A Fun Ride
Mike Zwirlein and his wife...
Mike Zwirlein and his wife Lynette with Marc Snyder's Mustang
Original '64½ owner Mike Zwirlein made it to Birmingham but was unable to bring his car, a Caspian Blue hardtop that he bought on August 15, 1964, because he is currently putting the car back into driving condition.
"I visited my local Ford dealer on April 17, 1964, for the Mustang's introduction," Mike tells us. "There was no question that it would be my next car. I placed an order on April 21 for a Caspian Blue hardtop with a 260 because the 289 Hi-Po wasn't available until June 1. The scheduled delivery date was an overly optimistic six to eight weeks, so I planned a summer cross-country drive in late July. The delivery date, along with my vacation plans, was delayed twice."
While still waiting for his ordered Mustang, the dealer called to say that a shipment of new Mustangs had just arrived. "One was Caspian Blue. I got there just as it was coming off the truck. Three people were arguing over who was first in line if I didn't take it. It was just like the car I had ordered, plus it had the D-code 260 and a four-speed, which I hadn't ordered to save money. The dealer said he wouldn't charge for the 'extras,' so I took delivery the next evening for $3,158."
Mike drove the Mustang for 10 days before embarking on his trip from Connecticut to California. "That was a good thing because a rear axle seal had to be replaced."
The Mustang was Mike's daily driver until 1978 when he got a company car. Placed in storage with 124,000 miles, the Mustang was only recently pulled out for refurbishment.
Mike sums up his 45 years of ownership: "It sure has been a fun ride!"
Editor's Note: We'd like to thank Marc Snyder and Kathy Miller for their efforts in pulling together the Original Owner group for the 45th Mustang Anniversary Celebration, and for helping us compile photos and information for this article. As Kathy explains, "It was a wonderful opportunity to learn the history of each of these Mustang owners. It was a chronicle of our lives and how and why we kept our Mustangs. We would like to establish the ability to leave a legacy with our cars and pass it on to our children to maintain the Mustang's unique place in the American auto industry."