Mustang Is 50

The Henry Ford hits the road with two iconic American cars
as part of its first national OnWheels Tour

Mustang Serial Number One

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible, Serial Number One – gas cap

On April 17, 1964, something monumental happened in America. Ford dealerships across the country were stockpiling 22,000 orders for the same vehicle. People were flocking to showrooms, entering into heated bidding wars over one car. Some even insisted on sleeping the night on dealership premises, inside their new dream car, until checks cleared and keys were exchanged.

It was the day the Ford Mustang officially went on sale, and immediately it seemed an American icon was born. It was the first of the American pony cars. It was symbolic of the free-spirited, “want to stand out” nature of a country and its people. It changed the way we thought about cars and who should be driving them — not just Dad, but everyone. Nearly 420,000 were sold that first year, and the Mustang has been in continuous production ever since. Today, more than 9.2 million Mustangs have been produced and sold.

As we celebrate Mustang this year, we want you to get involved, too. Get up close and under the hoods with the original Mustang I Roadster concept car and Mustang Serial Number One at The Henry Ford, home of the world’s premier automotive exhibit. One grand-prize winner will receive a VIP experience for four — including a professional photo shoot with the Mustangs, behind-the-scenes tour with expert curators and a preview of the 2015 North American International Auto Show. A package valued at more than $18,000 (round-trip air travel and hotel included).*

One hundred first-prize winners will receive a Driving America book, the visually stunning tribute to all things automotive in The Henry Ford’s exhibit of the same name. Enter for your chance to
win now through September 30, 2014, at

Learn more about the history behind this iconic car.

Mustang Serial Number One

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible, Serial Number One (Object ID: 66.47.1)

The 1965 Mustang Serial Number One
When Stanley Tucker, a Canadian airline pilot, saw a sleek new Mustang convertible at George Parsons Ford in St. Johns, Newfoundland, in 1964, he knew he had to have it. Unfortunately, the car was not meant to be sold to customers. It was one of 180 early examples of the car that was meant for internal testing and promotional purposes. It was never supposed to leave
the showroom.

Didn’t matter. Tucker was convincing and the dealership caved. Tucker drove away in Ford Mustang Serial Number 5F08F100001.

A couple weeks later, Ford Motor Company realized the significance of a certain sale in Newfoundland. George Parsons Ford had inadvertently sold Mustang Serial Number One to a customer. Ford officials quickly reached out to Tucker looking to strike a deal. But Tucker was having so much fun with his new car, he declined to sell it back.

It took Ford two years to change Tucker’s mind. In March 1966, Tucker finally brought Mustang Serial Number One back to Dearborn in exchange for the keys to the one millionth Mustang produced, another convertible.

Mustang Serial Number One

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible, Serial Number One (THF79078)

Soon after the trade, Ford donated Mustang Serial Number One to The Henry Ford, and it has been on the floor of Henry Ford Museum since 1984, traveling for special events every so often. Operable, the car will run by its own power during Motor Muster in Greenfield Village, June 14-15, 2014.


  • Engine: V-8, overhead valves, 260 cubic inches
  • Transmission: 3-speed automatic
  • Horsepower: 164 @ 4400 rpm
  • Weight: 2,740 pounds
  • Pounds per horsepower: 16.7

Did You Know?
The original inspiration for the Mustang name was the P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft, but Ford Motor Company didn’t want its sports car associated with an airplane. It was soon decided that the image of an untamed, spirited wild Mustang was a more-than-adequate backup.

1962 Mustang I Roadster

1962 Mustang I Roadster (THF90666)

The 1962 Ford Mustang I Roadster Concept Car
Are you looking at this Mustang concept and thinking it doesn’t really look anything like the Ford Mustangs you’re familiar with? That’s because the 1962 Ford Mustang I Roadster isn’t part of the iconic production pony car’s story. Well, Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford, said you might be able to get away with calling the Mustang I a cousin, thanks to a few small features echoed in the iconic production model we all know and love. Take a close look at the roadster’s logo, parking lights and the C-shaped side-mounted vent on the back fender. Intentional similarities or the world’s greatest coincidences?

The 1962 Mustang I was a completely separate project from the 1965 Mustang, with different design objectives. “Ford never had any intention of putting this car into production,” said Anderson. Ford’s intention for the vehicle was to make people think of Ford as an exciting, forward-thinking company. And it worked. The car was as fast as it looked, and when Ford debuted it on the racetrack at the 1962 United States Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York (driven by road-racing champ Dan Gurney), the people and the press loved it. Every major car magazine clamored to feature the car.

The Henry Ford acquired the 1962 roadster in 1974, long after its show and promotional days were done. Ford designers had hid it in a trailer so it wouldn’t go to the scrap heap like most concept cars did back then. The car was restored for exhibition in 1980. Now, it’s ready to travel the country, on display for the THF OnWheels Tour.


  • Engine: 60-degree V-4, 91 cubic inches
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 109 @ 6400 rpm
  • Weight: 1,544 pounds
  • Pounds per horsepower: 14.2

THF OnWheels

THF OnWheels Tour
In 2014, The Henry Ford is kicking off a celebratory nod to 50 years of Mustang with the THF OnWheels Tour. Where can you find us? Take a look.

JANUARY 10-26, 2014
North American International Auto Show
Detroit, Michigan
CAR: Mustang Serial Number One and Mustang I Roadster Concept Car

APRIL 17-20, 2014
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, North Carolina
CAR: Mustang I Roadster Concept Car

APRIL 17-20, 2014
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
CAR: Mustang Serial Number One

JUNE 14-15, 2014
Motor Muster in Greenfield Village
Dearborn, Michigan
CAR: Mustang Serial Number One and Mustang I Roadster Concept Car

AUGUST 17, 2014
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Pebble Beach, California
CAR: Mustang Serial Number One

Visit for tour updates, Mustang specs and more. Sign up for THF OnWheels and receive invitations to private OnWheels subscriber meet-ups at the Charlotte and Vegas events. Subscribe at It’s free!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (including D.C., excluding New York and Florida) 18 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 9/30/2014. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit Sponsor: The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124.

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