Ford’s history is one that intertwines with circles and cultures across the globe, and the Blue Oval model with perhaps more legacy than any other is the Mustang. With so many unique variations of the two-door pony car throughout the decades, there’s almost more than any one person can keep up with—luckily, Ford has entire teams dedicated to maintaining the archives and keeping the ‘Stang’s story complete. Even then, there are tidbits that go over the heads of the Mustang collective.
Enter this mid-engined, two-seater, 1966 Mustang prototype that no one at Ford can quite put their finger on.
It’s known that at least four photos of the concept were captured on May 2, 1966, and still remain today. Ford has been aware of the images for the better part of five years and learned of them when Dean Weber, then head of the Ford Archives, sent a note to Mustang author and columnist John Clor at Ford Performance, along with longtime Mustang marketing and PR guru John Clinard.
“Gentlemen: As you know, I am a big Ford Motor Company fan, but not really a motor-head,” Weber explained 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?”
They did not, nor did the list of other experts that Ford reached out to afterward. From talking with Hal Sperlich, head of design on the original Mustang project just a few years prior, to Ford Design Vice President Jack Telnak, not a single Dearborn lifer has been able to identify or specify any more than what’s given away in the black-and-white photographs.
Cooperatively, it’s been determined that this mysterious sports-car-for-two is a unique project entirely, separate from the aforementioned Mach 2 mid-engined concept that made its debut a year later and disappeared after 1970. That hardly nails down much, though by reaching out to a few folks that are in the know, the facility at which the Mustang prototype resides in the photos has been identified as Dearborn’s “International Studio.”
As a result of all this expert-level he said, she said, Ford is turning to the public in hopes that someone might have a hunch regarding this half-dressed Mustang. If you’re a well-versed old-timer or an enthusiast that just so happens to be tied to this project somehow, the automaker asks that you reached out to [email protected] to explain your side of the story. Who knows—this could be stowed away in someone’s barn, waiting to be unearthed. Regardless, it’s worth a shot to figure it out.
Got a tip? Send us a note: [email protected]