Ford Mustang enthusiasts will often say that the pony car was introduced as a 1964 ½ model. Of that, there is no dispute. But, what many people don’t know is that prior to production, many pre-production Mustang vehicles were built. Between 150 and 200 pre-production units made the light of day. One of those rare, pre-production Ford Mustang units has just come up for sale.
Pre-production Mustang history
All pre-production Mustangs were put together between February 10, 1964, and March 9, 1964. They were labeled with a 05C build date. Ford relegated them for special use and not for resale. Consequently, many of the rare Mustangs of various trim levels were used for engineering tests or sent to district offices for use as a display car. Some of them were exported and a few made it to race teams of the day. After they served their purpose, many were ordered to be scrapped.
Being a surviving pre-production model makes this Mustang rare. According to the Dupont Registry, only 12 1964 pre-production Ford Mustang models are known to remain. Of those, two are in England, one is in France. What makes this even rarer is that this particular unit is a convertible. As a pre-production model, there are some unique things that were not found on the regular production units. The registry calls those particular things out and are listed below.
“This pre-production Mustang, VIN#5F08F100140, presents the documented following nuances:
• Car is 1-inch shorter and ½-inch wider than mass production units,
• Crudely hammed rear wheel wells to clear the convertible top,
• Torch-cut clearance of the front frame rails,
• Crude cuts around the dashboard for clearance,
• Small washer sizing at the idler arm,
• Hand-made parking lamp gaskets,
• Odd silver color on grille,
• Rear shock absorber top mounts too small to allow shock removal,
• Unusual pin-hole configuration in quarter panel end caps,
• Non-production rear bumper brackets,
• Non-production headlight and parking light wiring harnesses,
• Hand-formed firewall and rear valance,
• Rear valance different than production,
• Hand-written identification tags on the instrument panel wiring harness,
• Convertible top bows are straight instead of curved.”
This Ford Mustang signifies the beginning of an iconic legend
As most Mustang fans know by now, the Ford Mustang became a huge hit. Its acceptance by the consumer even astounded Ford’s management. They suddenly found themselves having to make 400,000 in the first year. Now, over 50 years later, the car is an iconic legend. So, a rare pre-production model that is convertible still existing is astonishing all by itself.
Dupont Registry Daily expands a little on the specifications of the car. It says the car is numbers matching with a 260-cubic inch V8, and a cruise-o-matic transmission. The write up also offers, “All original options include: White convertible top, power steering, power brakes, rocker panel moulding, steel 14” wheels, factory sport hubcaps with spinners, NOS 6.95×14” tires, padded visors, full-length console, seat belts, bucket seats, single exhaust, single sport mirror, and two-speed electric wipers with washer.” Asking price at the auction is currently sitting at $210,000. You can find the listing here.
This Mustang is an extremely rare piece of Americana. The fact that it still exists today will give any automotive historian the look of amazement and the desire to carefully protect a piece of history. Then again, it was built to be driven. In either case, somebody is going to end up with a piece of Mustang heritage from the auction.