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Early Edition: 1964½ Ford Mustang Convertible

UPDATE 05/18/2023: Few things are more frustrating than thinking your classic has sold at auction, only to be confronted by a non-paying buyer. That has been the fate of the owner of this 1964½ Mustang Convertible. Things looked rosy with a winning bid of $10,200, but then the rot set in. It has forced the seller to relist the car, hoping for better luck the second time around. Nothing has changed since the original article, but you will now find it listed here on eBay. Bidding sits below the reserve at $6,600, but there is a BIN option of $10,500 for those wishing to bypass the auction process.

05/02/2023: April 17th, 1964, was an important day in automotive history. On that day, Ford removed the covers from its new Mustang, creating one of America’s most iconic models. This 1964½ Convertible rolled off the line three days before that event and is a survivor that spent fifteen years in a barn. It was recently unearthed, needing a new owner to return it to its former glory. The Mustang is listed here on eBay in Woodstown, New Jersey.

The seller purchased this Mustang from its original family, who had stored it in a barn for fifteen years. They confirmed it received a repaint in its original Rangoon Red many years ago, but another will probably be on the “to-do” list as part of its restoration. The panels are straight, and there is little evidence of panel rust. However, it is a different story underneath, with rot in the torque box region and other typical areas. Parts to return the vehicle to a rust-free state are available, and the buyer will probably decide to perform a rotisserie build to ensure perfection. Although the soft-top is free from rips, replacement may prove necessary if it doesn’t respond to a deep clean. The seller hasn’t tried to drop it, which could be a case of discretion being the better part of valor. If the vinyl is brittle, it could crack or split. I guess they feel it would be better for the winning bidder to make that discovery than for the seller. The trim is intact, but the bumpers would benefit from a trip to the platers. The original hubcaps are in good order, and I can’t spot any glass issues.

Vehicle manufacturers during this period were brave with their trim choices, which is reflected inside this Mustang. Ford built this classic trimmed in Red crinkle vinyl, and it remains serviceable if the buyer chooses a survivor-grade approach. The seatcovers are stretched, but there are no significant rips or splits. The dash pad is cracked, the carpet is faded, and a retrim would seem the most obvious solution. I usually mention trim kits at this point, and they are a viable and affordable option. However, recent experience demonstrates that patient searching will sometimes unearth NOS parts, and that is an approach worth considering. It will take time, but there are plenty of tasks on the list before the winning bidder faces the prospect of installing a refreshed interior. There are no aftermarket additions, with the factory AM radio occupying its rightful place in the dash.

Some early V8-equipped Mustangs featured the 260ci powerplant under the hood, although those craving more could opt for the D-Code or K-Code 289 that brought 210hp or 271hp to the party. However, this car retains its numbers-matching 260. That motor produced a respectable 164hp, and when combined with a three-speed automatic transmission, launched this classic through the ¼-mile in 17.9 seconds. That made it the least potent V8-powered Mustang on offer, but at least its engine made the noise that most buyers sought. Because this Mustang retains its original drivetrain, it is ripe for a faithful restoration. Many early cars saw the generator swapped for an alternator, but this car avoided that fate. It doesn’t run or drive, but the engine turns freely. A thorough inspection, fresh fluids, and a fuel system clean might be all that is required for the 260 to roar back to life.

This 1964½ Mustang Convertible is quite a find, and the person responsible must have felt waves of excitement when they realized what their discovery was. It requires significant work to return to its best, but people are willing to roll up their sleeves and give it a red-hot go. A perfect restoration would realize a potential value of $60,000 in the current market, although history confirms that figure should increase long-term. Therefore, the future may prove it is a sound investment. Would you take the risk?


  1. Joe Haska

    I have never owned a Mustang. But if I were able, this would be the one. I have also never done a full blown restoration, but if I were able, this would be the one. I was very lucky to have Gale Halderman as a neighbor one winter here in Phoenix. I like to think we were friends, even though I was a bit clingy. I listened to anything and everything he would talk about. Of course a lot of the conversation was obviously about the early years of the design and getting to production. This early 65 Mustang would be, a very special representation of the first production of the iconic Mustang.

    Like 12
  2. Alan

    The 260 was only available in 64 1/2. However, two versions of the 289 were also available at the launch.

    Like 7
    • AKRunner

      Some how that fact gets overlooked every time. My last Mustang was a 64 1/2 convertible with the D code 289 4V, 4spd.

      Like 6
      • Brian

        Hi, in 1967 living in Wisconsin and 19yrs old, I bought a true 64 1/2 Mustang Conv. at a small little used car lot in my home town. I moved to CA. drove it for 2-3yrs and ended up selling it to my younger brother. Before he ever got to pay me anything he wrecked drag racing with friends; the Mustang was totaled. Anyway I’ve never been able to find or see another just like it color and package. Poppy Red, Black top, 289cu in, 4brl carb, 4spd, Hurst shifter in console, Rally gauges,Dual exhaust, Spinner type hubcaps, I believe this was a GTpkg from factory. There had to have been a very small# of 64 1/2 Mustang Conv with this pkg and color combo from factory.

        Like 3
    • Bob C.

      These early ones also began life with the 170 six, later switching to the 200.

      Like 5
    • Adam Clarke Staff

      Thank you so much for the feedback, Alan. I sometimes forget that one myself. I’ve amended this update to reflect my mistake. I hope you continue to enjoy our articles.

      Like 0
  3. Bamapoppy

    My hope is that the buyer treats it with the care it deserves. Please.

    Like 7
  4. Rob

    In the day when they were introduced, they sold new for $1,900 !!!
    Times have surely changed!!

    Like 3
    • andrew Member

      I remember the first magazine ads touting the “sedan” at $2,368. Surely, the convertible listed for more than that?

      Like 5
      • Rob

        I think ur right. $,2000. -$2300.

        Like 1
    • Doone

      It was $1965, an iconic number for marketing purposes.

      Like 1
  5. LMK

    Proper undercarriage photos are priceless… This seller got it right !

    Like 3
  6. bigbird

    I had a cousin that bought a 641/2 yellow convert with the 289 HiPo 271 HP. It had every availiable option on it, including the 3:89 limited slip-equal lock rear end. I had a ride in it back then and it easily reved to 7K. I believe he still uses it for local parades and high school fuctions as homecoming.

    Like 3
  7. Randy

    The fact that the seller does not have a title might present a problem. Until one could be secured I would not dump a lot of $$$’s into a restoration.

    Like 0
  8. John Phillips

    My uncle worked for Ford in Detroit and had a gold convertible in his garage in May of 1964. It had to be one of the first. It was a V8 auto with a black interior. I was only 10 and didn’t realize what it was. He got a new car every year, usually a loaded wagon. This scar was a bonus. I think he only had it for a short time. It might have just been a loaner. He was high up in the accounting department.

    Like 0
  9. Big John

    Beware the tell-tale sign of the driver door ajar. The car apparently is sagging in the middle most likely because the tin worms have eaten major structural components. Can be repaired but a major job.

    Like 2
  10. Paulcug

    Dad had a 64-1//2 White with black convertible top with exact red interior as this and red racing stripes down the rockers. Skinny, thick, skinny. We loved that car. On a trip to Cedar Point someone hit us from behind but not enough to cause any damage. Then the gas cap was stolen lol
    In 65’ they had the caps on a wire but 64.5 you could just unscrew it completely off. What a trip that was but we did have fun on Lake Erie and the rides at night.

    Like 0

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