Jim Smart
December 1, 2002
Contributers: Jim Haskell

Seasoned Mustangers have heard this tale dozens of times in the last 38 years, but we can't resist telling it again before the Mustang's 40th Anniversary in 2004. Have you heard the story about 5F08F100001, Captain Stanley Tucker, and the One Millionth Mustang? It's hard to believe that even in 1964, a major automaker could have let something like this happen, but it did. There's a lot we don't know about 5F08F100001, but here's what we do know:

The first-ordered Mustang was shipped to the Ford of Canada sales district and was taken on a nationwide tour of Ford dealer showrooms all across Canada. Air-line pilot Captain Stanley Tucker of Newfoundland was driving past a St. John's Ford dealer showroom when he spotted a Wimbledon White Mustang convertible with his name on it. He walked into the showroom, approached a salesman, and bought 5F08F100001 right on the spot. The Mustang was unlike any car he'd ever driven.

When the Ford dealer called Tucker asking for the car back, he said no. He had driven it 10,000 miles when Ford contacted him again during the winter of 1965-1966, asking if he would like a new '66 Mustang optioned any way he wanted it-free of charge. He accepted. He traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, where Ford wined and dined him in the company of executives such as Lee Iacocca and Don Frey. On March 2, 1966, Tucker's loaded '66 Mustang con-vertible rolled off the line amid fanfare and excitement. Ford called it the One Millionth Mustang. The car was silver with a black Pony interior. It even had a Philco television. Underhood was a 289-4V engine in front of a C4 Cruise-O-Matic. Tucker says he opted for the 225hp engine because the 289 High Performance V-8 had a limited 90-day warranty. He wanted a better warranty.

Ford shipped 5F08F100001 back to Dearborn and turned it over to the Henry Ford Museum about two miles from World Headquarters at Southfield Road and Michigan Avenue. After 10,000 miles of rough use over Canadian roads, the Henry Ford Museum detailed the car. It was also repainted Wimbledon White. It hasn't run since.

When we asked Tucker about his life with 100001 and the One Millionth Mustangs, his response was matter of fact. He said he liked the way the Mustang looked when he bought 100001. At the time, he had no idea he had purchased the first Mustang ever ordered. For Tucker, the Mustang was good-looking transportation. It had no sentimental or emotional value whatsoever. After taking delivery of the Millionth Mustang early in 1966, he pressed it into daily use in all kinds of weather, including nasty Canadian winters. The elements took their toll.

Through the years, Tucker drove the Mustang thousands of miles. He even pulled a trailer with it. When we interviewed him in 1983, he spoke of the Mustang's reliability through hard use. By the time the '70s rolled around, Tucker knew it was time to sell the Mustang and opt for something new. He sold the car to his mechanic and never saw it again. When we asked him about documentation, he confirmed what we feared most. All the paperwork was gone, closing the door on any chance of knowing the One Millionth Mustang's vehicle identification number.

When we visited Tucker in 1994, he didn't understand what all the commotion was about. He didn't shed a tear when it was time to sell. And in the 38 years since his fateful Mustang purchase, he has never looked back.

For more information on "In Search of Mustangs," write us at 3816 Industry Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811; or e-mail jim.smart@primedia.com.