1964, production was being ramped up for the launch of, confusingly, the '1965 Ford Mustang' which was the title the car enjoyed in all its marketing and advertising. As if the excitement and the potential order numbers from dealers increasing exponentially was not enough, the new design was honoured by being named the 'Pace Car' for the imminent 'Indy 500' and Ford stepped up production even further to meet the anticipated demand. A special convertible version fitted with the 289cid V8 was adapted as the "Pacer" and it was finished in Wimbledon White with a Guardsman Blue stripe on the bonnet and boot. Not being a company known for missing opportunities, Ford also made 230 extra 'pace car replicas' available in convertible and hardtop form. The "64 and a 1/2" convertibles (as they became known) were fitted with the 289cid V8, and the hardtops came with the slightly less powerful 260 V8. Thirty-five convertibles were sold to dealerships and 195 hardtops were given out in dealer competitions. Towards the end of 1964, Ford made some changes to the 1965 model-year Mustang and these cars are now known as "late '65" cars with earlier vehicles (built between March 1964 and 17th August 1964) widely referred to as "early 1965 or 1964 1/2 Mustangs". This all may seem a bit trivial, however, amongst enthusiasts and collectors it's the purity of the early cars that makes them the most desirable and they do tend to command a premium.
Offered here is indeed one of those early cars and we can tell from the body and chassis plates that it was two-door convertible built on the 9th of July 1964 at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan plant, finished in Poppy Red with a White Vinyl interior with black trim. It was fitted with a 4.3-litre (260ci) V8, three-speed transmission, and a 3.00/1 axle ratio and standard differential. When completed it was despatched to Distribution Centre No.22 in Charlotte, North Carolina and onwards to its first owner. This lovely Mustang was imported to the UK in 2014 and has been enjoyed by our vendor as part of his collection. The V5c and the HPI Certificate clearly state that the engine is 4.7-litres (289ci) and we are currently trying to establish whether the larger engine was optioned from new, fitted later, or whether the import documentation was incorrect. Either way, this is a superb example of the rare 1964.5 Convertible in a classic colour scheme and has patently been well looked after. It will benefit from a fresh MOT just prior to the sale.