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1964 #212 - First Mustang For Retail Sale
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Incorrect Media Statements

To clarify, there has never been in the past or currently a heated argument between www.classicmusclecars.com and The Henry Ford Museum.
In fact there is no argument at all. We acknowledge that Mustang 100001 is in the museum and it is vin #1. Any controversy that exists on this topic has been fueled by a select few media sources, which have misquoted our representatives or taken statements on our website out of context and not presented the complete story of the Early Mustangs.
We also are puzzled by the confusion that has developed on this topic for two specific reasons:
1) The majority of the facts we have gathered in our research are already well known and discussed in Mustang publications, Mustang Registries, and the internet.
2) Mustang 212 is not a mystery vehicle that has just been discovered. This Convertible is well known in Mustang circles, chronicled in Mustang publications, and entered in Mustang Registries. It was also displayed at the Towe Museum in San Diego, CA for a period of over ten years. It was loaned to Henry Clay Ford’s granddaughter to use at her wedding in December 2006. We have a letter from William Clay Ford thanking the previous owner for use of this historic automobile. It is a part of number 212’s documentation and history.

Our position is simple, clear, and concise. It is not semantics. For years, a story has evolved that on March 9, 1964, Ford powered up the Dearborn assembly line and initiated production of Mustangs for sale to the American public, beginning with 100001. The facts are that prior to the March 9, first day of production for sale to the American public, a group of Mustangs were assembled, known as Pre-Production units. These units are immediately recognizable by a scheduled production date of March 5, 1964 (05C) on the door tag, and a DSO (District Sales Office code) for special use, not for retail sale to one of the District Sales Offices in the United States. There is a distinct and obvious difference between these units. Our research clearly proves that the units did not roll down the assembly line. Rather, these vehicles were assembled randomly, primarily hand built, in the months prior to March 5, 1964, stamped 05C for documentation purposes. There is also proof that these Pre-Production units were randomly numbered, so no one knows which was the first to be assembled.

Our company, which has been in business for 30 years primarily selling muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s, also owns #93 which is a Pre-Production Mustang convertible. We have discovered many facts, through the codes on the vehicle’s radiator support. When it was stripped for restoration, dates and codes were revealed, key facts that prove our car and the other Pre-Production Mustangs were hand built. Also, other important hidden facts about the vehicle’s assembly were revealed when it was dismantled for restoration. These facts support the fact that the Pre-Production Mustangs were hand assembled. In addition, we have examined additional documentation concerning Pre-Production Mustangs, supplied by other Pre-Production Mustangs owners, that supports the hand built theory. A sixty minute documentary on the history of early Mustang production is currently being filmed by NICAB Media. The documentary will offer up proof to substantiate the fact that Pre-Production Mustangs were hand built. This documentary is due to be released in late spring, early summer of 2010.

There were a multitude of uses for these vehicles. Twelve were sent to the Skyway exhibit of the Ford Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. Several were sent to auto racing participants, such as Holman- Moody in North Carolina and Alan Mann Racing in England. Many were exported out of the U.S. for display, promotional and research purposes. Some were used for marketing, research, and testing purposes within the U.S. None were intended for retail sale to the American public, as per the documentation of any 05C car’s DSO. The Skyway exhibit cars even had their own special DSO-840027, which was New York World’s Fair. The Pre Production Mustang’s were to serve their appointed duties, then be returned to Dearborn. Many were modified with experimental components and outfitted with parts clearly noted with Pre-Production Parts decals, (which we have proof of.) The Skyway cars were shipped without engines and transmissions to the World’s Fair to be used as a ride at the Magic Skyway Exhibit in the Ford Pavilion.

An example is 100001. When the door tag is decoded, this car has a DSO of 81, export to Ford of Canada. . It was originally an export car. The DSO on this Convertible is Ford of Canada. Mustang 100001 was shipped to Ford of Canada, to be displayed at Canadian Ford dealers across the country, then returned to Dearborn. It was mistakenly sold to the Canadian pilot by an over zealous salesman. As soon as Ford realized the mistake, they instituted the process of reclaiming it. It took some time, but they acquired it and it is now in the Henry Ford museum. On the other hand, the door tag on Mustang 212 clearly indicates a DSO of 24, the Jacksonville, Florida Retail Sales District.

In conclusion, you cannot correlate Mustang 100001 with 100212. That is comparing apples to oranges. However, it is imperative to understand the clear and distinct differences between the two Convertibles, between a vehicle originally assembled for special use, and a vehicle that rolled off the assembly line for retail sale to the public. The DSO for number 100212 clearly distinguishes “retail sale.” A Pre-Production unit with an 05C scheduled build date and a retail unit with an 09C scheduled build date means that bottom line fact, 09C is the first day that the historical Dearborn plant opened for retail production. 05C are clearly Pre Production Mustangs. The facts are that after 45 years, since March 9, 1964, the earliest known DSO for retail sale, belongs to number 100212, the 1964 1/2 Mustang owned by ClassicMuscleCars.com. Per our research, we guarantee Mustang 100212 is the first Mustang to be issued a VIN number for retail sale on March 9, 1964, the first day of Mustang production at the Dearborn Assembly Line.

