Married couple Gail and Tom Wise had a bit of a disagreement as to whether they should keep their broken-down vehicle to store (in hopes that it could be fixed someday), or sell it as junk parts. Tom insisted on keeping the blue Ford Mustang convertible, which Gail purchased in 1964 at 22 years age, while his wife wanted it out of the garage. It just stopped running one day and Tom believed he would get around to fixing it at some point; after all, the car had served their family of six well, for about 15 years.
Sadly, the car sat in the garage for years, until Tom retired and finally found the time to fix it. He hopped on the Internet to look for parts and realized that someone else with a similar car claimed to be the first-ever Mustang owner.
USA Today reported that Tom approached Gail and realized she had purchased her Mustang a day earlier than what the other owner had claimed. Her date of purchase was April 15, 1964; while the other driver had a date of April 16th of that year. Tom found the receipt, and reached out to some experts when it comes to collector cars, Hagerty Classic Insurance. The couple learned that a paper trail is a must in these kinds of situations.
With Ford celebrating its 10 millionth Mustang produced, Wise and her Mustang are now in the spotlight, both at the auto maker’s headquarters recently, where the convertible is currently on display.
Wise purchased the car with the help of her parents, who lent her the money. A new grade-school teacher still living at home, she went to the dealership with her dad, looking for a convertible. Sadly, they didn’t have one on the floor, but the dealer took the two to the back room and showed them the Mustang, and Wise was immediately sold.
Interestingly enough, while at that time new vehicles always came out in September, Ford was looking to shock the public at that point with a new-car reveal in April. The automaker had sent out some of these Mustangs to dealerships across the United States so there would be something to ‘show’ after Lee Iacocca announced the Mustang at the 1964 New York World’s Fair on April 17th. It was supposed to be top secret, as per Wise, as it was two days before the big reveal, but the dealer sold her the car anyways. Commercials back then advertised the Mustang ‘coming’, but did not reveal the car’s design, so it was a big deal when Wise drove home in the convertible that day.
Some two years later, she married, bought a house, and used the convertible as a family car to take her four kids around in.
While Gail insisted on selling the car, Tom insisted on keeping it as a retirement project over the years, and with just 68,000 miles on it, fully restored, the vehicle is estimated at about $350,000 to $450,000.
Bet she’s glad she listened to him after all!