Jerry Heasley
November 14, 2017

A Rare Find does not always have to have four wheels and an engine. There are plenty of rare Mustang finds out there like accessories, forgotten options, and all sorts of different things that don’t add up to a complete Mustang. For instance, check out what we found next to one of the buildings at Perkins Restoration in Wisconsin—a pair of Dearborn Assembly line skids.

Huh?

This pair of Dearborn Assembly line skids may be the only ones left. Each skid has four points where the body rests, two of which attach with bolts.
Each skid has a locating fixture on the front end that functions as a guide pin.

Even Bob Perkins had never run across this little production line item, saying, “They’re the only ones I’ve ever seen.”

The skids, which are about 14 feet long and 300 pounds each, were used on the assembly line to secure the Mustang Unibody as they traveled down the assembly line. The bodies were still attached to the skids when the cars were painted, so the points where the body was attached are unpainted. Perkins uses them as a reference guide for the exact location and size of original tie-down marks on the undercarriages of classic Mustangs. He found the skids attached to a 1970 Mustang body-in-white that was ordered but never used, which he bought in 1979 and later sold (but he kept the skids, obviously).

Moving from the front towards the center of the skid are two more pads machined for bolts. These large bolts attach the Unibody to the skid, so a Unibody can’t fall off the skid while being moved around.
Moving towards the rear, we find each rail has a flat pad upon which the Unibody sat, with no guide pin.

He said, “We’ve had judging seminars here and at MCA rules meetings and the members come out and they go, ‘Oh, that’s the reason for those bare metal marks on Mustang floor pans.’” We wonder if anybody besides Perkins had the foresight to save another set of assembly line skids, or if these skids are the single set left from that era. They fit 1969-1970 Mustangs.

Like those MCA members, now you know…the rest of the story.

At the rear of each skid we find a fixture with two machined attaching points per skid, or four total for left and right skids. The farthest to the rear on each side are attaching points for Mercury’s Cougar, which was longer than a Mustang but built on the same assembly line.
On the underside of Bob Perkins’ 1970 Boss 429 we can see bare metal in a donut shape with a hole in the middle for Mustang, and bare metal in a donut shape with paint in the middle for Cougar, since the Cougar fixture was not an attaching point for Mustang. The two cars were built on the same assembly line and skids.