If you would like to read a current article out in Muscle Car Review by the editor himself who is a car guy, muscle car, classic muscle car historian, read the editor’s note on page 8 of the March, 2008 issue. This is a responsible article written by a very knowledgeable editor who understands the difference between Pre-Production and retail production.
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1964 * A Press Release Regarding Our Pre Production Mustang Documentary*
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The Birth of the Ford Mustang: History Re-Written

NICAB Media announced that filming for a one hour documentary about the history of early Mustang production will soon be completed. This revealing documentary turned up an unsuspected surprise during its year long filming production schedule.

While ClassicMuscleCars.com TV was filming an early Mustang convertible in Boardman, Ohio in early May of this year, an ABC affiliate, local Youngstown TV station crew and a local newspaper caught wind of the Mustang documentary being filmed in the area. They came out to the filming location and interviewed ClassicMuscleCars.com TV’s host, Tony Begley, about the documentary.

Tony and his crew were filming an early Mustang that had been restored to MCA Gold standards by Nate Miller of Buckeye Automotive Restoration LTD. After the local newspaper article appeared in the Youngstown Vindicator, Nate Miller got a call from a private collector who said he had a pre-production Mustang and would like Nate to look at it for a possible restoration. That phone call to Nate Miller and subsequent phone call from Nate to Tony Begley of ClassicMuscleCars.com has changed the history of early Mustang production forever.

An agreement was made between all parties for ClassicMuscleCars.com TV to film the complete disassembly of this previously unknown pre-production prototype Mustang convertible.

“It was like opening up a time capsule left by the workers that hand-assembled this 05C pre-production Mustang convertible” says Tony Begley. “The characteristics of this hand assembled Mustang convertible have contradicted any prior known history of pre-production Mustangs, convertibles or coupes.

I feel, along with Nate Miller of www.buckeyeresto.com - one of the top early Mustang restorers in the world, that the pre-production Mustang's serial numbers were issued in the order of quality, not by production. The filming of this previously unknown pre-production Mustang convertible with a high VIN number, indicates it is probably one of the first Mustangs built, if not the first, hand assembled with all pre-production parts. This will be clearly evident when the new Mustang documentary is viewed and the comparisons of other pre-production prototype Mustangs that are known to exist are compared to what hand built assembly techniques were used on the newly discovered unknown pre-production convertible” Begley states. “We also have collaborating evidence and photographs from Mustang pre-production convertible #145 that was shipped to France and is still there today.

This car has similar hand-assembly techniques as the newly discovered 05C pre-production prototype Mustang convertible and we feel that this car is also in the elite group of being one of the first few Mustang pre-production convertibles built.

When the film documentary of disassembly of the previously unknown pre-production Mustang convertible is made public, the filmed evidence will overwhelmingly support this theory of pre-production Mustang serial numbers and ultimately rewrite the known history of the pre-production Mustang.” Keep watching ClassicMuscleCars.com website for updates on the release of this historical Mustang documentary.
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1964 212 - A reprint of an editorial from March, 2008 Muscle Car Review Magazine
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Reprinted with permission of the author
editor's note

