12,000 Mile 1968 Mustang

Unrestored Low Mileage Survivor

One of the best unrestored and preserved first generation Mustangs in existence today.

One of the only cars ever to be featured twice in Mustang Times - April 2018 and February 2024

Also featured in Mustang Round Up (Great Britain), Mustang Owners Club Australia, and Classic Mustang Club Sweden

The Ford Mustang was always unique from the beginning in that it had an appeal for both young and older buyers.  That was in a big part because you could order the car in so many different configurations and with different options and packages making it a perfect fit for so many drivers.  It’s part of that appeal that had Gladys Swedenborg walk into her local dealership (Lutz Ford) in Palo Alto on June 24th 1968 and buy this Lime Gold 1968 Mustang we see here.  What is interesting is that she was 69 years young when the car was purchased, but it was perfect for what she needed.  Gladys who was originally born in Baird Texas graduated from college in Abilene, Texas, and lived in Oklahoma and Wyoming teaching school before moving to Menlo Park in 1959 with her husband Edward.

Gladys and her husband Ed enjoyed that Mustang for many many years.  Although Gladys didn’t drive the car much, as she was not comfortable with driving, she could be seen every once in a while around their town and home of Menlo Park California where they eventually lived for 40 years.  On average it was only driven about 500 miles per year.  Edward and Gladys both passed away in 2002 at the ages of 106 and 103 respectfully (after 74 years of marriage).  The car was always garaged which helped to preserve the car in a near perfect state.  None of this was done on purpose, its just what happens sometimes.  The idea wasn’t to save it as a survivor car or a classic car, but it certainly worked well for the history of this car.  And of course the weather in that part of California is really good for storing a car.

When it was finally time to sell the car, it was Carl Mendel of Santa Clara who eventually purchased the car and kept it for two years.  Having owned a few other Mustangs he appreciated the low miles and the condition of this Mustang and added it to his collection since it only had 11,123 miles on it.  When another car came along he sold it to Dudley Simmons of Poughkeepsie New York in 2003 who saw it listed on Ebay.  Dudley (who worked at IBM for 27 years) saw the car with a Buy it Now and eventually purchased the car to bring back to New York.  He was much more focused on this car and the originality and had the ability to store it in a climate controlled environment to keep all of the features we see here today.  He was the first person to finally see the car was much more than just a clean Mustang but a true time capsule.

I first saw this Mustang about 15 years ago and was immediately struck by how original the underside looked…but had my doubts about it being unrestored.  I have seen some really amazing cars in my years but never anything this clean.  Seemed too good to be true.  I had asked for some more pictures for some detailing articles I was working on at the time and when he sent me the CD and I couldn’t believe it.  As a historical reference and for restorations and factory techniques this is probably one of the best cars I have ever seen.

For the car itself it was built in the San Jose factory and sold only 20 miles away in Palo Alto.  Build date was June 18, 1968 and sold about one week later.  The Lime Gold exterior is complimented with the Ivy Gold interior and actually still smells like a new car inside with the pristine interior.  The drivetrain is a 289-2V motor with a C4 transmission and 2.79 rear end axle ratio and runs and drives.  The car was ordered with only two options which are power steering and air conditioning.  The tinted glass would have been included with the air conditioning option although the Marti Report shows it as a separate option.  Since the car was only ordered with these two options there was no radio installed, therefore no antenna was ever installed on the front fender.  All original, belts, hoses, and correctly dated Firestone tires with the original wheels (not repainted) and hubcaps.  All original date coded glass, interior, date coded seat belts and carpet.  Original date coded exhaust system with original muffler.  All body panels, bumpers, and components date coded to the car.  Original registrations in California all the way back to 1968 when first purchased.  Original black California license plates (front and back) with registration stickers all the way thru to 2003 when it was shipped to New York.  The driver's side door still has the original oil change sticker from December of 1987 showing a mileage of 9421 miles.  Immaculate in every way possible and has not been restored the car runs and drives and everything is functional including the original air conditioning system.   The car currently has a set of original date coded Firestone Deluxe Champion 7.35x14 polyglas tires that it would have been delivered with mounted on its original date coded set of wheels.  Current mileage is 12,016.  The only modifications we can see today are the vinyl roof and the C stripes on the car.  The car does not have the original battery.  The original battery tray was saved (Group 22) and now has a Group 24 battery and tray in place.

The photos here are just some of the highlights of this car…enjoy a drive back to 1968 and see what a car at the Ford dealership would have looked like.  They are only original once.

Car will be available soon on Bring a Trailer.