Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
The Mustang Mach 2?
On this page in the October 2016 issue of Mustang Monthly, we showed you the original Mustang prototype, the Mustang I. That car was a tiny, mid-engine concept built for Ford by Troutman-Barnes in California. Though it saw some track time, it never got close to production. Here, you see the second mid-engine Mustang concept, the Mach 2, which appeared at the 1967 Chicago Auto Show and was photographed here by a Motor Trend staffer driving on the streets of Detroit and on a test track somewhere (we assume Ford’s proving grounds) on September 25, 1969, well after its show debut.
In the mid-’60s, Ford gave design chief Gene Bordinat the job of creating a design study that married the demeanor of the then-new Mustang with the brutality of the Shelby Cobra, and he came up with the Mach 2. It had a very European look to it (kind of looks like a GM/Opel GT from the front) but used a lot of Mustang parts, including the front suspension, brakes, and the 289 engine, which was placed behind the driver.
It seems goofy to imagine a mid-engine Mustang today, but back then GM was experimenting with a mid-engine Corvette and had already released Ralph Nader’s favorite deathtrap, the Corvair. So the Mach 2 can be thought of as trendy at the time. The Mach 2 obviously never saw production, but as you can see in these photos it was a runner. With GM rumored to be developing a mid-engine Corvette again, maybe Ford will revisit the idea; an affordable alternative to the GT, maybe?