Live Auctions

Early Example: 1964½ Ford Mustang Convertible

Early First Generation Mustangs are among the most coveted of the breed, making this 1964½ Convertible a desirable classic. It isn’t perfect, but the seller recently revived it after years of hibernation. It is a surprisingly solid and original classic that would benefit from the level of care and attention that only comes from a genuinely passionate enthusiast. If you fit that description, you will find the Mustang listed here on eBay in Norman, Oklahoma. The bidding has raced beyond the reserve and sits at $13,677.

Few cars have created such an impact as the First Generation Mustang, and Ford found itself with a winner from the moment it was publicly unveiled. Supply couldn’t keep up with demand, and dealers were swamped with buyers desperate to park one in their driveway. This car rolled off the line in May 1964 as the Mustang frenzy was building and is a surprisingly solid vehicle. It had spent years in hiding until recently revived by the seller. The Convertible spent most of that time in a dry garage parked on carpet that has helped preserve this classic. Its original Rangoon Red paint has seen better days, while the driver’s side front fender and passenger door wear red primer. A repaint will almost certainly form part of the future plans for this classic. However, some potential buyers may be tempted to preserve as much of its originality as possible. It should be no surprise that there is rust requiring attention, although this car is far from being a rot-box. The photos reveal rust in the floors, but the seller feels that patching the problems would be viable if the buyer wishes to avoid floor pan replacement. The rest of the underside is solid, and the exterior features nothing beyond some small spots in the lower quarter panels and rear filler. Once again, patching these areas may prove viable if the new owner wishes to retain as much of this car’s original steel as possible. The driver’s door needs a new skin, but the original power top is surprisingly good for its age. The trim looks impressive for an unmolested vehicle, and I can’t spot any problems with the glass.

The seller indicates that a previous owner performed an interior retrim on this Convertible, which presents extremely well. There is no visible wear on the upholstered surfaces or evidence of aftermarket additions. Surprisingly in a vehicle of this vintage, the factory AM radio remains intact. Often, these disappear as owners upgrade to something newer like an AM/FM radio or a cassette player. The car features air conditioning, and while the interior components are intact, the compressor is long gone. As the seller believes this to be a dealer-installed unit, the buyer could potentially remove the system entirely without compromising the vehicle’s originality.

Lifting this Mustang’s hood reveals a 260ci V8 backed by a three-speed automatic transmission. The 260 only appeared on early production examples before disappearing at the end of the model year as Ford replaced it with the 289ci unit. This engine should produce 164hp, allowing this pony to gallop through the ¼ mile in 17.9 seconds. There are a few details to consider with this Convertible, and potential buyers may need to act as amateur detectives. The seller located the car parked in a carpeted garage, a spot it had occupied for more than twenty-five years. They revived the car and have returned it to a roadworthy state. The tags remain intact, confirming the carburetor and intake as the original. However, they have not checked to determine whether the Convertible is numbers-matching. They admit the oil filter setup isn’t correct for a Mustang of this vintage, but a previous owner may have changed it. Confirming the numbers-matching status is a key consideration because it will impact this classic’s potential value. The seller replaced the fuel tank and pump and rebuilt the carburetor as part of the revival process. It appears they may also have updated the car with power steering that they can’t get to operate correctly. If this Convertible didn’t roll out of the factory featuring that option, I would probably return the steering to its original configuration. They say the vehicle runs and drives well but needs time to warm up, or the engine can flood. It would be worth investigating that fault, as the fix may prove easy and inexpensive.

When Ford officially slipped the cover off the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair, the car caused an immediate sensation. Buyers soon lined up in their droves, clamoring to park one of these classics in their driveway. Our feature car rolled off the line in My 1964 as the frenzy was beginning to grow, and Ford found itself in a position where it couldn’t produce cars fast enough to meet demand. With 121,538 vehicles delivered during that model year, the Mustang sold far better than Ford envisaged. However, that figure proved the tip of the iceberg as the Mustang set sales records in the following two years. Today, these early cars are considered desirable in the classic world, particularly if they are original and unmolested. That may be the case with our feature car, but it would take an in-person inspection to confirm some of the finer points. Is what you have seen enough to tempt you to pursue it further?

