The very first pre-production 1965 Ford Mustang hardtop is to be auctioned by Barret-Jackson, fresh off the film set of 'Ford v. Ferrari' with Matt Damon and Christian Bale

The very first Ford pre-production Mustang hardtop is heading to auction! Starting life in 1965, the ‘Pilot Plant’ Mustang set a new automotive trend for American petrolheads, credited with inspiring the Camaro and Firebird, and set the foundations for the Mustang we currently enjoy.

Hand-assembled on the Ford Pilot Plant production line in Allen Park, Michigan, the first Mustang recognised to have received a VIN – serial number 002 – is to pass under the hammer with Barret-Jackson during Scottsdale 2019 auction week.

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Not enough provenance for you? AutoClassics can confirm that, among its previous film and television appearances, this Mustang was used by 20th Century Fox for filming with Matt Damon – starring as Carroll Shelby – and Christian Bale in the up-coming feature film ‘Ford v. Ferrari’.

Ford Mustang used in Matt Damon's upcoming Le Mans film up for grabs!

Telling the true story of the battle between two iconic marques for Le Mans victory in 1966, the film is scheduled for a summer 2019 release. You can find out more about the film here.

One of three known surviving hardtop prototypes, this isn’t the first time Ford’s origin hardtop pony car has graced the auction block. The vehicle failed to sell with Mecum back in 2017, unsuccessful in passing the auction reserve.

Ford Mustang used in Matt Damon's upcoming Le Mans film up for grabs!

Powered by a 170ci six-cylinder engine mated to three-speed manual transmission, the Mustang has been restored to as-new factory specifications, all major components boasting matching numbers. The historic first-serialized Mustang hardtop was also displayed at Ford World Headquarters during Ford’s 100th anniversary and has been photographed with Lee Iacocca.

Included in the sale is a set of two ring binders containing ownership and condition affidavits from all previous owners, alongside statements, photos and signatures from high-profile originators of the Mustang like Lee Iacocca, Hal Sperlich, Don Frey, and Gale Halderman.

Ford Mustang used in Matt Damon's upcoming Le Mans film up for grabs!

The binders also include a vast documentation history confirming the vehicle’s authenticity, detailing the complete restoration with batches of photographs, 35mm slides and video. There’s also a letter from the Ford Motor Company confirming the Mustang’s identity.

What more could you want? It's a ground-breaking pre-production icon with film star heritage, restored perfectly and ready to hit the road. Get a closer look here.