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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Jim Smart has been following the discussion of that $5.5 million car and asked me to post the following information:

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When the Mustang Production Guide was published in 1993-94, Ford's official story was 5F08F100001 rolled off the Dearborn line Monday, March 9, 1964. We took Ford's official story and published it in our book. We have since confirmed (via Bob Fria's extensive Mustang research) that the March 9, 1964 story is erroneous. Not all information in the Mustang Production Guide, Volume 1, is current.

Here's what is current.

Even though Ford insists 5F08F100001 rolled off Monday, March 9, 1964 - Bob Fria has confirmed this is not true. Fria has be able to confirm via abundant research 100001 through approximately 100180 were pre-production units. He has confirmed this through contact with retired Ford management (including Lee Iacocca), engineering, and manufacturing types who were there at the time. He has also confirmed by contacting as many people as he could who have 100001 through approximately 100180. He has collected detailed data - sheet metal stamping dates, date codes, casting date codes, broadcast sheets, you name it, from known units. Bob's information is very reliable. He has been able to clear up a lot of the mystery surrounding Mustang's first production launch. Pre-production units (100001 through approximately 100180) have component date codes that place their manufacture in January and February of 1964 - not March 9, 1964. Not all of these units have been accounted for - so this is all based on available data. With any luck, we will be able to fill in the gaps and confirm the final pre-production vehicle VIN in time.

The closest VIN we have to 100180 is 5F08F100173, Date Code 05C, DSO 91 - exported to England in 1964. There's one Mustang hardtop, 5F07D100192, which was delivered to Petersen Publishing Company as a magazine test car. We don't have a date code or DSO code on this car - which means we cannot confirm it as a pre-production or mass-production unit. The information came from Ford's Motorsport program paperwork.

Anything with an "09C" date code is first day/mass production status. We have not confirmed the first "09C" car to date. No one has. So no one can lay claim to having the first mass production hardtop or convertible because not every "09C" unit has been accounted for.

5F08F100001 was not manufactured on Monday, March 9, 1964 - nor was 5F07U100002 - nor was 5F08F100005 or 100006. Units 100003 through 100014 were New York World's Fair units - all convertibles. Our book states they were all Wimbledon White. We were again mistaken because we didn't see the follow-up Ford memo that would have clarified these 12 World's Fair units were different colors. Original paperwork states they were all Wimbledon White. Gary Schweitzer confirmed color variation when he unearthed some very important paperwork last year in Dearborn. World's Fair mystery completely solved thanks to Gary. And yes, there are information holes when it comes to other Mustang units at the Fair. Not all have been accounted for.

The Mustang production story is changing all the time because new information surfaces all the time. These early units were produced prior to March of 1964. And here's the real deal - any 1964 1/2 Dearborn Mustang unit with a build date code of "05C" is a pre-production unit. We know this to be true based on Bob Fria's research. Thank goodness for Capt' Bob's solid determination. He has solved a large portion of the big mystery.

Think of the 1964 1/2 "05C" date code like you would early 1967-69 Mustang units with "04G" date codes (July 4th). The date code of "04G" indicates a 1967, 1968, 1969 pre-production unit. Ford did not build these units on July 4, 1966, 1967, or 1968. The "04G" date code is a "flag" date code used internally for quick identification purposes. For 1967-69 - "04G" meant pre-production unit. Most of them were show car and press units with Ford DSO and Export DSO codes.

For 1964 1/2 - "05C" means pre-production unit - along with a VIN below APPROXIMATELY 100180.

It has taken years of research to get all of this down - and there's still a lot to learn. In 1994, we thought we had it figured out, especially with Ford Public Affairs telling us "Monday, March 9, 1964..." But Ford Public Affairs didn't know any more about Mustang production start-up than we did. That's Ford's official story and it is sticking to it. But not even Ford can escape physical facts. Sheet metal stamping dates and parts date codes on all known "05C" units contradict Ford's "Monday, March 9, 1964" story. Monday, March 9, 1964 was Mustang's official Job 1 launch - that part is true. At this time, no one knows what Job 1's VIN was. We have yet to find a photo of Dearborn Mustang Job 1 and probably never will. It doesn't exist in any of the archives we have all checked. So we don't even know what type of Mustang Job 1 was. Probably a convertible for eye wash, but no official proof. What's more - we have no means presently of confirming Job 1's VIN, which would end all discussion.