The $5.5 Million Mustang

This sounds like the result of some frenzied Arizona auction bidding, but it’s actually something quite different. ClassicMuscleCars.com, a musclecar dealership located north of Chicago, has in its inventory a very special ‘64-1/2 Mustang convertible. Wearing a VIN that ends in 100212, this car is, according to Randy Paddock, ClassicMuscleCars.com’s general manager, the first convertible Mustang built for sale to the public, and also the first Mustang sold to the public. Visit the dealership’s Web site (www.classicmusclecars.com), and you’ll see this car available for sale, with a $5,500,000 price tag—or $1,000,000 down and payments of just $42,064.26 per month. (It actually says that on the Web site. We can’t tell if they’re kidding about the payments or not.) Paddock has a sheaf of documentation supporting the car’s history, including the original bill of sale, window sticker, MSO, copies of every title it’s had (the car has passed through seven owners) and even a transcript of an interview with the car’s original salesman. This car didn’t suddenly come out of someone’s shed. It’s well known to the Mustang community and has been in the same owner’s hands since 1982. It spent about 10 years in the Towe Museum, has been featured in magazines and books and was even loaned to William Clay Ford for his grand-daughter’s 2006 wedding. The owner, getting on in years, had reached the point where he “just couldn’t enjoy the car anymore,” said Paddock. After decades of ownership, he put the special Mustang up for sale. Paddock learned about the car’s availability from another broker and bought it. Now, provenance is a mighty thing when it comes to musclecars. Just ask anyone who bought a 1-of-almost-none Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, or a car once owned by a muscle superstar—thelikes of Carroll Shelby or Arnie Beswick. The right pedigree, whether it’s celebrity ownership, extreme rarity or-being considered the “first” or “last” of anything, can make a car that originally sold for $2,400 worth a lot of money. Maybe even $5.5 million. This kind of provenance claim can also attract denials, and such is the case with Number 212. Long-held Mustang history says the first Mustang built, with serial number 100001 on its VIN, was sent on a promotional tour to Canada and was accidentally sold by a dealer who didn’t know the car was anything special. The Ford Motor Company spent a year getting that car back, and it is now in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. So how can Paddock claim his Mustang is the first Mustang sold? It’s all in the wording of the claim. Number 001 now in Ford’s museum was indeed the first Mustang built, but it was a pre-production model, one of between 185 and 200 built to be used for crash testing, promotions, advertising, display at the World’s Fair and to be given to select racing teams. Those cars were never meant to be sold. Number 212, on the other hand, was among the first built on March 9, 1964, when production for retail sale began. The Mustang was pre-ordered by its first owner, who took delivery on the evening of March 16, 1964 (actually, April 16th – correction by C.M.C.), the day before Mustangs officially went on sale. “No matter what some naysayers say, there is a dividing line between pre-production cars that were not originally manufactured for retail sale and cars built for sale,” Paddock told us. “Pré-production is pre-production; built for retail sale is built for retail sale. That’s what ours is.” Number 212 is one of eight very early Mustangs on display at ClassicMuscleCars.com’s showroom, located at 25084 West Old Rand Rd. in Wauconda, Illinois. Others include Number 093, a pre-production convertible; the 40th Mustang to come off the San Jose assembly line; four pace car coupes and the Mustero, “a combination of the Mustang and Ranchero,” Paddock explained. Why has a car dealer amassed such a collection? “Our primary purpose is to get the word out about early, early Mustangs. Unlike with Hemi cars, say, or Chevelle Super Sports, very few know anything about the early Mustangs,” said Paddock. “We’ve seen this from contact we’ve had with people from around the world. They don’t know this story existed. We have a piece of important, historical information in the Number 212 car. It’s an iconic automobile, but no one knows the true history surrounding the beginnings of this vehicle. “Our goal is to wake up the public about these early Mustangs, to set the bar on early-Mustang history,” Paddock said. Well, the $5.5 million price tag sure woke me up. I may have some trouble making that monthly payment, though. Drew Hardin drew.hardin@sourceintertink.com
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1964 212- Photos and Documentation- Only a Partial List of Mustang 212 Provenance
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1) MAIN PHOTO- This is the original bill of sale from Powell Ford in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Invoice date is 4/17/64, the first day Mustangs were offered for sale. However, on the bottom left of the document is a retail delivery date of 4/16/64, one day before availability of the Mustang for sale to the public. This document verifies that the Mustang was delivered one day prior to the sales debut, indicating that Mustang 212 was the first Mustang sold retail to the public. According to historical accounts in the document file, the original owner and his wife went to the dealership the night of April 16 and took delivery of the Mustang, giving up their almost new 1964 Ford Falcon as a trade in.

2) SALESMAN- This photo is of salesman William Rhodes with Mustang 212 at Powell Ford. The picture was taken 21 years after the original sale, in 1985. Mr. Rhodes was still selling Fords at the dealership. Mr. Rhodes is documented as saying he remembered the car very well, and also verified that it was delivered the night of the 16th.

3) LETTER- This is a thank you letter dated 1/16/07 sent by Director Emeritus William Clay Ford to the previous owner of Mustang 212. In this letter Mr. Ford is expressing his appreciation for a kind gesture of the previous owner. Mr. Ford's granddaughter, Kate, was married in Florida in 2006. The Mustang was borrowed by Mr. Ford for the wedding. After the ceremony, Kate and her new husband drove away from the church in this historic automobile.

4) TOWE- The last two photos are part one and two of a letter dated 3/14/94, signed by both the curator and librarian of the Towe Museum in Sacramento, Ca. Mustang 212 was displayed at the Towe Museum on two seperate occassions totaling almost 10 years. In this letter, officials from the Towe Museum are asking permission to remove the Mustang from the museum and transport it to two historical events in conjunction with Mustang's 30th Anniversary- An anniversary car show and an invitation only anniversay display at Senator Ford in Sacramento. In this letter, the official from the Towe Museum states it is of "vital importance" to display the historic Mustang at both events.

5) TOWE 2- This is a conclusion to the letter from the Towe Museum. On this page is a hand written note to the owner from Ernie Hartley, curator of the museum. In this note, Mr. Hartley aludes to the fact that Mustang is still a "show stopper" at the museum.
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1968 AMC AMX Resto is DONE!
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Rare side pipe dealer option, ps, pdb, A/C, aftermarket tach and gauges. T-10 4SPD, limited slip rear end, Magnmun wheels, rust free Calif. car. 343 engine, call ED, 847-526-5950. The restoration is completed! Check out the new video!
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