Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 1, 2009
Photos By: Owner

Teen Stampede
Marc Snyder was only 15 when he took delivery of his Wimbledon White hardtop. "I was like most teenage boys in those days with only thoughts of my first car," he tells us. "My Dad loved cars and he could identify anything on wheels. In the spring of 1964, I could feel the clock ticking towards my 16th birthday, and the car question was yet to be settled. Bemis Motor Company in Byron, Illinois, received only one Mustang, a Poppy Red hardtop, during the third week in April. I was in the showroom that first day, but the Mustang had already been sold. I can't remember when negotiations began for my Mustang but it didn't take long to get an order in. On April 22, at a total cost of $2,710.75, I joined the stampede."

Two days before his 16th birthday, on June 18, 1964, Marc was the proudest kid in Byron when he took delivery of his new Mustang. "I watched it roll off the transporter and vanish into the shop for new car prep. I had to wait over the weekend for my driver's license test on Monday. The test administrator was totally absorbed in the new Mustang and barely thought about the novice driver behind the wheel."

The Mustang was perfect for a first-time driver-170ci six-cylinder, automatic transmission, tinted windshield, and AM radio. It even had a 6,000-rpm Rally-Pac. Marc eventually added dealer accessories like a rear-seat speaker, back-up lights ($20.18, including labor), and a universal outside mirror on the driver's door.

Marc, who now lives in Enterprise, Alabama, has plenty of memories with his '64½ Mustang. "For nearly 45 years, the Mustang and I have aged gracefully together through high school proms, college fraternity parties, marriage, raising a son, and military service. But the future holds new opportunities for adventures in a Mustang-just as it was in the beginning."

Still Poppy
You don't have to spend much time with Laki Malamatenios to realize that the native East African has a unique sense of humor. After purchasing his 289 Hi-Po hardtop on July 9, 1964, he says people were constantly asking him about his new Ferrari. "I told them, 'It's not a horse, it's a pony!'"

Built on June 8, 1964, the first day of Hi-Po assembly at the Dearborn assembly plant, Laki's hardtop arrived at the dealership as part of the first shipment of K-code Mustangs to Los Angeles. He recalls what happened the day his first son was born. "I drove the car to work so I could drive fast on the freeway to go see my wife and son in the hospital. I rushed out of work to see that my Mustang had been stolen. But I had installed an electric fuel pump and had turned off the safety switch. The car ran out of gas about one mile from work and the police recovered it"

Laki says the Mustang, which he named "Poppy" for its Poppy Red color, helped him buy his first house: "I used it as collateral for a mortgage loan."

There are no doubts that Laki used the car. "It's been cross-country several times, gone camping with a roof rack, got stuck in the snow and mud, and has been hit in the fender a couple of times," he says. "Poppy has always been a very reliable, fun car. She is in great condition for having been used as a family car for so long. She's never been restored."

Now a resident of Grass Valley, California, Laki says the Mustang became more appealing as the memories piled up. "My car is a chronicle of my life with my family, some happy, some sad, but always interesting. The old girl is something special."

Double Anniversaries
Fred Glazier has been around the Mustang hobby since opening his Pennsylvania restoration shop, Glaziers Mustang Barn, in 1976. But he's been around Mustangs even longer, having purchased a Rangoon Red '64½ hardtop on May 16, 1964. The then-20 year-old Fred traded a '54 Corvette, which took $757 off the cost of his new Mustang.