Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
A Mid-Engine Boss 429 Mustang? Yes, It’s True
In 1969, Ford Motor Co. built an experimental, mid-engine version of the Boss 429 Mustang. Here's the story behind this intriguing machine.
Known internally as the LID Mustang, this unique project was the work of Ford Motor Company's Special Vehicles section and Kar Kraft, its private Detroit-area engineering facility. (Kar Kraft was ostensibly an independent contractor but had only a single client: Ford.) The LID acronym was short for Low Investment Drivetrain—an experiment to produce a mid-engine Mustang on a budget. Instead of an exotic European-style transaxle like, say, the Ford GT, this project used as many Ford production components as possible.
One well-known issue with the stock Boss 429 (1,358 examples produced in 1969-70) was its nose-heavy weight distribution, the result of wedging the big 429 cubic-inch 385-series V8, complete with iron block and iron hemi heads, between the front shock towers of a lightweight Mustang coupe. To address this shortcoming, the LID concept simply relocated the powertrain from the front to the rear of the chassis. In a nutshell, here’s how it was done.
So what became of the one and only mid-engine Boss 429? A short article in the December 1970 issue of Motor Trend indicated that the car was at that point headed for the shredder. However, some old timers at Ford doubt that story. As they remember it, the paperwork procedure for the disposal of prototype vehicles was notoriously lax. The car simply could have disappeared, they say, without management being any the wiser. One source claims the LID Mustang was stolen; another says the car languished on a scrap lot at the Dearborn Proving Grounds for a year or two, then just vanished. Could the one-of-one mid-engine Mustang be stashed away in a home garage in Dearborn or Allen Park, awaiting its return to the light of day? Maybe someday we will know.
Check out Mac’s Motor City Garage
Former Hot Rod magazine Detroit Editor Bill McGuire has created a very interesting website, MacsMotorCityGarage.com, that goes far beyond mainstream automotive performance information, with behind the scenes stuff like this mid-engine Boss 429 Mustang item. As McGuire describes it, “Here's your source for industry news and gossip, automotive history, technology, racing, shop talk, hot rods, and collector car news.”