One would think that a major car company would have an in-depth catalog of vehicles that explain everything, from the first sketches to the details of those who made it to production, but in reality for every car that goes to market, there were probably hundreds, if not thousands of ideas that didn’t make it to mock-up, let alone off of the drawing board. The four-door Plymouth Barracuda, the Chrysler Norseman, the Chevrolet Code 130R, for example…all cars that were mocked up and all cars that never made it past the concept stage for one reason or another, whether it was simply unnecessary, or fate intervened, or because no matter how good it looked on paper, the beancounters ultimately would win the day.
Back in the 1960s, though, it was a free-for-all. Especially at Ford, who had slammed one out of the park with the Mustang and who was in the middle of Henry Ford II’s rage-fueled march to victory at LeMans, just so he could give Enzo something to think about after Enzo brought family into the tirade that happened when acquisition talks broke down. That “He’s not Henry Ford, he’s Henry Ford the second” line? Yeah…that actually happened. And apparently this happened too: a mid-engined Mustang prototype. And Ford needs your help in trying to put the pieces of this story back together.
What’s known: the May 2, 1966 photographs were taken at the International Studio at Ford’s Dearborn complex, and that it is not the Mustang Mach 2 rear-engined prototype. After that, there’s little to go on. There is a kind of nod towards Ford GT70 and DeTomaso Pantera in the overall layout and it appears to be shorter than a standard Mustang. Looking at the driver’s side profile, there seems to be a body shell idea behind the prototype, and we’re still trying to figure out the car just off to the left of it that looks like it time-traveled out of the early 1970s.
If you have any idea or know someone who might remember what this was all about, you can contact [email protected], and if you’ve got the answer, Ford has a reward with your name on it. Best of luck!