Ford last week asked for help from the wider Mustang community in identifying a mid-engine Mustang built back in 1966.
It appears we already have an answer.
But first, a bit of backstory. The only evidence of the car's existence are four photos dug up by Dean Weber five years ago, when he was in charge of Ford's official archives.
Weber initially thought the car might have been turned into the Mustang Mach 2 concept that Ford presented at the 1967 Chicago Auto Show, which mysteriously went missing sometime after 1970. However, this was ruled out by industry historian Wayne Ferens who in a 2016 interview about the origins of the Mach 2 concept described a construction that contradicts the construction depicted in the photos of the mystery mid-engine Mustang.
Ford Mustang Mach 2 concept (1967)
Jalopnik has learned from Ted Ryan, the current head of Ford's archives, that the old photos are what Ford refers to as “styling negs,” essentially photos of designs in progress traditionally stored as negatives. Ford has been compiling them since the early 1950s.
After passing the photos around to some former designers who worked at Ford in the 1960s, Ryan and the designers came to the consensus that the mystery mid-engine Mustang is most likely related to the Mach 2 concept rolled out in 1967. (A second Mach 2 concept was rolled out in 1970 and thought to be based on a DeTomaso Pantera chassis!)
However, the mystery mid-engine Mustang isn't the Mach 2 concept. Rather, it is likely a mockup put together in the engineering department to determine packaging for a potential mid-engine Mustang. Ford's designers would then have used the mockup to set the hardpoints for the Mach 2 concept. The mockup might even have underpinned the original clay model for the Mach 2 concept.
If anyone else has information on the car, they can contact Ford at the email address [email protected]. The automaker will give a prize to anyone with a tip that helps identify the car.