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First hardtop Mustang by serial number to get its moment in the spotlight

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Photos by David Newhardt, courtesy Mecum Auctions.

Such indignity. Dispatched to remote Canada, passed over, and left to sit on a dealership showroom for a year before it sold, the first hardtop Mustang by serial number has rarely received the accolades its immediate predecessor, the very first pre-production Mustang, racked up over the years. That’ll change this May when Mustang serial number 100002 heads to auction.

The stories of Mustangs 100001 and 100002 (specifically 5F07U100002) couldn’t have played out any more differently save for the fact that both rolled off the same assembly line and subsequently shipped off to Canada. The former – a convertible with the V-8 and automatic – went to St. Johns, Newfoundland, where it sold to an overzealous customer three days before the official introduction of the Mustang in April 1964. The latter – fitted with the 101-hp straight-six and a three-speed manual transmission – though intended to ship to a dealer in Vancouver, British Columbia, instead went a little farther north to Whitehorse Motors in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

As Bob Fria, author of Mustang Genesis: The Creation of the Pony Car and owner of 100002, noted, it was no coincidence that both cars wound up in the far extremes of Canada. Ford wanted to have Mustangs in every Ford showroom on April 17, 1964, the day Mustang sales were scheduled to begin, so logistically the company would have to send its first salable examples to its farthest-flung outposts.

That’s not to say, however, that Mustangs 100001 and 100002 were the first Mustangs to roll off an assembly line. Indeed, that’s not even to say that both – which, like 150 to 180 other pre-production Mustangs, carry a March 5, 1964, build date – were even built on March 5. According to Fria, the pre-production cars arrived in Dearborn on February 10, partially completed, from the Allen Park pilot plant and continued through final assembly there. No definitive record exists to say which pre-production Mustang was assembled first – 100005 is a likely candidate, but nobody really knows.

“All pre-production cars were assigned a March 5 dataplate build date code, regardless of which day or month they had actually been constructed,” he wrote. “Likewise it is not known whether 100002… was built before or after the first pre-production convertible assigned VIN 100001.”

The next dozen VINs Ford assigned to the 12 Mustangs destined for the World’s Fair Magic Skyway. Mustang production officially started on March 9, 1964.

Back to 100002: With its base engine, 13-inch wheels, and little else, the Caspian Blue Mustang hardtop didn’t exactly offer the mountain-climbing or snow-going prowess that sold cars in that corner of Canada. Even with a dealer-installed block heater, the Mustang sat around, occasionally used as a dealer demonstrator, until the spring of 1965, when it was sold as just another six-cylinder Mustang.

So while 100001 eventually made its way back to Dearborn for The Henry Ford to pamper and care for it, 100002 bounced around among more than a dozen owners across the Canadian and American West for the next 30-plus years, until Fria bought it in 1997 and treated it to a two-year restoration.

After 20 years, Fria will now offer Mustang 100002 at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction, scheduled for May 16-21. The coupe is expected to sell for $450,000 to $650,000. For more information about the auction, visit