The News Wheel
No Comments

Harry Phillips Reunites with First Mustang Ever Built

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Harry Phillips in the First Mustang Ever Built
Harry Phillips sitting in the first Mustang ever built
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Last month, 84-year-old Harry Phillips made the trip from Newfoundland to Detroit to meet an old friend. This wasn’t a war buddy or a friend from college: It was a Wimbledon White Ford Mustang convertible that he had sold over 55 years ago. Their reunion was one of historic implications as the car Phillips sold and saw again in September was the first Mustang ever built.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Phillips after seeing the Mustang in person at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. “It was just the way I saw it then — a new car.”

Looking to Go Green? These are the most fuel-efficient Ford vehicles around

Harry Phillips and Stephanie Mealy
Phillips and his granddaughter, Stephanie Mealy

The happy occasion was no matter of chance. Phillips’ granddaughter, Stephanie Mealy, put together a social media campaign — “Send Henry to the Henry” — to help get the attention of the museum. The effort was successful, and it earned her grandfather a visit to the Rouge complex where the car was built, a ride around Greenfield Village in a vintage Model T, and the chance to sit in the iconic car that he first sold to Capt. Stanley Tucker on April 14, 1964.

There for the event was Matt Anderson, the curator of transportation at the Henry Ford Museum, who recounts that Phillips lit up with joy during his opportunity to sit at the wheel of the VIN 5F08F100001 Mustang.

“A lot of the people who were involved with some of our cars are just not around anymore, so to have someone who was there when it was sold, for me, is special, too,” said Anderson.

Harry Phillips looks at the first Mustang ever built

Ford notes that while Phillips has never owned a Mustang, he was driving a Ford Country Squire station wagon in 1964 when he sold the first Mustang ever built. Perhaps now that he’s had a moment at the wheel, he’ll run out and get his own.

Related: Want a Mustang of your own? Here’s what the 2019 pony car has in store