Mustang's 20th Anniversary Special - Lookback
In 1984, Ford Celebrated The Mustang's 20th Anniversary With A Special Edition
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.
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.
'84 20th Anniversary Mustang GT Facts
|'84 20th Anniversary Mustang GT Production Numbers|
|5.0L-4V Five-Speed Hatchback||2,604|
|5.0L-4V Five-Speed Convertible||587|
|5.0L/CFI Automatic Hatchback||934|
|5.0L/CFI Automatic Convertible||670|
|2.3L EFI Turbo Hatchback||362|
|2.3L EFI Turbo Convertible||104|