Bob Fria and his Pre-Production Hardtop Mustang

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With the Mustang gearing up for its 50th Anniversary, could you imagine owning the first hardtop model to roll off the assembly line? Talk about being the life of the party right?

Well, that’s exactly the spot, or rather seat, that Bob Fria is sitting in right now.

The Californian is the proud owner of a highly coveted Caspian blue Mustang stamped “5F07U100002,” the first pre-production hardtop Mustang assigned a vehicle number, according to recent UT-San Diego report.

The 71-year-old Fria, who has been collecting Fords since he was 15, bought the classic coupe from a previous owner in 1997 after finding it in the classifieds.

In addition to landing Fria in just about every event leading up to the pony car’s official anniversary in April, the Mustang has also helped him cultivate some friendships with some pretty significant people tied to the history of the car.

The most notable include Gale Halderman, who designed the Mustang prototype in 1962, and Lee Iacocca, who spearhead the development of the production models of the Ford pony car. Fria, a former military pilot, has since written a book and launched an award with Iacocca, honoring restoration efforts.

Yup, Mr. Fria – we’d say that was a pretty smart buy some 16 years ago.

via [UT San Diego]

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