How one man owned both the first and the millionth Mustang built
Long before the debut of the Ford Mustang on April 17, 1964, the assembly line was already cranking out thousands of the all new pony car, and dealers throughout the United States were already receiving the Mustang in anticipation of showing them off on the launch date. Many of the early pre-production Mustangs were not supposed to go to dealers, though, but instead were to be used for promotional purposes and were usually kept within Ford for various testing and marketing.
It turns out that one of those early models was a Wimbledon White convertible wearing serial number 5F08F100001, and instead of being kept within Ford it was accidentally delivered to George Parsons Ford in Canada. While on display at the dealership the car caught the attention of a Canadian airline pilot named Capt. Stanley Tucker, and he knew he had to have it. He talked the dealership into selling it to him and drove away in his new white Mustang convertible. This was just one of the near 22,000 Mustangs that were sold that first weekend of sales.
At first it seemed like just another Mustang being sold to another happy customer, but very soon Ford and the folks back at headquarters in Dearborn realized that there was something extremely special about the car that Capt. Tucker had purchased. After it was confirmed what had taken place, Ford officials knew that this was Mustang number 1, the first Mustang produced, and that the car was not supposed to be sold. Ford contacted Capt. Tucker and tried to convince him to sell the car back to them, but he wasn’t interested. He was having too much fun driving his new convertible.
Capt. Tucker had already driven the car approximately 10,000 miles when Ford reached out to him again in the winter of 1965. However, this time they had an enticing incentive. Ford offered up an all-new 1966 Mustang optioned with anything Capt. Tucker wanted in exchange for Mustang number 1. He eventually accepted the deal, and picked up his new 1966 silver frost convertible with with the newer 289ci V8 and C4 Cruise-O-Matic transmission as it rolled off the assembly line. This wasn’t just any 1966 Mustang Convertible, though, as it was also the one millionth Mustang produced.
So what happened to Mustang number 1? Shortly after the trade took place Ford shipped the car back to Dearborn where it was donated to the Henry Ford Museum, its new permanent home. It was freshened up with a new coat of paint and has remained in the museum since.