Similar to the Chevy Corvette, the Ford Mustang has occasionally been imagined as a mid-engine sports car. In fact, the very first concept to carry the name was a mid-engine machine, and it revisited the idea with the 1967 Mach 2 concept. But apparently Ford had another prototype from the mid-1960s that even it doesn’t remember.
Ford Performance recently shared the story and the photos of a mid-engine Mustang prototype shown above. According to the division the photos were discovered by a retired Ford Archives head and shared with John Clor, content manager of Ford Performance Enthusiast Communications. They were originally taken on May 2, 1966. Clor and Ford have contacted multiple former Ford designers and experts, and none of them are familiar with the vehicle. All that they’ve been able to determine is that the photos show the car in the “International Studio” at Ford’s complex in Dearborn, and that it doesn’t seem to be the same as the Mach 2, which used 1967 Mustang parts and a different front end construction, whereas this car has 1966 parts, plus it has some noticeably different styling.
It’s a shame Ford doesn’t have more information or more photos of the vehicle, since it looks like it would have been pretty cool. It has a layout similar to the De Tomaso Pantera, with a longitudinal Ford small block V8 mounted in the middle, with a transmission and rear differential mounted inline behind it. Filling up the extra space between the tail and the engine is a full-size spare. The car is just a two-seater, with low-mounted bucket seats, and the whole car looks shorter than a regular Mustang, particularly at the back where the rear overhang is very short.
Because Ford doesn’t have other information on the car, it’s asking the wider world for help. If you have information about this car, send it to [email protected] And if you can solve this mystery, Ford says it will provide a reward.