LIMA — One of the world’s most popular cars was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World Fair. Advertisements appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers as well as on major television networks. More than four million people visited showrooms, and more than 22,000 cars were ordered on the first day. First year sales totaled more than 417,000, which shattered previous sales records of any one model in the history of the automobile. The Ford Mustang was here and it was here to stay. The Mustangs produced for the first six months were referred to as 1964 1/2 or early 1965 Mustangs. The popular car got its own U.S. postage stamp in 1999, and it was a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang convertible. The first generation Mustangs are the most coveted and collectible of all Mustangs.
Ben Dirksen, of Lima, brought his 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang convertible to The Lima News’ Real Wheels Cruise-In. He has owned it for five to six years. It was previously owned by his brother-in-law, Bill Moore, who cherished it. When he passed in 2006, Dirksen purchased it and now takes it to car shows in Bill’s memory. This car is number 108,805 of 121,538 made in 1964 1/2. Dirksen says his best memory of the car is winning the “Silent Cruisers” award in Ottawa in memory of the cruisers that have passed. It was very meaningful, because they had no idea that Dirksen showed the car in memory of Bill.