In 2002, Perry Los Camp was working at his restoration shop, Perry's Pony Express on Long Island, when a green '64 1/2 Mustang convertible rolled into the parking lot. The back seat was filled with boxes of new upholstery and the owner was looking for someone to replace the original seat covers.
"He told me he planned to restomod the car," Perry says. "He'd already installed Torq-Thrust wheels and said he wanted to replace the original drivetrain with a 351W with a five-speed. But when I saw the leather upholstery and blank color code on the data plate, I figured it might have been a prototype or factory show car."
Further investigation revealed that the car was loaded with options, including the D-code (four-barrel) 289, air conditioning, Rally-Pak, console, and power steering and brakes. It was also a fairly early production Mustang, built on May 25, 1964, less than three months after Mustang production began. The six-digit DSO beginning with 84 told Perry that the car had been special-ordered for Ford Motor Company use. The blank color code, of course, indicated special paint.
Perry suggested that the owner might want to hold off on his restomod plans due to the car's special characteristics. Perry recalls that the owner replied, "If I can't restomod it, I'll sell it."
About six months later, he did sell the Mustang-to Perry, who has spent the past seven years trying to figure out the history of his unique '641/2 Mustang convertible. It appears that the leather upholstery, which also covers the door panels and console, is original to the car. Retired Ford designer Skip Wells inspected the car during an All-Ford Nationals at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, telling Perry that the Mustang has many Ford Design Studio nuances. Perry has also heard a rumor that Ford gave a green Mustang to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. The previous owner told Perry that he purchased the car at a Long Island auto auction in the late 1970s, about the time of Rockefeller's death.
Currently, the car remains in mostly original condition. Perry replaced the Torq-Thrust wheels with factory Styled Steel wheels; he thinks the car possibly came with wire wheel covers. During the Mustang 40th anniversary in 2004, when Perry was serving as president of the Mustang and Shelby Club of Long Island, Ford asked him to bring his Mustang to New York City for a Good Morning America segment with a new '05 Mustang. At that point, Perry and six buddies stripped the body for a repaint prior to the car's appearance on national TV. "Apparently the car had been repainted in a darker shade of green after an accident," Perry says. "When we pulled the interior panels, we found the original green underneath. We were able to match it." Perry still doesn't know the name of the original paint.
Because records for pre-'66 Fords were destroyed, Perry can't verify his Mustang's heritage through a Marti Report or other factory documentation. However, Mustang Monthly Senior Editor Jim Smart has acquired Ford DSO information and hopes to be able to learn more about Perry's '64 1/2, and other special-order Mustangs, when he converts the old micro-film to a readable format.
In the meantime, Perry's goal is to maintain and preserve his special paint, special interior convertible. If anyone has knowledge about the car's history, please contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get the info to Perry.