Editor’s note: The ClassicCars.com Journal will be covering all of the action during Arizona Auction Week in Scottsdale, Arizona. Check out our other coverage here.
The first Ford Mustang hardtop built as a pre-production car is a Plain Jane base model in Caspian Blue and powered by a 170cid inline-6 with three-speed manual transmission. But it is the first one to be assigned a serial number – 5F07U100002 – making it special indeed as the world’s earliest Mustang hardtop.
The car was hand-assembled in early 1964 at the Ford Allen Park Pilot Plant in Michigan and is one of three pilot-plant Mustangs known to exist. The car bearing VIN 0001 is a white convertible that is kept at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.
These pilot cars marked the beginning of the pony-car revolution and were the first of the millions of Mustangs produced, and still being built today.
The historic pre-production hardtop will be offered at no reserve during Barrett-Jackson’s signature Scottsdale Auction, to be held January 12-20, 2019, at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“This special Mustang has been restored to factory new specifications, with all major components having matching numbers,” Barrett-Jackson says in its catalog description. “Included with the First Ford Mustang Hardtop is a set of two binders containing ownership and condition affidavits from all previous owners, along with photos, statements and signatures from high-profile originators of the Mustang, including Lee Iacocca, Hal Sperlich, Don Frey, Gale Halderman and others.
“The binders also include the vast provenance documentation confirming the entire history of the car, and complete restoration documentation in photograph, 35mm slide and video formats. A letter from Ford Motor Company confirming this Mustang as the first Mustang hardtop built is also included.”
This hardtop, which the auction says is being sold after 20 years of ownership by nationally known Mustang historian and author Bob Fria, also has the added provenance of appearing in shoots for the in-progress Hollywood film, Ford vs Ferrari, starting Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as British driver Ken Miles. The movie is scheduled to open next summer.
Fria was responsible for the complete restoration of the car, which he has noted required exhaustive research because of something like 50 differences on this pilot Mustang compared with the cars that reached the showroom as 1964½ production models.