Mustang of the Day: Gail Wise’s 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible
The 50th Anniversary of the Mustang has arrived. To celebrate, we go back fifty years...and two days.
For the final installment in our Mustang of the Day countdown, we’re going to go back in time exactly 50 years…and two days. The Ford Mustang wasn’t officially released until April 17, 1964, but the anniversary of the first Mustang sold actually coincides with tax day. On April 15, 1964 Gail Brown visited Johnson Ford in her native Chicago in order to buy her very own car. What she ended up driving away with was more than that: it was a piece of history in the making and an icon that is still cherished to this very day. Our final Mustang of the Day is the 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible purchased by Gail Wise, née Brown, which is the first Mustang ever sold.
Gallery: Gail Wise’s 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible
On that fateful day—18,264 days ago to be exact—Gail Brown paid $3,419 for a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible in Skylight Blue and bearing the 260-cubic-inch Windsor V8 engine that helped it take a sleeping nation by storm. After buying the ‘stang, Gail said she became the most popular teacher at the elementary school where she worked.
“Our custodian told me if he had a nickel for every time those boys stared at my Mustang, he could retire,” she told Ford last September.
Gail married her high school sweetheart, Tom Wise, in 1966. After a number of years, the Mustang became Tom’s daily driver, but time eventually took its toll on the old convertible and it spent 27 years sitting in the couple’s garage.
Upon retiring, Tom decided that he was going to restore the 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible to its former glory, and he did just that in 2007.
“I’m a car guy, but not one of those restomod types. This car is bone stock, exactly as it came from the factory,” Tom told mustangs.about.com.
Around 2010, Ford notified Gail and Tom Wise that their 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible was, in fact, the first one ever sold. Its April 15 sale date predated the original Mustang’s 1964 World’s Fair debut by two whole days, making it something like the ‘60s equivalent of a leak. To this day, Gail and Tom are want to bring their baby to car shows and special Mustang-related events. We recently ran into the couple and their pride and joy at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
— The News Wheel (@thenewswheel) February 7, 2014
We’re sure Gail and Tom—and their 1965 Mustang Convertible in beautiful Skylight Blue—are happily posing for pictures right now. After fifty years (and two days), the Wises—and Ford—have an awful lot to be proud of.
Check out our other nine Mustang of the Day posts below, and stay tuned to The News Wheel throughout the week as the Mustang 50th anniversary celebration rolls on!