About one month after the first Ford Mustangs started arriving at dealerships in April of 1964, a Mustang convertible would serve as the official pace car of the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the process of pacing the race, which A.J. Foyt would win without a single tire change, this Mustang convertible became the first Mustang pace car ever.
Ford could not have imagined the wild success the Mustang would bring to the brand, nor that this simple Mustang would emerge on R.K Motors with a $1.1 million price tag 50 years later. As BoldRide reports though, the Mustang almost didn’t pace the ‘64 Indy 500 at all.
Instead, the long-serving Ford Falcon was originally intended to serve as pace car for the 500. But Lee Iacocca, as part of his legendary marketing push for the first-generation Mustang, made a last-minute decision to have a Mustang droptop pace the race instead. So he shipped three cars off to the famous Holman Moody race shop, where the 260 V8s were replaced with 289s, and the suspension received a race-worthy upgrade as well.
Just two of the cars would make it to the race, and one broke down, leaving this sole white-on-white convertible to pace the whole race. It did just that, and continued to serve as a pace and parade car after Ford gave it to Sebring International Raceway until 1974. Then, it was unceremoniously locked away in a storage unit until 1991, when an official from the Mustang Club of America tracked it down and purchased it. It was then restored using 95% of the original parts, (the rest being custom replacements or New Old Stock), and now it sits with a $1.1 million price tag, another unique piece of Mustang history destined for some collection.
The price tag, though optimistic, reflects the Mustangs unique place in Ford’s history, and somebody out there is almost certainly seriously considering it.