Whitehorse Daily Star

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INITIALLY UNWANTED – After the first 1964 hardtop Mustang was erroneously shipped to Whitehorse, it took about a year to sell. Photos courtesy MECUM AUCTION HOUSE

Famous pony car to be auctioned off Saturday

The first hardtop Mustang to roll off Ford’s assembly line in 1964 was shipped to Whitehorse Motors by mistake.

By Chuck Tobin on May 19, 2017

The first hardtop Mustang to roll off Ford’s assembly line in 1964 was shipped to Whitehorse Motors by mistake.

It took about a year or so to sell, but it sold in the spring of 1965 for about $2,500.

The Mustang will be auctioned off Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Its value is estimated at between $450,000 and $650,000, Mecum Auctions confirmed this week.

“It’s definitely been a story here that most of the staff have known about,” Tina Woodland, Whitehorse Motors’ general manager, said in an interview Thursday.

“People are pretty excited because it is just such a great Yukon story. It is so improbable.”

Had she known it was for sale back in 2015 when she spoke to the current owner on the car’s 50th anniversary, Woodland said, she would have tried to raise the money in the Yukon through crowd funding, donations and private sponsorship.

The pony car would have made for a treasured asset with a storied tale for the Yukon Transportation Museum, she said.

Woodland said she doesn’t know if it would have worked, but it would have been a good thought and a lot of fun.

But she only recently learned about Bob Fria’s decision to auction if off, at the same time as the rest of the classic car world did.

“I definitely would have tried for it if I had known,” she said.

When the car mistakenly arrived in Whitehorse instead of the original destination on the west coast down south, Woodland said, it had come up by ship to Skagway. It was then sent to Whitehorse on the White Pass railway.

It wasn’t financially feasible to ship it back down south to the dealership where it was suppose to go in the first place, Woodland said.

Whitehorse resident Wayne McKenna was the salesman at the Ford dealership managed by the late Moe Grant when the Caspian blue Mustang rolled in.

It wasn’t the powerful 289 c.i.d., eight-cylinder engine everybody was more interested in, he told the Star Thursday.

It was rather plain, with a smaller six-cylinder engine and a three-speed transmission.

Staff knew it was among the first of the Mustangs to roll off the assembly line.

They didn’t pay much attention to the vehicle identification numbers, and they didn’t know it was the second one off the line, and the first hardtop, he said.

As the story goes, the Mustang left the Yukon in October 1983 when the latest in a number of owners left the territory.

It bumped around Alberta for awhile.

McKenna said the current owner did extensive research on the history of the car and published a coffee table book about it. At one point, it says, the Mustang sold in Alberta for a low of $300.

It did, however, eventually catch the eye of knowledgable collectors, and finally Frai’s eye. He restored it fully.

The Mecum Auction House notes the car was on display at Ford World Headquarters for the company’s 100th anniversary.

Lee Iacocca, famous for his involvement in the development of the Mustang line, was photographed with it.

“It is just something else,” McKenna said of the story about the Yukon Mustang.

In its literature about the hardtop, Mecum notes it was a pre-production model used to test and get the assembly line ready.

Its vehicle identification number is 100002.

The first off the line, a convertible – 100001 – is owned by Ford and is on display at the Henry Ford Museum, Mecum points out.

Comments (3)

Up 13 Down 4

General Motors on May 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Slow day you say?...perhaps.
Geez despite my not being a fan of mustangs, even I can read the cool factor. The story is kinda odd, first hard top was sent here to the Yukon by boo boo.
I guess your long weekend was a slow one too Clark, as you had copious time to add sweet f/a to this neat lil nugget.
My weekend was eeeeeven slower than yours as I sluiced in my wee nugget...of support for said cool story.

Up 7 Down 18

clarkkent on May 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

yikes , slow news day , or what ?

Up 12 Down 5

Anonymous on May 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Want it and love it. Anyone willing to donate to go fund me Mustang? Lol!

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