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The First Pony

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I’m always flipping through news articles trying to catch weird or wonderful car news from around the world. This one comes to us from Motor City itself, Detroit, Michigan, via USA Today.

As it turns out, the very first person to ever buy a Ford Mustang still owns the car.

(Photo: Gail Wise)


In 1964, Ford rolled the first Mustangs out of the factory. The first Pony ever sold was to a 22-year-old Gail Wise, née Brown, in the suburbs of Chicago.

Lee Iacocca was set to unveil the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair, and he was so sure of its success that he had already distributed showroom models for test drive to dealerships in major cities around the country. Two days before the event, Wise headed to her local Ford dealership with money from her parents to purchase a car to get her to her first job. She had her heart set on a Ford, having driven her father’s 1957 Ford during high school.

According to Wise’s interview with USA Today, “I told the salesman I wanted a convertible, and he said, ‘I have none on the floor. Come into the back room, I have something special to show you,’ ” Gail said. “There were two Mustangs, one was a hard top. And he didn’t even bother to show me that one. He lifted the tarp, and I knew that convertible was for me.” It was skylight blue with a navy soft top.

Ford is set to celebrate the production and release of its 10 millionth Mustang, so 76-year-old Wise’s recent discovery that she was the first Mustang owner has landed her car at Ford’s museum in commemoration.

(Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)


Wise bought the car for only $3,447.50, but it’s now worth between $350,000 and $450,000. It only has 68,000 miles despite having been driven by Wise and all three of her children. She says that she loves the car so much because of its roomy backseat that could fit all three kids and groceries, and how easy it was to load and unload full school supplies with the top down for her third-grade teaching job.

Wise said, “It’s like being a movie star at 76... I felt like a movie star at 22 when I bought the car. I mean, that was 54 years ago and we’re still talking about it.”

Quotes credited to Phoebe Wall Howard, USA Today

- Trey Fennell



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