You probably had the same dream when you were a teenager. Your sixteenth birthday is coming up, or Christmas, or maybe both, and all you want is a muscle car to call your own. That dream has come true for some, and one of them was none other than Edsel Ford II.

Henry Ford's great grandson turned 16 on December 27, 1964 – two days after Christmas and eight months after the original Mustang went on sale. And that's just what was waiting for him in the driveway, courtesy of his father (and reigning chief executive) Henry Ford II.

The specially-prepared pony car had a pearlescent cream paintjob with narrow blue racing stripes, functional hood scoop, chrome trim, Euro-spec fender-mounted mirrors, a blue leather and aluminum interior, a monogrammed fuel cap... and a 289-cubic-inch V8 under the hood.

The first of many, Edsel drove this Mustang for four years, through high school and college until a friend totaled it. Ford recently dug up these photos from its archives for Edsel, who remains on the company's board over which his cousin Bill presides. "That Mustang was my first car and one of my favorites," he said. "Seeing the photos that were discovered in the Ford archives brought back many fond memories." Read the whole story below.
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Dec 27, 2013
A New Ford Mustang for Christmas

Images of new cars sitting in a snowy driveway wrapped in a big red bow have long been a staple of automotive advertising this time of year. But unlike those marketing scenarios, this is the true story of a 16-year-old boy who got a very special Ford Mustang for Christmas in 1964.

As 1964 drew to a close, Mustang had been on sale for about eight months, and it was already clear the car would become one of the biggest new model hits of all time. That first year it would top 418,000 sales.

One of the factors that made Mustang so appealing was the ability for customers to personalize the car to their own tastes. With three available bodystyles, four engines, 17 colors and myriad other options, Mustang was widely promoted as "The car designed to be designed by you."

Throughout Mustang's history, the car was available in some special-order custom colors such as Playboy Pink in 1968 and Mystichrome in 2004. In 1964, a very special Mustang fastback was sent to the paint shop to be coated in a pearlescent white finish with slim blue racing stripes over the top of the body and along the rocker panels.

Other exterior details setting this Mustang apart were a functional hood scoop, chrome trim on the three gills in the headlamp buckets, and fender-mounted rearview mirrors similar to Mustangs sold in Europe at that time.

There was another, more subtle detail most people probably wouldn't notice. The rear fuel filler cap, which was typically adorned with the galloping pony logo, featured the initials "EBF II," for Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. Then-Ford Motor Company CEO and president Henry Ford II had had this Mustang prepared as a gift for his son's 16th birthday, which fell on Dec. 27, 1964.

"I came downstairs that Christmas morning with my sisters, and my father indicated I should take a look outside," said Edsel Ford, Ford Motor Company director. "This amazing Mustang was sitting in the driveway, and I immediately grabbed my coat and shoes and went outside to check it out."

The younger Ford slipped into the custom cabin, which had been finished in blue leather with aluminum trim, and took the car for a short drive, taking several laps of the driveway in front of the house.

"The rumble of the high-performance 289-cubic-inch V8 was always intoxicating," said Ford. "I only drove it for a few minutes that first day because there was snow on the ground, but as soon as the roads were cleared, I drove it almost every day."

Despite being a one-of-a-kind car, that Mustang became Edsel Ford's daily driver as he finished high school and went off to college. Sadly, the car was destroyed in an accident four years after Ford got it for Christmas when a friend borrowed it; fortunately, no one was hurt.

In the 49 years since getting his first Mustang, Edsel Ford has owned a few others, along with other Ford cars that had more space for his wife and four sons. After graduating from college, he joined the Ford marketing department, eventually working on campaigns for Mustang and many other Ford vehicles.

"That Mustang was my first car and one of my favorites," he said. "Seeing the photos that were discovered in the Ford archives brought back many fond memories."


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  • 21 Comments
      mbmorrow4
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's not a '64 (or more commonly known as a '64 1/2). All Mustangs built from the start of production in March '64 were serial numbered as '65s. The 2+2 was introduced in September of '64 as part of the regular '65 model year. It must have been really great to be 16 year old Edsel Ford.
        hocus_focus
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mbmorrow4
        Marketed and sold as '65's, too. Dad had one. Awesome car.
      John Blaze
      • 11 Months Ago
      Stop down voting everyone...
      TopGun
      • 11 Months Ago
      This car drives home my point that auto makers need to offer interiors in more colours - this blue interior is great.
        Dane Grant
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TopGun
        I love some of the tartan patterns in the 70's too (Lotus, Porsche, Ford and Volkswagen)... But blue is awesome!
          Jason Fisher
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Dane Grant
          I agree. I love the individualistic nature of some of those old interiors. Glad that Volkswagen has been offering retro-GTI inspired plaids on the last few generations of the modern GTI. Super cool!
        Josh
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TopGun
        I believe, like the deuce's custom mustang of his own, it was a Lincoln or Mercury interior installed.
      jmcal
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm a couple of years younger than Edsel him but will never forget my first car. I was a new 1967 Camaro with a 327. The Mustang was the first classic of it's time. It and the Camaro were years ahead of their time and still endure today.......
      timber
      • 11 Months Ago
      This car is just simply beautiful. And those simple and elegant interiors are also amazing. I even prefer it like this compared to the "Eleanor" type versions
      trikester5853
      • 11 Months Ago
      my first car was a 1963 impala ss convertible, jeeez ,I wish I still had that car!
        atc98092
        • 11 Months Ago
        @trikester5853
        My first car was also a '63 Impala SS, but a hardtop. 300 HP 327 with a 4 speed T-10 and Hurst shifter. It was 7 years old when I got it, and trashed the differential within a month or so. I think it was bad, not my driving :). I have great memories of that car, but I know if I could drive it now I would think "what a tank!" No power steering or brakes, bias ply tires, AM radio with reverb. Memories are wonderful, but I know it wouldn't be an enjoyable drive any more. Modern cars have spoiled me. Of course, I'd still love to have it, just because...
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
        Trav
        • 11 Months Ago
        You mean the Aston Martin that Ford owned and helped develop? Ford brought Aston Martin into the modern era. The design language you see today began under Ford ownership.
      Bruce
      • 11 Months Ago
      Amazing that this car was destroyed but "no one was hurt." I bet they'd retrofitted seatbelts by that time... or maybe installed them after the photo-shoot!
      onlycodered
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Until a friend totaled it". I've heard that one before. Hence why I will never let any of my friends drive my car. lol
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 11 Months Ago
      So what happened to the car after it was totaled? It looks to be in damn good shape. Did someone restore it? The article is lacking a lot of detail. And by a lot, I mean like the entire story between 1970-something and today.
        Chevota
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        Winnie, I think you might have misread the article. The car was totaled. These pictures, from before it was totaled, were recently found.
      luvmybeama
      • 11 Months Ago
      I was a co-op student (intern) working at Ford's Experimental Garage in Dearborn in 1969, and I saw Edsel's next car going together. It was a 1969 Boss 302, the engine of which was engine was swapped out for a Boss 351 a year before it went into production. Subtle changes included having the tape stripes on the sides read "Boss 351" in place of the production "Boss 302". His next car was a 1971 Cougar XR-7, black on black with a 429 SCJ under the hood. Terrific cars, tastefully rendered. Edsel has always been a "car guy".
      sloturbo
      • 11 Months Ago
      Is that a 3 or 4 speed? My friend had a 65 with a 3 speed.
        hocus_focus
        • 11 Months Ago
        @sloturbo
        It's a four speed. Four speed shift pattern, and the reverse lockout trigger ( that cross-wise piece about an inch and a half down the shifter from the knob) wasn't present on the three speeds.
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