Jim Smart
October 1, 2008
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives
We like the pod-style cockpit instrumentation, which first appeared for 1984 in the Mustang GT, although it wasn't until 1985 that Ford finally put the horn button back where it belonged-in the steering wheel.

Bob Fria, the owner of the first production Mustang hardtop (5F07U100002), also owns this '84 1/2 20th Anniversary Mustang GT Turbo convertible-one of only 104 produced. Bob's Turbo drop-top was ordered as a dealer inventory car on February 15, 1984, by Rock Springs Ford in Wyoming. Dearborn assembly bucked the body and the assigned VIN on March 20, 1984. As incredible as it may seem, the convertible was transported to Wyoming by tractor trailer.

Original owner Darrell Otto bought the car on May 18, 1984, for $16,916. It was ultimately assigned No. 2,614, an arbitrary number that had nothing to do with the VIN. Anniversary numbers were stamped into customer nameplates as paperwork came in from buyers after the sale.

Darrell enjoyed the convertible for two years, commuting 70 miles each way to work. He comments on the car's reliability, adding it was great for fishing trips and weekend outings. It was driven in snow and saw its share of Wyoming's gravel roads. By 1986, he was ready for something different, so he traded the Mustang for a new F150.

The '79-'84 Mustang Cobras and GTs had European-style faux dual exhaust tips, a distinctive nuance of Ford's early-'80s styling mindset. The objective was to infuse more European styling into the Mustang.

Rock Springs Ford wholesaled it to a used car dealer in Englewood, Colorado, where it was driven another 10,000 miles. It eventually ended up in the hands of Robert Whittington, who enjoyed the car for a short time before putting a "For Sale" sign in the window in 1989. Bob's brother, Dennis, spotted the car, knowing that Bob was looking for landmark Mustangs to add to his collection, which included a '94 30th Anniversary Indy 500 Cobra convertible. Bob bought the 20th Anniversary convertible and Dennis delivered it to him in Los Angeles a short time later.

When Bob got the car, it needed cosmetic work, including some minor body repair, interior restoration, and a set of the correct TRX metric wheels and Michelin radial tires to replace the Thunderbird wheels installed by a previous owner. Since then, the car has been mostly stored in Bob's climate-controlled garage.

In 1998, Bob drove the convertible to Las Vegas for the Bright Lights City Cruise, where he ran into then Ford president Jim O'Connor. Jim had been in charge of the 20th Anniversary project, including the GT350 stripes that got Ford into a lawsuit with Carroll Shelby over trademark infringements. Ford and Shelby settled their differences and the rest, of course, is history.

Although Bob's convertible isn't a low-mileage time-capsule car, it's surely an important slice of Mustang history. Bob's restoration efforts have included only genuine Ford parts, always mindful of his commitment to preserving the breed.

One of the quickest ways to identify a 20th Anniversary Mustang GT is the body buck tag, located on the radiator support. Look for the "ANN" somewhere on the tag. The six-digit consecutive unit number should match what's at the base of the windshield and on the certification sticker.

'84 20th Anniversary Mustang GT Facts

  • Oxford White clearcoat exterior paint
  • Mustang fender badging
  • Dark red beltline moldings
  • Red GT350 stripes
  • Unique white bumpers w/red accent stripes
  • Dark red SVO-style moldings
  • Canyon Red articulating Sport seat trim
  • Pod-style instrumentation
  • Special 20th Anniversary dash plaque
  • Special customer nameplate
  • Available w/all GT powertrains-5.0L V-8 or 2.3L Turbo Four
  • Five-speed or automatic overdrive
  • TRX Metric wheels w/Michelin radial tires
  • Sticker priced around $12,500, depending on options
  • '84 20th Anniversary Mustang GT Production Numbers
    5.0L-4V Five-Speed Hatchback2,604
    5.0L-4V Five-Speed Convertible587
    5.0L/CFI Automatic Hatchback934
    5.0L/CFI Automatic Convertible670
    2.3L EFI Turbo Hatchback362
    2.3L EFI Turbo Convertible104
    Total5,261
    (16 convertibles were Ford Executive Cars; 245 were exported to Canada)Courtesy the Official 20th Anniversary Mustang Registry (www.gt350mustang.com)