The First Mustang Owner

The First Mustang Owner

There are lots of great stories in Ford’s archive: The first-ever owner of a Mustang was a 22-year-old Chicago schoolteacher who traded in a $400 Chevy and borrowed the rest of the money to cover the $3,419 MSRP on a Skylight Blue blue convertible.

According to Forbes magazine, Gail Brown recalled, “I was the coolest teacher in the school that year.”

Ford documents revealed Gail bought the car from Johnson Ford on April 15, two days before it was set to go on sale nationwide. She said that when she balked at what the salesman offered from the showroom floor, he told her he had “something in the back that’s really new” – a new 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible in Skylight Blue with a 260-cubic inch V8, automatic transmission, power steering, power top, knock-off wheel covers, center console and Rally Pac instrumentation.

Soon afterward purchasing the Mustang, Gail married her longtime sweetheart Tom Wise, an electrical engineer, and the two settled in a Chicago suburb. The Mustang became Tom’s daily driver and survived 15 years of Chicago winters and four kids before the battery was stolen during a particularly vicious winter storm: He pushed the car into the driveway and eventually into the garage, where it spent the next 27 years stashed rusting away.

Finally in 2007 – after their children had left home – the couple turned their attention to their first baby and decided to restore it. In 2010, the restoration was completed.

The car is not for sale at the moment, but if Gail decides to sell it, she can expect to get a high sum. According to Forbes, Craig Jackson, the chairman and CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, said he’d value it around $100,000.