The Couple With The First Ford Mustang Ever Sold
It was a broken-down car sitting in their garage. Gail and Tom Wise disagreed about what to do with it. Their debate centered around keeping the car that had been stored in the family’s garage or over 26 years or selling it for junk. Tom wanted to keep the vehicle. He told Gail that one day he would have the time to fix it himself. The vehicle was a Ford Mustang. Gail had purchased the car in 1964 when she was 22 years old. Their family had driven it for 15 years.
One day the Mustang stopped running. It then sat in the family’s garage until Tom retired. He began searching for parts for the car over the internet. During his search, Tom saw a story about a person with a similar Mustang. This person claimed to be the first owner of a Mustang. They purchased their vehicle on April 16, 1964.
Tom approached Gail about it. He told her he believed she had purchased her Mustang on April 15, 1964, a day earlier. He began his search for the receipt in their basement. He found it and the original owner’s manual. This confirmed Gail had purchased her car on April 15, 1964. They contacted Hagerty Classic Insurance. These are experts in the field of collector cars. Gail and Tom learned that having a proper paper trail was important.
Gail Wise realized they had everything they needed to prove she purchased the first Mustang. At that time, they didn’t know their vehicle was anything special. They decided to keep the registered owners manual and the new car invoice. Ford recently celebrated production of its 10 millionth Mustang. Gail Wise was invited to the company’s headquarters. Her Mustang was put on public display. Their paper trail proved they had the first Mustang ever sold.
Gail was a new elementary school teacher in 1964. She was living with her parents. They agreed to lend her money for a new car. Gail and her parents went to Johnson Ford to find a vehicle. After telling the salesman she wanted a convertible, he informed her they had none on the floor. He took her back to see two Mustangs. One was a hard top he didn’t even show her. The other one was a Mustang convertible and she took it.
Shock The World
When Gail purchased the Mustang it was common for car companies to provide their new cars at the end of September. Ford had a desire in 1964 to shock the world. They revealed their new vehicles in April of that year. The goal was for salespeople to have a Mustang to show when the car was displayed on April 17, 1964, at the New York World’s Fair.
Gail married Tom two years after purchasing the Mustang. They used the Mustang as their family car, During this time, Tom was driving the Mustang to and from work. One day, she noticed him pushing it into their garage. Gail wanted to get rid of the Mustang. She felt they needed space for their children’s things. Tom told her it was a project for his retirement. To keep the Mustang, Tom built an addition onto their two-car garage. The car currently has 68,000 original miles on it.
Gail tells people when she was single and young, she really enjoyed driving the Mustang. It was a time when highways were new and there was little or no traffic. When she first saw the car, she loved the transmission on the floor as well as bucket seats and more. Their Mustang is now fully restored. It has not been modified or altered. According to a spokesman from Hagerty Classic Insurance, the vehicle originally sold for less than $3,500 and now could be worth as much as $450,000.
A representative from Hagerty Classic Insurance explains it can be a challenge to put an accurate value on a vehicle that has such a unique story. The Mustang’s valuable provenance, as well as being owned by the original owners, is special. Having it be the first Ford Mustang ever sold puts it in a class all by itself.
When Mustang was released in 1964, it proved to be a global sensation. The design, as well as development of the vehicle, was done by young professional people. Ford exceeded all its estimates. Over 600,000 were sold the first year it was in production. It was a time when Baby boomers were coming of age. There was a sense of optimism in American and the Mustang was the right vehicle for the time.
Today, the garage of Gail and Tom Wise has a 2015 Ford Edge as well as a 2013 Ford Escape. Tom is an electrical engineer. He believes it is amazing how Mustangs have continuously been built for so many decades. Gail and Tom find it difficult to believe they actually stacked lawn chairs and other things on the Mustang. Tom now drives the Mustang because Gail doesn’t want to be the person who accidentally puts a dent in it.