Until someone comes up with a Job 1/March 9th photo at Dearborn (including VIN) - and fills in production gaps between 100001 and approximately 100180 - the first mass production car cannot be confirmed. And lets throw in another important twist. The six-digit consecutive unit number does not always match physical order on the line. In fact, it rarely matches physical order on the line unless you have a multi-unit order under the same six-digit DSO code. Please remember the consecutive unit number is an ORDER NUMBER. Ford dealer places the order. District sales office sends the order along to the line-up office at Dearborn assembly and the unit is scheduled for assembly. This is the way it was in 1964. And this is the way it was at Dearborn at the end in 2004. If all of the necessary parts are there to build the unit, the unit is scheduled for assembly. If parts aren't there, the unit is put on production hold until parts are there. In 2004, I was amazed to see Dearborn did it the same way it did in 1964 - with IBM punch cards and a guy stapling the body buck tag (stamped from data on the IBM punch card) to the body. In 1964, a broadcast sheet was the only means of line communication, which is where the body buck tag came from later on. The body buck tag was an indestructible means of communication in addition to the broadcast sheet. And there were a lot of broadcast sheets per unit attached to all major subassemblies like seats, engine/transmission, rear axle, and the body. Most went in the trash can. I've seen trash cans loaded with broadcast sheets.

I've learned from many visits to Dearborn assembly there's not always any rhyme or reason to the way cars are mass produced. It often varies from shift to shift, supervisor to supervisor. You have to think of an assembly plant as a job shop. Plant gets the orders and builds cars. Plants run out of parts and cars don't get built - or plants run out of parts and substitute parts are used instead. On the last day of Mustang production at Dearborn in May of 2004, they ran out of fuel tanks for the last 11 units. They shut the line down and sent everyone home at 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Imagine what that cost Ford - and the supplier. Ford's supplier flew in 11 fuel tanks and the cars were built Monday, May 10, 2004. I've seen Dearborn use substitute parts to get units built because to shut the line down is a mortal sin in the car business. Shutting the line down gets expensive because you still have to pay people to stand there. Starting the line up - and shutting it down - is an involved process because an assembly line involves so many people - and so many processes.

One more thing - pre-production units were sold to the public, including 100001. The same is true for "04G" 1967-69 pre-production units. These cars just had special marketing purposes. 5F08F100001 was on a Canadian Ford dealer promotional tour when Capt. Stanley Tucker managed to talk a St. Johns New Foundland Ford dealer salesman into selling him the car. By the time that dealer figured out the car was gone, it belonged to Tucker - who put 10,000 miles on it over the next two years. Ford tried to get it back from him. He wasn't going to do it. Ford had to build him a '66 convertible to his liking before he would give it 100001 back. Tucker didn't choose the 289 High Performance V-8 because it had only a 90-day warranty. He chose the 289-4V engine instead. Tucker sold his '66 convertible to his mechanic in the early 1970s and never saw it again. Hard to know if it survives. When I spoke with Tucker back in 1993, he still had the Philco portable television that came with his '66 convertible.

I hope what I've just said clears up some of the confusion.

Jim
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 08:21 PM
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Thanks for sharing Jim! Seems like a website devoted to this kind of information might be something to think about.
post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 12:07 AM
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Great information!
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 01:05 AM
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Interesting info Jim, Thanks for sharing it!


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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 01:19 AM
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Wow, talk about digging deep to find out info.

Heck, I wish I would have known about Jim's research when he did the book back in 94. I could have told him the Worlds Fair cars were not all White. I rode in them several times. That was my fathers favorite pavilion, he couldn't get enough of it and dragging his 8 year old son through there multiple times over two years. :p


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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie_S
Jim Smart has been following the discussion of that $5.5 million car and asked me to post the following information:
.................

