We make no apologies for featuring plenty of cool Ford Mustangsin Classic American. After all, they remain one of the most iconic-American cars ever made and probably the most common classic American car on our roads. Some are restored, some mildly modified to the owners’ tastes and, yes, some are historic racers, plus there are all-out custom and hot-rodded examples too. It’s not often though we come across one as original and unmolested as Chris Haynes’ 1964½ hardtop that you see here. It’s not just a nice early example of a hardtop either, it’s a factory V8 and four-speed with the optional Rally-Pac too, adding much to its appeal.
Not only that, it might just be one of the earliest production Mustangs in the UK. The original handbook is present with the car, and shows its date of sale to the lucky new owner was May 1964, almost one month to the day from the Mustang official launch in April at the New York World’s Fair that year. Having said that, there is a rare (one of 200) ‘pre-production’ 05C date code Mustang somewhere in the UK, probably already known by UK enthusiasts and maybe Classic American readers. However, the VIN code on the ‘Haynes’ Mustang is a 5F prefix, meaning it was assembled in Dearborn, whereas the pre-production and ‘pilot’ Mustangs were all assembled at Ford’s Allen Park facility.
The VIN and production code numbers also tell us that it is an original 289cu in, 210bhp, V8 car, obviously rolling off the assembly line in the first few days of full production. Incidentally, the term ’64½ is an enthusiast-derived term, describing early coupes and convertibles only, produced between March and July 31, 1964. As far as Ford were concerned, there was no ’64 Mustang, they were all ’65s, hence the ‘5’ at the beginning of the VIN code.
Once completed, this red coupe was then delivered to Delta Ford Sales of Moscow, Idaho, a town on the Western IdahoWashington border where it was bought by a young man called (Harold) Kent Hultner who, having graduated in the Class of ’58 from the nearby IHM (Immaculate Heart of Mary) Academy in Cour D’Alene, Idaho, would have been in his early 20s in 1964 and with his life ahead of him and a brandnew red Ford Mustang, he must have felt like he had the world at his feet. We don’t what profession Kent had chosen as his career, but we do know that it took him to Southern California, which is probably why the Mustang has survived so well. It seems it remained in his ownership and his family for the rest of his life and until after his passing in 2011.
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