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1963 Ford Mustang II - Back To The Future
Originally Created To Link The Mustang I Show Car To The Production '65, Ford's '63 Mustang II Is Alive And Well-Preserved
Designer Gene Bordinat takes credit for the promotional idea. John Najir, in charge of the Mustang's interior design, remembers Bordinat visiting his studio and talking about producing a link between the Mustang I and the production car.
Najir says, "I had a man working for me by the name of Jimmy Sherbourne turn out some drawings that were a blend of the two vehicles. We had the bumpers tucked in, we still had the rollover bar, and we were beginning to play with a retractable, stowable roof and dropped rear window. As it went along it got more of an abstract look, but also got closer to the production car. I later did sketches myself, and they ended up as the Mustang II that was shown at Watkins Glen in October 1963."
For now, Curtis at the Owls Head Museum is our source for details of the car's status and unrecorded history, which dates back to its design and build. Anybody can read facts from history books, but the real car-and this is the Mustang II that debuted at Watkins Glen-is full of history.
Curtis has worked on the car and has had part of the interior out. He describes the seats as "handmade." The rear bench is "pretty much for looks. You can sit on them, but they are not that great, mostly a wood frame. The whole interior treatment is fiberglass and things held up with pieces of 2x4 jammed into big blobs of putty."
Inside, the center of the custom dash features "aircraft controls." The instrument panel for the driver features round dials. The horizontal Falcon speedometer used on the original Mustang certainly would not suffice in a show car.
We're excited to see the Mustang II has survived because no book on Mustang history is complete without pictures and information about this important part of its past.
About Owls Head
The Owls Head Transportation Museum has one of the finest collections of pioneer-era aircraft and automobiles in the world. More than 100 historic aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, carriages, and engines are on permanent display. The Aircraft Collection contains replicas and originals representing the first century of flight, while the museum's collection of automobiles spans the late 19th century and early 20th century. For more information, contact: Peter Curtis, Owls Head Transportation Museum, 117 Museum St., Owls Head, ME 04854; 207/594-4418; www.ohtm.org.