The first person to ever make a retail purchase of a Mustang played beat the clock. To generate excitement, the Mustang was unveiled at the New York World’s Fair on April Fool’s Day, but it’s official introductory date was April 17. Sales of the “pony car” were supposed to be embargoed until then. Not every dealer followed the rules however, Johnson Ford of Chicago was anxious to sell the car and closed a deal with 22-year-old Gail Brown on April 15.
Brown was just starting a teaching career. She had recently graduated from college and was ready to plunk down money for a new convertible. She found the one she wanted when she was shown a Skylight Blue Mustang ragtop that was covered up in the back of the Johnson Ford dealership.
Neither Gail nor the dealer realized they were making automotive history, because Gail became the first retail buyer of a Ford Mustang.
In 1966, Gail married her longtime sweetheart Tom Wise and they raised a family. Gail’s Mustang became Tom’s daily driver for several years. Later, it was relegated to the garage and sat for 27 years. Tom had plans to restore it and in 2007 he started the project. Three years later, the car was completely restored.
With the Mustang celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014 the light blue ragtop with the dark blue interior has been in the limelight recently. It fact, it was one of the big attractions in the Ford booth at the recent Chicago Auto Show.