The history of Ford is one that weaves through cultures and circles across the world, and the most model most worthy of its legacy is perhaps the Mustang. But one mid-engined, two-seater 1966 prototype Mustang has left the Ford team baffled about where it fits in the make's story, according to The Drive.
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Mystery Mustang in Ford's Legacy
With so many novel variations of the two-door masterpiece vehicle through the decades, there's almost more makes of the Mustang than any one person can keep track of. This is why Ford has specialist teams dedicated to keeping the archives up-to-date, and the Mustang's story complete.
This is where the weird phenomenon of the 1966 Mustang prototype comes into play.
It's well-known that at least four photos of the mysterious concept car were captured on May 2, 1966, and they are preserved to this day. Ford has known of them for nearly five years, and first discovered them when the head of Ford Archives Dean Weber sent a note to Mustang columnist and author John Clor at Ford Performance, and also to a longtime Mustang PR and marketing guru, named John Clinard.
"Gentlemen: As you know, I am a big Ford Motor Company fan, but not really a motor-head," said Weber in his letter. "I was going through some scans and these jumped out at me — Did we know that in '66 Ford was working on a 2-seater, mid-engine Mustang? It might have been re-skinned as the Mach 2 Concept, but at this point it was definitely a Mustang ... Maybe this is well-known among the cognoscenti, I just didn't know about it. Did either of you?"
Nor did the list of official experts to which Ford subsequently reached out, after reading the letter. Ford spoke with the head of design on the original Mustang project that happened a few years before the '66 Mustang, Hal Sperlich, to Ford Design Vice President Jack Telnak, none of the experts knew how to pin this enticing phenomenon.
Rewinding Ford's clock to 1966
Through their cooperative efforts, the Ford cognoscenti determined that this unknown double-seating sports-car is a completely unique project, distinct from the Mach 2 mid-engined concept that made its debut the next year (and vanished after 1970).
That doesn't help very much, but in reaching out to the Mustang intelligentsia, The Drive was able to narrow down that the facility in which this Mustang prototype is (in the photos) is actually Dearborn's "International Studio."
The Drive's source said Ford is consequently turning to the public, hoping for a clue on what happened to this half-dressed mystery Mustang. This means you, readers: if you're a Mustang enthusiast who's been around long enough to know what the Smothers Brothers is, Ford wants to know your best guess. Reach out to [email protected] to give your inside scoop.
As far as Ford knows this could be cooped up in a deluxe garage of an engineer making DIY coronavirus ventilators, which would be a nice and welcome addition to the Mustang's legacy.