As tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the public reveal of the first Mustangs, I thought I'd let you know what I was doing 50 years ago tonight. I got to drive one! There was one, count 'em ONE, at Phifer Ford in Ulysses, KS for the introduction of the first Mustangs to the public. My Dad was the Service Manager (i.e., chief mechanic) at Phifer Motor Company.
It was a red coupe with white vinyl top and red vinyl interior. It had the littlest 6 cylinder engine of 170 cubic inches displacement for a whopping 101 HP. The transmission was a 3 speed with a floor shifter. I think the vinyl top and an AM radio were the only extra cost options on the car. Needless to say, I was both thrilled to be able to drive the car, before it was officially introduced, but totally under whelmed with the drive train chosen. I had been reading about the 260 and 289 CID V-8 engines and the 4 on the floor manual transmissions and really wished that the car had been equipped with one or the other of those.
Oh well, since my Dad was in the car with me I had to drive very conservatively, and the puny 6 was adequate to do that! Since it was the one and only one Phifer had in the inventory that day, and it had to be in the showroom bright and early on the 17th, we had to stay on pavement (which was not a really easy thing to do in Ulysses in 1964.) It was around midnight when we got back to the garage, and had only driven a few miles (I can't tell you how many miles, because we had the speedometer disconnected so we wouldn't rack up any miles on a new car). We had to wash and dry the car when we got done with the ride. But it was memorable, and today, I consider it quite an honor to have been able to take it for a ride with my Dad, before the general public even got to see it.