Thanks Laurie for getting Jim’s response to all this. As you well know, Jim hates to get involved with these things on the internet. No matter what he says, there will be some mental Mustang midget know-it-all out there who types 60 words a minute to dispute it with BS, innuendos, and hearsay.

It’s ashamed that someone with Jim’s historical knowledge and years of research can’t share it with us on a more regular basis. I’ve got several of his books and have told him he needs to update them. His “Mustang GT/Mach 1 Guide “ was published in 1989 and his “Mustang Production Guide, Volume 2, 1967-73” in 1994. Over the last nearly 20 years there has been a wealth of information that has been discovered on early Mustangs.

We need to start a write-in campaign get him and Donald Farr to update some of their previous editions of early Mustang books. Judging by the prices they bring on e-bay and such, now would be a good time for an update.

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 12:15 PM
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One way to help get a "new" edition of these type of publications would be for one of the many who are interested in this to offer to set up a website that collects information on early Mustangs. Jim might be inclined to publish new information if it could be gathered via the net. Those of us who were part of the original information gathering process for theese books can remember flooding Jim Smart and Jim Haskell with thousands of notes, little scraps of paper with numbers and letters poorly written on them, 3 x 5 cards with a dozen data plates transcribed on them, just an amazing number of hard to read notes of any kind you can imagine. I still do not know how they organized all of this raw information for publication. They deserve a gold star for that job. How about one of you guys that have the skill stepping up to the plate with an offer to "build" an modern website for specific information. Jim may or may not want to be involved, he alone must decide that, but you can bet that any information gathered will be put to use by many of us. Any offers or suggestions? Maybe the new MCA website has plans for or would consider including this, I do not know or want to step on someones toes, and if this is the case please say so. No matter what the mechanism it seems a good idea to have easy access to input historical info about Mustangs. This stuff is slipping away quickly and preservation is needed if we are to continue growing our hobby/passion/ibsession. We have technology to instantly input this stuff along with photographic proof, and many other benefits that were unheard of when the first "In Search Of" books were written. Comments?

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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From Jim: "Please let the VMF know I am going to set up a website dedicated to 'In Search of Mustangs' and data collection. I just need to see what it takes to set up a website."

If someone is interested in helping him with setting up a website, please PT me. I believe he's had the domain for several years now for the website.


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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 02:33 PM
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Laurie,

I would think either someone from the MCA or Jim's magazine could help him with a website...
Just thinking out loud.


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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 03:48 PM
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The data would be most easily kept current by being available on the web. Unfortunately, as we have seen, printed matter simply muddies the water after a period of time.

I'm not sure that Jim's and MCA's goals would be aligned. Jim may like to get a return on investment for his time, which is certainly understandable. Whereas MCA would simply make it available at no-cost to members. Personally, I like the latter solution, even though it might not be optimal due to logistics of who would administer the data and presentation.

Whatever the result of this is, it needs to be available on the web.
post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 06:07 PM
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So, is someone going to send Jim's response to the pompous seller of the 5.5mil Mustang?
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 06:23 PM
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The first solution I thought of when I saw the desire to make this kind of information into a website was some form of wiki, allowing editors to easily add articles, photos and other content. While Wikipedia has gotten a bad reputation due to the fact that editing it is open to anyone, a wiki with only an approved group of editors who are proven experts on the subject matter would be a very effective way to keep the information online.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 11:31 PM
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Hi Everyone - Jim Smart here. After several false starts and attempts to learn how to navigate VMF, I am back. I was successful getting into the VMF for a while, then got busy and forgot how to get in. Next thing I knew, many months had gone by. Probably took me 30 minutes to get this far.

First, thanks for your interest and support - it all means a lot to me. I've been at this a long time and I am still as excited about it as I was 25 years ago. Still having a ball and amazed someone still pays me to do this. I remain grateful for the opportunity I'm given every day.

Although I've been watching the $5.5 million Mustang with great fascination, it is best I not get involved in this matter. For one thing, available information on these cars speaks for itself. And once we are able to fill in all the production holes with serial numbers between 100001 and 100220 (approximately), the issue of the first mass production Mustang will solve itself.

