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YUKON Dealers- 2nd production Mustang
Written by Double Dragon
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:27

YUKON Dealers- 2nd production Mustang

oneownercollectorcar.com

Photography and writing copyright D. S. Brown

Whitehorse Motors (Ford), Whitehorse, Yukon (2nd production Mustang)

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WHITEHORSE MOTORS (Ford), Whitehorse, YT (2nd production Mustang) 888-221-7155

Whitehorse Motors is located at 4178 4th Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon. The dealership website states that they were established in 1969. This may be a new ownership or incorporation date, because it seems fairly certain this is the same dealership that sold the second production Mustang back in 1964.

The first five production Ford Mustangs were shipped to Canada. The rationale behind sending them up to Canada was based on the expectation that the cars would take longer to make it to Canadian showrooms. Shipping them out first ensured a timely arrival for the grand introduction of the Mustang.

The Mustangs were meant for display purposes and not for sale. The first Mustang produced was a white convertible with VIN number 1. This car was sold immediately by George Parsons Ford (see the story in this DEALERSHIP section filed under NEWFOUNDLAND). Ford probably recouped more publicity from this car driving around the street than it would have in a dealership showroom.

The second production Mustang also got sold although it took nearly a year for this to happen. Everything about Mustang number 2 involves delays.

Original Whitehorse Motors General Manager M. C. W. 'Moe' Grant and Wayne McKenna (the salesman who sold the car) both state that the Mustang was sent to their dealership in error. A shipping company in Vancouver, British Columbia had a history of sending Whitehorse Motors cars that were actually intended for Brown Brothers Ford in Vancouver, BC (see the story on Brown Brothers in this DEALERSHIP section filed under BC/ VANCOUVER Dealers).

Mustang number 2 arrived in Whitehorse, YT in May, 1964. Since the car had already missed the debut of the Mustang it made no sense to spend the time and money to ship it back to Vancouver, BC.

The hardtop Caspian Blue Mustang VIN 5F07U100002 decodes as

5= 1965 model year

F= Dearborn final assembly plant

07= Hardtop

U= Inline 6 170 c.i.- 1 barrel carburetor engine.

100,002= 2nd Mustang built

Although this is a bare bones Mustang featuring the horizontal speedometer, 3 speed manual shift and anemic six cylinder it still looks great. This was the secret of the success of the Mustang. The base models looked good. Aside from the exciting bodylines, Mustangs lacked the 'budget cues' of other inexpensive cars. Instead of bench seat, 2 spoke steering wheel, rubber floor mats or poverty hubcaps and a '3 on the tree', even the most inexpensive Mustangs came with sporty accessories. This Mustang has the manual shifter on the floor between the bucket seats. An imitation racer 3 spoke steering wheel coupled with the optional imitation wire wheels give it a sporty flavor. The car has manual steering and brakes but did have optional AM radio and floor mats.

Although officially the first production Mustang should have come off the assembly line Monday, March 9, 1964 several prototypes were built and not issued VIN numbers. Also, the first few VIN numbered vehicles may have been scheduled earlier.

According to the website EARLYMUSTANG.COM Mustang #2 was scheduled for final production Thursday, March 5, 1964 which is 4 days early. Apparently 180 cars were scheduled for build that day. Current owner of the Mustang, Bob Fria states that #2 was hand assembled as a Pilot vehicle before the March 9, 1964 official first date of production at Dearborn. This means this Mustang is not only a prototype but also the first production hardtop Mustang.

With such an early build date, how did the Mustang miss the April 17, 1964 debut? First the Mustang was shipped by rail from Detroit, Michigan to Vancouver, BC. Then the car likely sat for some time in Vancouver, BC due to the shipping error. Even if it didn't sit all that long the car traversed a labyrinth on its way to Whitehorse. From Vancouver, BC the car would have to be transported to the docks and packaged into a shipping container and loaded onto a ship. The ship required 4 days to reach Skagway, Alaska. The container was unloaded from the boat, loaded onto a train and then unloaded again in Whitehorse. Once unloaded from the train a salesman from Whitehorse Motors drove the car the 1/4 mile to the dealership. All the packing and loading didn't necessarily happen instantly. Add in travel time and its a miracle the car made it to Whitehorse by May.

Wayne McKenna lost an immediate sale for the Mustang when it was first on display because he had no factory invoice to guide him on price. Subsequent test drives of the Mustang resulted in no sale. The 170 cylinder engine and small 13" wheels made it unsuitable to Yukon drivers. The Mustang had accumulated a few 100 miles on fruitless tests. Wayne McKenna used the Mustang as his demonstrator but he didn't enjoy this historic vehicle. The weak engine and dearth of options such as no power steering made for uninspired driving. The dealership added one essential option: an engine block heater.

Doug Wootton became owner number one in spring, 1965. The Mustang had 2,000 miles racked up at this time. Wootton traded in his 1957 Plymouth and paid $3,200.00 for Mustang number 2.

In Oct, 1983 after several owners and nearly 20 years in brutal Yukon weather the car was sold to a buyer who took it to Edmonton, Alberta where the weather isn't much better. In Dec, 1993 it made its way south to Bozeman, Montana. When the engine blew the Mustang found a buyer in Temecula, California.

Finally recognized for its historic value, Bob Fria of Los Angeles bought the car Sep, 1997. Bob Fria researched the car, restored it to original condition and displays it at shows. Photos of the car can be found in COLLECTOR'S ORIGINALITY GUIDE MUSTANG 1964 1/2- 1966, and MUSTANG THE ORIGINAL MUSCLE CAR.

Whitehorse Motors in winter of 2014 had 79 new vehicles in stock, 23 of which were cars. They had one new 2014 Mustang in stock. And, yes, it was a 6 cylinder model!

Unlike the virtually option free hardtop Mustang #2 sold all those years ago, this model is a Premium convertible model painted red, with an automatic transmission, electric power steering, power ABS 4 wheel disc brakes and stability control. Instead of 13" steel wheels the 'small' (by today's standards) wheels on the 2014 Mustang are 17" x 7" Black aluminum mags with P215/ 65R17 tires.

Looking at the standard equipment loaded into VIN 1ZVBP8EM4E5227729 illustrates the change in the basic 6 cylinder Mustang over the years. The 2014 has power windows, power door locks, A/C, tilt wheel, AM FM CD MP3, remote key fob, trip computer, outside temp gauge, anti theft engine immobilizer, rear defrost in real glass rear window, power top, compass, cruise control, air filtration, 12 V outlets, variable intermittent wipers, trunk light, low tire pressure warning, airbags

Mustang #2 was fitted with a block heater by Whitehorse Motors back in 1964. Things have become far more sophisticated since then. The 2014 Mustang is equipped with the Northern Winter Package which supplies engine block heater, battery blanket, oil pan heater, and nitrogen in the tires.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 11:30 )