COLOMA, Michigan – Terry McCoy’s passion for the Mustang started with a black Cutlass Supreme with T-Tops. He was driving that Cutlass past his local dealership, Krenek Ford, where they had a Mustang GT on the lot. The Mustang’s stance was low and wide, and begged a second look. Before long, that look turned into a test drive. Terry recalls the car was wild, wicked and fast, and he was able to light up the tires with ease. So he traded in that Cutlass and a 1982 Mustang GT was his. The year was 1985.
Today, McCoy is a well-known Mustang expert and collector. His collection didn’t start overnight, nor did his well of knowledge for all things Fox-body Mustang. He traded in his ’82 GT for a Dark Red 1983 GLX 5.0 four-speed Convertible with a White Vinyl interior. That, too, was replaced by the new, more powerful and updated design ’85 GT Convertible. It had all the right features – from the fog lamps, the striping, and the Recaro seats, not to mention the 35 additional horsepower and true dual exhaust. It wasn’t long before an ’86 was in Terry’s hands with the move to fuel injection, an H-pipe and bigger rear end. Of course, 1987 came with more radical changes and the Terry was reading-up on every detail that he could find. The Mustang was simply the best bang for the buck, and you didn’t have to be a rich man to own one. Once Terry had started collecting Mustangs, he couldn’t stop.
Very few private collections that we have seen have carried the originality and documentation of Terry’s Mustangs. They are known as “Wrapper Cars.” They are aptly named because of the nature in which they are delivered and maintained in the collection (still in factory’s original packaging). Upon several personal field trips to the Dearborn Assembly Plant and the nearby Cars & Concepts, Terry noticed that there were additional markings, coverings and documents, including stickers and barcodes on the Mustangs that left the assembly line while they were in the pre-delivery area. This forever altered the pursuits of his collection. All of this “stuff”, in the normal course, was pitched by the dealer during the pre-sale vehicle prep. For example, a convertible top would still be covered in the factory protective plastic bag, along with the seats and floor mats, with other protective cellophane on parts of the body; and not lastly, but certainly not limited to, grease-pen markings on the windows that would normally have been washed off by the selling Ford dealer.
As he could afford to start buying new Mustangs, McCoy started searching at dealer after dealer for the elusive “wrapper cars.” He found that he would have to instill in the sales staff the importance of the “Birth Certificate” of the car in great detail. It was to the point that one dealer posted neon-colored signs in the service department informing the employees to keep his cars “as delivered,” with all the stickers and plastic bags – and even to leave the new car dirty! The dealers that McCoy has worked with over the past few decades have come to know that it is of the utmost importance to preserve the original factory supplied shipping material and documentation for every new car he has ordered.
When McCoy decides to sell one of his beloved machines, the new owner of the like-factory—fresh Mustang knows the quality of the car, and that it was well cared-for. His first fully documented car was an ’85 GT Convertible in Light Regatta Blue with Grey leather and a Black top and a five-speed manual. While it wasn’t a true wrapper car, it was the start of what would be the exceptionalism of his collection.
Over the years, McCoy has owned and documented all of the cars he has purchased new – even to the point of following some of them down the production line! Beyond the Fox-Body Mustangs, he has also owned a few notable SN95’s, including a 35th Anniversary GT, a ’95 Cobra R (with 19 miles and in “the wrapper”), a Chrome Yellow Mustang GT Convertible, and a 2004 Mystichrome SVT Cobra Convertible. Terry was touring the old Dearborn Assembly Plant (DAP) with a friend when he spotted a Mystichrome Cobra in the pre-delivery room. He then asked his friends at the DAP about the car. He found out about the debut for the special paint and that the Cobra he saw was an actual production vehicle. He purchased a Mystichrome Cobra through Jack Demmer Ford in nearby Wayne, Michigan, and worked with Jim Demmer – himself a Mustang enthusiast and collector – to ensure that it, too, would remain a wrapper car just as he saw it at the DAP. They both understood the passion behind owning such an original factory condition car, and made the deal.
Although most of McCoy’s contacts at the now-defunct plant had moved on to their new location and jobs in Flat Rock, Michigan, by the time his Mystichrome Cobra Convertible was scheduled for production, Terry still managed to find a way to document the build on the DAP assembly line, thanks to his positive attitude and persistence. Soon after, Mustang production moved to the joint-venture Auto Alliance International (AAI) plant, which today is the fully Ford-owned and operated Flat Rock Assembly Plant (FRAP).
McCoy’s first love is still the Fox-Body Mustang, and it will always have a special place in his heart. When he saw the new-for-2005 design Mustang, he could hardly believe how beautiful it was. But he wasn’t an instant S197 collector, and is patient. The 2006 Shelby Hertz GT was his first foray into fifth-gen collectibles, catching his eye with the evocative and memorable black-and-gold Hertz “Rent-a-Racer” look. In 2007 when a Convertible version of the Shelby GT-H was released, Terry snapped one up, as he has always had a preference for the open-air driving experience.
Terry again got excited with the introduction of the new Boss 302 Mustang. He again waited patiently for the second model-year run, and ordered his 2013 Boss with Jack Demmer Ford in Grabber Blue. Again, he found a way to follow the car down the assembly line. After he took delivery of the car, he loved the fact that the Boss 302 included a special Owners Kit, and the invitation to attend the “Track Attack” program at the Utah Motorsports Campus. He loved the Boss 302 so much in fact, that he found another, this one in Race Red at nearby Fairlane Ford, and purchased that one too. With two cars, both Terry and his wife were able to attend and participate in the Track Attack program together!
For McCoy, the S197 was never better than the 2014, and while attending the Track Attack program Terry found a rental manual-shift 5.0 GT in Gotta Have It Green, and instantly loved it. He ordered his first S197 5.0 GT optioned as closely resembling the options available in the 1964½ Mustang, and his car was produced at FRAP on April 15th, 2014 – just two days before the 50th Anniversary of the original launch. He also picked up a driver 2014 GT in Oxford White that was produced very late in the production run, on June 20th, 2014. Based on his own research, that car could be the final S197 Mustang GT built, complete with 19-inch wheels, the MT82 six-speed manual, and 3.73 gears.
We can’t talk about the S197 without talking about the GT500, so as you might expect, McCoy ordered a convertible in Deep Impact Blue with White stripes and no-options, like the old ’68 GT500KR would have been preferred. He also ordered a GT500 coupe in Deep Impact Blue, White stripes, and almost fully optioned – a perfect pair! McCoy also has a “driver” 2009 GT500 Convertible that he bought used with 2,000 miles on the odometer.
McCoy had been involved in a serious truck accident and during his recovery he had decided to sell off some of his Mustang collection. But his passion for factory documented Mustangs will never end. Ford Performance was invited back into his pole barn to take a few photos of Terry’s now-evolving collection of low-mile and “Wrapper” Mustangs, as well as his extensive keepsakes that include Ford and Mustang memorabilia and trophies from the many car show awards that his high-quality originals have won. Time will tell if and when his tastes turn to the sixth-generation S550 Mustangs, but one thing is for sure: The next Mustang that Terry McCoy buys new will be delivered will all the original factory documentation – including the “wrappers,” just the way it was when it left the Mustang factory. Terry wouldn’t have it any other way.
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY ISAAC IRELAND