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EDITORIAL: The joy of being first with a ’64 Mustang

Gail Wise of Park Ridge stands at a Park Ridge car show in 2011 with the Ford Mustang she bought new in 1964. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

Score one for the pack rats.

A Park Ridge couple, Gail and Tom Wise, debated for years whether to junk their old Ford Mustang convertible. Gail had bought it in 1964 from a dealer on Cicero Avenue to get to her first job. It then became the family’s car, but it stopped running after 15 years.

Gail wanted to free up the space in the garage. Tom wanted to restore the car someday.


You know what happens to old stuff? We drag it to the curb in a fit of spring cleaning. Or we delude ourselves that it has great value and go on “Antiques Roadshow,” where they tell us it’s worthless.

But as Tom worked to restore the skylight blue sports car that had sat in his garage for 27 years, he learned that it might be something special.

It might, in fact, be the very first Mustang ever sold.

And, you know, a 1964 Mustang was a cool car to begin with.

Ford has confirmed what Tom and Gail were hearing — that their Mustang was the first ever sold — and now the car is on display in Michigan this week as the company celebrates the sale of its 10 millionth Mustang.

Not only did the Gail and Tom Wise hang on to their Mustang all these years; they also hung on to the original paperwork. By one estimate, that makes their old blue car worth as much as $450,000.

We are constantly reminded to de-junk our lives. The KonMari method tells us to tidy up. Feng shui tells us to remove unneeded items.

But sometimes there’s joy to be found in proper storage.

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