DEARBORN, Mich. – Gail Wise didnt know she was getting anything special when she drove away from a Chicago Ford dealership in the spring of 1964 in the first Mustang ever sold.
Wise paid $3,347 for the car, happy to have a convertible. It wasnt until she was on the road, with other drivers honking and flagging her down, that she realized what she had.
I felt like a movie star, she said.
Fifty years and 9 million Mustang sales later, Wise was on hand Thursday to celebrate the unveiling of the 2015 version of the iconic pony car. With her was the original Mustang convertible, which she still keeps in her suburban Chicago garage.
Wise was 22 and freshly out of Chicago Teachers College when she decided to buy a car to commute to her new job as a third-grade teacher. She went to Johnson Ford and asked for a convertible.
The manager didnt have any on the floor, but he took her into a back room and pulled a tarp off the new Mustang. It was April 15 – two days before the car was officially supposed to go on sale – but he offered it to her anyway.
It was sporty. It was perfect. It went zoom zoom, she said.