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MCACN 1963 Ford Mustang 2

Pre-Production Mustang Concept

Here is another favorite from the 2021 MCACN show (Muscle Car And Corvette Nationals). I had some time to spend with a car I have admired for years. The original Mustang I concept car was a wildly beautiful two seat mid-engine sports car. The new Mustang first appeared in 1964 at the World’s Fair. Its design was well underway by 1963 and Ford wanted to give the public an appetizer, but the mid-engine two seat sports car was not close enough to want the production car would be. The result was to build a concept car based on the production car with a few styling hints from the Mustang I.

1962 Mustang I concept.
1963 Mustang II concept.

Ford’s leader at the time, Lee Iacocca, knew the public was excited about the upcoming new Mustang. To further pique enthusiasm, he had the Mustang II concept created that would hint at future Ford products. The Mustang II resembles the first generation production Mustang, with the same triple-bar taillights, side louvers and the 108-inch wheelbase, but some modifications made this show car unique without giving away too much about the new production Mustang. They even built the concept on a production Mustang prototype. The body was five inches longer and three inches lower. No bumpers were used, and a chopped, leaned back, low-profile windscreen accounted for the lower height of the car. The new headlight treatment was arguably the most distinct design departure from the production car. The concept car also featured a roof cut off to create a convertible, a detachable fibreglass hardtop was provided, but the Mustang II is most remembered as a roadster. The interior had “aircraft-styled” instrument clusters and very handsome handmade upholstery. The entire interior treatment is a typical concept car with fibreglass and things held in place with pieces of wood 2×4’s jammed into big blobs of putty.

On October 5, 1963, the Mustang II made its formal debut at Watkins Glen, New York, the day before the United States Grand Prix, replicating the public launch of the Mustang I at the same event the previous year. The Mustang II only appeared a few more times through the winter of 1964 at auto shows as a show car.

The car then lived a very unflattering life in the Ford garage. It was often used as a daily driver and taken home by various employees. Today, the car is owned by the Detroit Historical Museum.

The car is currently unrestored, with a couple of chips, minor dents and well-worn interior. However, the odometer shows zero miles. When asked about how many miles were actually on the car, the museum representative stated that the speedometer was never connected.

Note the Mustang II emblem, hand made.
This 3/4 angle horse emblem is the only time in history it was used on a Mustang.
Note the door handle, too bad it did not appear on the production car.
This vent in front of the rear tire on the passenger side of the car is functional.
They used a similar vent on the driver’s side of the car, but it IS NOT functional. Very close inspection is required to see the difference.
The first time I walked up on the car, the top was in place and I thought it was a private party built tribute car. When I came back to speak with the car’s handler, the top was off. This is the way I remember it from back when it was on magazine covers.
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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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