Early Example: 1964½ Ford Mustang Convertible

While there was never officially a 1964½ model, this is a designation that has managed to find its way onto the earliest production Mustangs that were produced by Ford between March and August 17th, 1964. This particular Mustang is 1-of-28,833 Convertibles built during that initial run, and it still contains many of the distinctive components and features that mark it as an early car. It will require a complete restoration, but if the idea of owning an early Mustang really appeals to you, then you will find this one located in Northford, Connecticut, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Mustang has reached $3,400, and the reserve has been met. There are also 141 people currently watching the listing, so it will be interesting to see just how high the bidding eventually goes.

As it currently sits, there are a few indicators visible to suggest that the Mustang is going to require a fair amount of restoration work. When you combine snow tires, outdoor storage, and a soft-top that doesn’t appear to be particularly weatherproof, you can bet that there will be some rust to be dealt with…and you wouldn’t be wrong on that front. There is definitely rust visible in the floors, and given its proximity to Mother Earth, I suspect that the torque box and frame rail issues that can plague early Mustangs might well be present in this car. In fact, if you look at the alignment of the driver’s door in the photo above, it looks like the Mustang might potentially have a bit of a sag in the center. I can definitely see some rust in the rockers, lower front fenders, the lower rear quarter panels, and the bottom corners of the doors. While it is hard to pick a few of the external features that might indicate to the naked eye that this really is a 1964½ model, we do get a good look at the front of the car, and there are no horns visible through the grille. The early Mustangs had a pair of pretty large horns that were mounted in the engine bay, while those produced after the August date had smaller horns mounted behind the grille. Hardly conclusive proof I know, but it is a start.

When you consider the outdoor location and the condition of the top, it’s no surprise to learn that the Mustang’s interior is looking pretty sad. Apart from the carpet, the interior does appear to be largely complete. Looking at the passenger seat, I can’t see an adjuster. The early production Mustangs that eventually became known as the 1964½ model had the passenger seat bolted solidly to the floor, so it wasn’t adjustable. That appears to be the case with this car. Even though this is essentially a pretty basic Mustang when you consider its specifications, the fact that it is fitted with the optional console is a nice bonus.

Glancing quickly at the VIN for one of these Mustangs won’t necessarily provide you with a clear indication that the car is a 1964½, because there was never actually a VIN designation for a Mustang earlier than 1965. However, for this particular car, the 5th digit is a giveaway about its age. It indicates that the Mustang is fitted with a U-Code engine, which is the 170ci 6-cylinder. This 101hp powerplant was only available as the base engine for early Mustangs and was dropped from the range after the August 1964 manufacturing date. The 170 is what you find under the hood of this car, backed by an automatic transmission. Obviously, the Mustang doesn’t run, and there is no indication as to whether the engine even turns freely. At first glance, it also might seem that there are a number of components missing from the engine. However, what appears to be the original carburetor and air cleaner, along with the all-important generator, are sitting on the rear seat. For those who don’t know, the 1964½ was the only Mustang to be fitted with a generator, with subsequent cars receiving an alternator.

When Ford unveiled the Mustang in 1964, they had high hopes for the car, but it is now known that there were more than a few people in the upper reaches of management that were very nervous individuals. The memories of the Edsel were still quite fresh and raw for those people, but the Mustang managed to sweep those memories away in an avalanche of sales. The popularity of the 1st Generation Mustang has not diminished after more than half a century, and it is doubtful that this situation will ever change. This is definitely an early car, and even though the 6-cylinder engine will undoubtedly impact its ultimate value, I suspect that someone will eventually return the car to its former glory.

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Comments

  1. Bud

    By the time you’re done restoring it , it will be a 64 , 65 , 66 and 2020 model .

    8
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Wonder if this is a worlds fair Ford pavilion Rotunda car?? Gotta be the worst listing ever. No effort made and lousy pics. Look it over good, flat tires and on the ground- and I bet there are leaves and pine needles laying in the cowl plenum.
    Cheers
    GPC

    4
  3. dogwater

    Sorry for your loss,rest in peace

  4. Paul L Windish

    The Mustang looks to have been in its location for some time. This restoration project is not for the faint of heart.

    1
  5. Del

    Junk. There will be no floors and frame probably toast.

    Parts

    4
  6. Junkyard

    Parts car, nothing else, too much for what you get. Moving on…

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It will be saved…….at that price.

  8. Bob McK Member

    Well someone must have bought it because it is no longer available. Big project! Good luck to the new owner.

  9. Del

    Yeah. we will see if buyer dies a NO SHOW

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