(CBS) – The original Mustang went on sale on April 17, 1964. But a Chicago woman was the very first person to buy one — all because of an eager dealer who sold it to her two days ahead of time.
As CBS 2’s Ed Curran reports, she still owns the classic car.
Nearly 50 years ago, on April 13, 1964, Ford’s Lee Iacocca unveiled the 1965 Ford Mustang to the press.
Two days later, a 22-year-old teacher in Chicago needed a car.
“I told the salesman I wanted a convertible. The salesman said, ‘I don’t have any convertibles on the floor, but come in the back room with me, I have something special to show you,’” Gail Wise says. “So, in the back room, under a tarp, was this baby blue convertible.”
That’s how Wise got her Mustang, the first one sold in the U.S.
Two days later, the public got to see Ford’s new creation at the New York World’s Fair.
Two year later, Tom Wise married Gail.
“That’s the only way I could get the car,” he deadpans.
The Park Ridge couple drove that mustang until 1979, when a small mechanical problem put it in their garage — for the next 27 years.
Deciding the ‘65 Mustang – car buffs call it a ‘64 ½ — would be a good retirement project, Tom got started.
“I took it up to the restoration shop with the intent that, if he couldn’t fix it, I would take it right to the junk yard. Because it was that bad,” he says.
Today, they have a pristine baby blue Mustang that’s a thrill to ride in. It’s a beautifully restored car that’s the pride of Gail and Tom, and really, any 22-year-old teacher looking for a nice convertible.
Gail Wise paid about $3,400 for her Mustang. Experts say it could now be worth anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000. It’s safe to call it a wise investment.
Ford this week unveiled its 2015 Mustang – the 50th anniversary model – this week. It’s billed as a more powerful, more efficient model.