Jim Smart
September 1, 2001
Contributers: Jim Haskell

Thanks to Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works, who has a vast database graciously made available by Ford Motor Company, we have the capacity to learn a wealth of exciting new information about Mustang production that has never been known before. One example is our focus on 100001 from 1967 to 1973 throughout the last several issues of Mustang Monthly. We've learned intimate details about 100001 from each plant and each model year, which has yielded not only new information on where they were delivered initially, but also that some of these cars still survive today. One has surfaced in Texas, and another owner has responded from Washington state saying that his No. 1 is currently undergoing a full-scale restoration.

These finds are only the beginning of exciting information such as this that will surface in Mustang Monthly in the months and years to come. Because Kevin is a die-hard Mustang enthusiast like the rest of us, you can count on information surfacing in this column that will get your adrenaline flowing.

In the coming months, we'll ask Kevin about the last Mustang units produced from 1967 to 1973, then we'll report this exciting information to you. We'll then watch our e-mail and snail mail boxes for feedback from readers fortunate enough to know the whereabouts of these end-of-the-line cars. We hit pay dirt with 100001, so why not the very last units produced in each model year?

Some of you may wonder why Kevin's database doesn't cover 1964-'66. The answer is simple: It wasn't until the '67 model year that Ford had the datakeeping technology that enabled them to retain production information. At the end of each model year prior to 1967, the information had to be dumped from Ford's IBM mainframe computers to make room for the new model year. The only hope we may ever have are hard copies unearthed from deep within the archival bowels of Ford from 37 years ago. Unless that happens, we will likely never know the intricate details of production information from 1964 to 1966.

What drives us crazy as historians and enthusiasts is what we don't know about classic Mustang production. When we launched In Search of Mustangs 21 years ago, it was our goal to piece together a production puzzle that would give us a good idea of what happened approaching four decades ago. We've been quite successful in our data-collection efforts, but the information we have (roughly 80,000 units documented) is a drop in the bucket to the 1-2 million units Ford produced between 1964 and 1966. Today, we have a good cross section that paints an informative production picture. Kevin's database completes the puzzle after 1966. Working with Kevin to learn more about Mustang production not only informs us, but also sometimes blows old theories we've been following for ages.

We've learned from Kevin that consecutive unit numbers get way more attention than they deserve. The consecutive unit number has nothing to do with how our Mustangs were positioned on the assembly line, but rather the order in which they were ordered by the sales districts and dealers. For example, if you own 5F08C345656, it doesn't mean 345657 was on the line behind yours. It means 345657 was the next order number to come in behind yours. Consecutive unit numbers are an order number and nothing more.

We get excited over 100001 in any model year. But 100001 is little more than an order number. It's the first order, not necessarily the first unit produced. For all the legend and folklore flying around about 5F08F100001 and 5F07U100002 being the first two Mustangs produced, we have to view the theory that these two were first as somewhat off, based on what we've learned about production in recent times. Even though Ford insiders-who were there-told us 5F08F100001 rolled off the Dearborn assembly line on Monday, March 9, 1964, we're beginning to wonder just how true this is. Ditto for 5F07U100002. There isn't concrete proof that either story is true. What do you think?