The Ford Mustang Boss 429 of the 1960s remains one of the best-looking muscle cars of its time. However, with a heavy V8 upfront, this iconic Mustang was by no means balanced or composed. Unbeknownst to the general public, the American carmaker was already toying with the idea of implementing radical changes with potentially massive upsides.
According to Mustang360, this meant moving the engine to the middle of the car. However, with almost no budget for a prototype, tons of spare parts came together to build this one-off machine. It was known internally as the LID Mustang, meaning low investment drivetrain, and it was based on the Boss 429.
Is there a mid-engine Ford Mustang Boss 429?
If we’re talking officially, no. However, one single mid-engined Ford Mustang Boss 429 did exist in secret. Kar Kraft, a private engineering facility in Detroit, carried out the build for Ford. The most important part of this build was the relatively small budget available. This meant that the prototype couldn’t use a fancy transaxle.
Instead, the mid-engined Boss 429 had to reuse as many off-the-shelf parts as possible. According to Mustang360, this meant taking a Boss 429 engine as well as an automatic transmission and flipping them around. Before installing these components into the car, Ford opted to bolt them onto the removable subframe pictured above.
Other notable upgrades include a brand-new transfer case which fed power to a 9-inch rear axle. However, thanks to half shafts and u-joints, this mid-engined prototype also received an independent rear suspension. To aid driving dynamics, the prototype also received adjustable coilover shocks and new rear control arms.
You can’t tell that this muscle car has its engine in the middle
Since this prototype used the Ford Mustang Boss 429 as its base, its engineers couldn’t create an all-new body. This limitation is what created the vehicle embedded above. From a visual standpoint, it is virtually impossible to tell that the engine lives in the middle.
Oddly enough, this prototype featured the interior out of a Mach 1, not a Boss 429. Regardless, moving the engine also meant that vital components such as the car’s battery, radiator, and air-conditioning condenser moved up to the front. To gain easy access to the engine, the prototype engineers replaced the car’s rear glass with a louver assembly fitted with hinges and struts.
The drastic changes to the Ford Mustang Boss 429 didn’t exactly generate drastic results. On the plus side, the car’s 60/40 weight balance got swapped around to a 40/60 split. However, aside from limiting wheel-spin, there weren’t massive performance gains.
Where is this Ford Mustang prototype today?
Once the engineers found out that the mid-engined Ford Mustang Boss 429 didn’t create massive improvements, the project quickly died. However, the question remained of what to do with this one-off prototype.
Mustang360 points out that there is no official story surrounding what happened to the car. Instead, rumors suggest it vanished, while others indicate it was stolen. However, if we had to guess, the car was likely dismantled so its parts could be used for other cars.