Our greatest asset is an educated buyer. High-priced cars either sell or they don't. Whatever the market will pay. As my dear friend, John Murphy, put it, anyone who can write a check that large is going to do their homework. So worry not, everyone. Just another day in paradise.

I cruise EBay all the time looking for that elusive rust-free '67 convertible I can afford and I find mostly rust buckets full of bondo people are asking $28,000 for. Rust bucket convertibles are not worth $28,000 - but people buy and sell them all the time. Each of us has a choice. We can pay it or not pay it. Some ads infuriate us because they're so ridiculous. It isn't always up to enthusiasts to police these ads either. Word gets around. This matter will settle itself in time.

Now to the cool stuff we can do something about. I want to launch an In Search of Mustangs website dedicated to data collection and Mustang production facts. I'd like it to be a good, informative town hall style spot on the Internet where enthusiasts can share production information. And this may be the next best thing to a new Mustang Production Guide book for the time being. However, I don't know the first thing about how to build a website. I'd like to be my own webmaster who can update the site daily or weekly once it is up and running. This, of course, takes time - but it will happen.

Our Mustang Production Guide series is outdated though informative. Some basic information never changes - but other information, like that 100001 on March 9, 1964 myth, has.

March 9, 1964 was indeed Job 1, 1965 Mustang launch day. But, we have learned Job 1 is more symbolic than an actuality. For example, SN-95 Job 1, 1994, on October 4, 1993 at Dearborn was a symbolic Job 1. It was not 100001, which could not be found anywhere at Dearborn that day.

Until we determine the exact dividing line between pre-production and mass-production, which can be determined with exactly the two most important VINs - the first mass production 1965 Mustang remains a mystery. And here's another twist. Just because a VIN is has the first "09C" date code, that doesn't necessarily mean it is the first mass production 1965 Mustang.

The VIN has that six-digit consecutive unit number - which is an order number for that plant in that model year and nothing more. If your consecutive unit number is 124856, that means you have the 24,856th unit ordered from that plant in that model year. If you have 100195, that means you have an exciting VIN - the 195th order for that plant, that year. That puts you in a more coveted class than the rest of us.

Where it gets tricky is actual events from Monday, March 9, 1964. Job 1 may have been a Poppy Red convertible with a 289-4V D-code V-8 - lots of cool eye wash for the press and Ford corporate photographers (who likely shot the darned thing in black and white!). Job 1 may well have been 5F08U100226 or 100238 - a striking color to serve as a symbolic Job 1. That's what happened with SN-95 Job 1 and that is likely what happened on March 9, 1964 - a symbolic, striking Mustang convertible spit polished and shined, including its spinner full wheel covers.

Thank you for reading this long disertation. My home email address is thesmart67@msn.com. Always interested in hearing from you. Bear with me on response time. It gets busy. If you haven't heard back from me - give it another whirl. Once we have a website up, there will be a new email address.

Many of you have asked if I am still collecting Mustang production data. You bet I am. Feel free to email your VIN and warranty plate/certification sticker codes to thesmart67@msn.com. Please include your name, address, and telephone number. I do not sell/give information to anyone. I'd just like to be able to get in touch with you if the need arises. Always interested in VINs and codes from all classic 1965-73 Mustangs in order to fill in production gaps. Feel free to collect and send them to me.

Thanks Everyone...





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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 12:05 AM
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Thanks for checking in, Jim.

Hopefully the '67 is becoming more roadworthy and we'll be seeing something on it soon. Also, we are waiting for some second editions on your previous books (LOL).

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 01:23 AM
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The '67 remains perched on jackstands until I can get to it. Too busy working on project cars - hindered by winter cold. The only thing left on the '67 is muffler issues. I wish Flowmaster made a three-chamber shorty muffler for classic Mustangs. The only three chamber it makes is too long for Mustang floor pan pcokets. Two-chamber are too loud. I'd like the Flowmaster roar - only quieter. Looking for that Cleveland/Boss 302 burble without the hearing loss. The '67 has been finished for quite some time - just needs cosmetic detailing and those mufflers.
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