Comments

  1. Jerry

    Given that this engine and transmission do not have serial numbers, how can one determine if this is a ‘numbers-matching’ car?

  2. CCFisher

    I feel like I say this a lot, but numbers-matching for early Mustangs applies only to the 289-HiPo engine. Only that engine had a partial VIN stamped into the block. For all other pre-1968 Mustangs, the closest you can come to numbers-matching status is if the engine’s part numbers are correct and the casting dates are no more than a few months prior to the car’s build date.

    This particular car has a build date of April 26, 1964 (early, indeed!), so if the block is a correct 260 block for a Mustang and has a casting date between January 26, 1964 and Mid-April, 1964, it’s probably the original. That’s as close as you can get.

    Like 6
    • Poppy

      The tag has a 26E date code, if I’m reading it properly. Is that really May 26th instead of April? Just curious as I was born around that time. It would be very cool to find one built on my birthday.

      Like 2
      • CCFisher

        My mistake – you are correct. E designates May.

        Like 1
  3. James Quinn

    64 1/2 Didn’t have the chrome molding on the front lip of the hood.

  4. Al camino

    whaaaaaaaaaat no comments?

  5. Louigie Bodensteiner

    I wonder if that tiny engine could lay rubber..?

  6. gaspumpchas

    Cant see for sure, maybe someone could tell if it has the early Hood and headlight assemblies? Has the generator. The dash bezel painted black is fugly. And the big question- is that rot in the inner rockers? That might be the deal maker. Its a bear of a job. That right quarter needs replacement. Rot up by the top? Hmmm never saw it there before. this pony needs a complete inspection for sure, dont forget the cowl plenum. Good luck and happy motoring!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  7. chris bartku

    I had a 64.5 D Code – gold valve covers, vented radiator support, painted door pulls, etc?

    Like 1
  8. R.J.

    By Numbers Matching, they mean D00R-Numbers Matching, “Is it Red, yes, 260, yes, Red interior, yes.” In the infancy of automobiles, the numbers for the engine and numbers for the body had to “match,” but it means more than that, today. This car looks very good for its age. I would do small improvements like a fresh gauge cluster, new tires, etc, and just enjoy it. Could buff-out some of that paint too, and re-work that dr. door with some hammer and dolly work.

  9. Joe Haska

    We continue to have 64 1/2 Mustangs even though Ford Motor Company ever sent one out the door titled as a 64 !/2. My source on that was Gayle Halderman the head of design for the ustang at the time. Yes, Iacoca released it early but Ford labled it as a 65. However, it doesn’t matter people will say they have a 64 1/2. Gayle also told me, that with the release so early, there were lots of things on the first few cars ,that were changed because of tooling, that they didn’t have when they first releasded the cars.

  10. Joe Haska

    We continue to have 64 1/2 Mustangs even though Ford Motor Company never sent one out the door titled as a 64 !/2. My source on that was Gayle Halderman the head of design for the Mustang at the time. Yes, Iacoca released it early ,but Ford labled it as a 65. However, it doesn’t matter people will continue to say, they have a 64 1/2. Gayle also told me, that with the release so early, there were lots of things on the first few cars ,that were changed because of tooling, that they didn’t have when they first releasded the cars.

    • CATHOUSE

      Calling these early Mustangs 64 1/2s is more a way to differentiate the early cars from the later cars. It is not really calling them a 1964 1/2 model year car.

  11. Joe Haska

    Cathouse , I agree with you, I just think its interesting because people want to say they have a 64 1/2 . Even though technically ,it is impossible. I am also sure there are Titles out there that even say 641/2, but one never left the factory that way. Folklore becomes reality ,if it is repeated enough. Does it really matter, if someone wants to think their Mustang is special, because they call it a 641/2. I seriously doubt it and I think Gayle would too.

    • CATHOUSE

      I would say that this is one way to separate the real car person from the posers. A real car person will use the 64 1/2 name as a way of saying the car is an early model. The poser will actually think that the car is a 1964 1/2 model. As for titles there probably are some states that will, or did, put 1964 as the model year on their paperwork especially if the car was sold early in the 1964 calendar year. And that is how the folklore gets started.

  12. Joe Haska

    Cathouse, You are exactly RIGHT! I agree with you 100 %…..Joe

    Like 1

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