Early Production Find
Unlike our other treasure hunters, Todd Adams knew he had an early '64 1/2 hardtop tucked away in a friend's barn. He just didn't know the significance of 5F07U100211 until recently.
While checking out online auction results for last January's Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Todd saw reference to a Mustang that was built on March 9, 1964, the first day of regular Mustang production. It occurred to him that his car had a lower VIN, so he posted his info on the Vintage Mustang Forum (www.vintage-mustang.com). He was surprised to learn that, to date, his Mustang has the lowest VIN of any Mustang built on March 9.
As Senior Editor Jim Smart pointed out in April's article about Bruce Beeghly's '64 1/2 convertible, 5F08F100140, Ford built approximately 150-180 pre-production Mustangs, all with an "05C" (March 5) date code, although many were built prior to that date. Mustang 100001, now at the Henry Ford Museum, and units 100003-100114, which were sent to Ford's Magic Skyway exhibit at the New York World's Fair, came from the pre-production run. Regular Mustang production began on March 9, although there is nothing to document the VIN numbers, including which car came off the line first. In fact, we do not know the whereabouts of approximately 38 VINs between 100173, the last known pre-production car, and Todd's 100211, now the earliest known regular production car.
Todd purchased his six-cylinder hardtop in 1986 with the intention of restoring it. "I knew it was a 'first day' car when I bought it," Todd says, "but I never considered that 211 was a low enough number to have much significance. After getting the car home, it became clear that the project was out of my league financially and technically." He drove the car daily for a while before parking it in a barn at a friend's farm in North Carolina about 10 years ago.
After learning about the car's significance from VMF members, Todd enlisted Mustang Club of America head judge Charles Turner to verify the car, then moved it to a safer location as he makes plans for the car's future. Until 210 or earlier turns up, Todd's '64 1/2 remains the earliest known VIN built on the first day of regular production.
To learn more about the car and to view more photos, visit Todd's website at www.mustang211.com.
Donny Carrol has collected Fords since 1966. You'll find remnants of his enthusiasm at his rural residence on the outskirts of Lubbock, Texas. When the first gas crunch hit in 1973, he started collecting big-block muscle cars. "I knew they were going to be worth something one day," he says.
He was right. While others panicked and sold their iron, Donny bought every big-block he could find, including Corvettes, even though he was a "Ford man." In 1974, he picked up a Cobra Jet '69 Mach 1 for $650. He showed me the car in his packed storage shed. As we spoke, his son drove up in a '68 Shelby GT500 fastback, a car that Donny bought in 1988 during a friend's divorce.
Donny retired in 1988 and sold several of his cars. What he has left are mere remnants, but good stuff. They are not advertised for sale, but Donny is like a lot of other collectors--he'll sell a car or two here and there to somebody who really wants to restore it.
Over the years, Donny has...
Over the years, Donny has stacked upholstery and stuff over the '69 Cobra Jet Mach 1. However, he did protect the surface with a car cover.
This '68 coupe came with the...
This '68 coupe came with the rare X-code 390, a two-barrel big-block.
Donny drove to Kentucky in...
Donny drove to Kentucky in 1988 to purchase this Boss 302 for $1,500. A grass fire has accelerated the rust problems, but Donny plans to use parts from another '70 fastback to make this car whole.
Mark Young and a buddy were hunting old cars and parts in junkyards. They got off the beaten path in the boondocks and fell down the rabbit hole into an "Alice in Car Wonderland" of vintage Mustangs, Shelbys, and assorted high-performance Fords.
The location remains a secret for now, but the pictures speak for themselves. To see a red '67 Shelby GT500 sinking into the ground, covered with leaves and debris beneath a canopy of trees outside a rural farmhouse far from the main road and virtually inaccessible to the public, is the kind of pure serendipity every car collector dreams about.
Next to the GT500 is a '67 390 GT fastback. Near the side of a garage Mark eyed a Grabber Orange '69 Shelby GT500. Mark knocked on the door and was given permission to look at the cars. However, the cars did not belong to the elderly couple there. Their son owned the vehicles and he lived about five miles down the road.
With directions, Mark and his buddy drove to his house to find more cars, including a 427 GT-E Cougar under a lean-to. The man was cordial and explained he had parked the cars at his parents' farm. He enjoyed owning them, but not necessarily driving them. Over the years, he bought and simply parked these amazing performance Mustangs and Fords.
The '67 GT500 was running...
The '67 GT500 was running when parked, circa 1977.
This '69 Shelby GT500 is factory...
This '69 Shelby GT500 is factory Grabber Orange with white interior. Leaves covered a major portion of the 428 Cobra Jet under the hood.