I’m looking at Todd Adams’ barn-find rusty white Mustang coupe. I wouldn’t give it a second glance at if I saw it in a parking lot. Sitting on sagging springs with torn upholstery and a cancerous hole in each front fender, this car does not have a High-Performance 289 engine, a four-speed gearbox or even a GT package — just the basic six-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission.
Yet this is a very special car; truly one-of-a-kind from all the other first-generation Mustangs that exist today. This particular car embodied all the excitement and promotion sizzle that Ford Motor Company could muster when it was introduced on April 17, 1964.
Adams’ car is serial number 100211, the 211th Mustang ever produced for retail sale.
How significant is that, you ask? Well, this car is the earliest-known production Mustang built for what Ford called Job #1, one of the first cars to officially roll off the assembly line on March 10, 1964. Ford’s records are a little fuzzy, but the 200 or so Mustangs built prior to this car were pre-production cars, built by engineers, with many not quite ready for public consumption.
Whether it was the very first production-line Mustang or not, Mustang #211, was the epitome of all the marketing energy Ford had generated for months prior to the car’s April launch date; it was one of the cars that meant Mustang was finally ready for prime-time.
Adams has owned the shabby but very original Mustang for decades, and after driving it in “as-found” condition to high school, he had always meant to restore it. Instead, though, it sat in a North Carolina barn until just a couple of years ago. It still awaits the attention befitting such an early example.