Pony Express - January 2014
Reader Feedback about Ford Mustangs
Longest Fastback Owners
I’m writing on behalf of my father, Dudley Pierce, who has owned his ’65 Mustang fastback since September 30, 1964. I read the Pony Express letters from Marv Jensen and Herb Gordon (on behalf of Jim Liner) and thought we should throw our info out there too. Dad was told that it was the first fastback sold in St. Louis. The date code is 09J (September 9). It is a 289 two-barrel, three-speed manual car, originally Caspian Blue but mostly in primer now. Dad is still the owner but the car is in my garage being slowly restored. It has a long way to go but I’m trying to get it drivable in time for the 50th Birthday Celebration in Charlotte.
I wanted to respond to the letter about Jim Liner’s ’65 fastback in the November “Pony Express” to let you know that my mother purchased her Phoenician Yellow ’65 fastback from Tucker Motor Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on October 10, 1964. She bought it right off the delivery truck (instead of the Falcon she went there to purchase). I don’t know if Jim Liner has owned his ’65 fastback longer, but either way it’s a special car for someone to have owned it that long. It still astonishes me that my mother has done the same.
To date, Dudley Pierce’s September 30, 1964, purchase gives him the honor of owning a Mustang fastback longer than anyone else. We contacted Jim Liner to learn that he purchased his fastback on October 31, 1964 (not November as mentioned in last month’s “Reader’s Album”). So amazingly, we’ve heard from three owners who bought their ’65 fastbacks in the fall of 1964, shortly after the fastback became available, and still own them today. “Must be something wrong with us,” quipped Liner.
Intro Show Mach
Some years ago, I purchased a ’69 Mach 1, an original red/black, nicely optioned 428 Cobra Jet car with the Shaker hood. The VIN is 9F02R100024 and the Marti Report lists the car as an “Introductory Show Unit.” Can you give me further detail or explain what that means?
Your early production ’69 Mach 1 was built for display at one of Ford’s dealer intro shows (see “One for the Shows” in the March ’13 issue about Tim Orick’s ’70 Boss 302, which was used for the 1970 dealer intro shows). Basically, Ford held the intro shows in several major cities around the country to introduce the new model year to dealers and allow them to order cars for their showrooms and dealer stock. Typically, Ford selected one model from each car line to display, although we believe the Mustang was represented by both the Mach 1 and Grande in 1969. These cars were mostly identical—same color, options, etc. Because the dealer shows were held before the new model’s official on-sale date, some of the first cars off the assembly line were built specifically for these shows.
Some of the cars were pre-purchased by dealers and “field diverted” to the show before being delivered to the dealership. Others were purchased by dealers at the show. It appears that most eventually ended up in the hands of consumers, although some went on to serve other functions, such as public auto shows and even press use.
Interestingly, within days of receiving your email, we heard from Massachusetts’ Roy Powers, who owns 9F02R100011, a red CJ Mach 1 that was used for Detroit’s Cobo Hall ’69 dealer intro show and later for the Detroit Auto Show, also at Cobo Hall. His car has been restored.
I was going through some old papers recently when I happened upon a Safeco Insurance rejection letter from May 5, 1965. My 54 year-old grandmother had traded in her ’59 Galaxie 500 for a ’65 Mustang fastback with the C-code 289 and automatic. After transferring the insurance, she was informed via mail that the Mustang fastback was “more exposure than they desired to continue coverage for.” This could have very well have been one of the first acknowledged and documented insurance rejection letters that actually identified a “muscle car” as being uninsurable! Again, this was my 54-year-old grandmother, hardly someone who would become airborne going over railroad tracks! Thankfully, Nationwide Insurance covered her and the Mustang a couple of days following the receipt of the rejection letter.
Via the Internet
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