by Wallace Wyss –
To create the Ford Mach 2 it was a natural–take the transaxle from a GT40, and a reliable tested-in-combat 289 and lay it in a Mustang floorpan but amidship, not up front. Engineer Ed Hull is credited with working it out on the one Ford Mach 2 built.
Some historians have theorized that the GT40 was much too impractical for a mid-engine car, being too low, being built in England, no roll down side windows, etc.etc. (though they did make seven road going Mk.III GT40s) This could have been a proposal for a made-in-America replacement – the Ford Mach 2.
The concept car was shown at the 1967 Chicago Auto Show and all the engineers present were impressed how many off-the-shelf Mustang components it used, including the front suspension, front and rear brakes, and the 289 engine.
The styling was very finished looking and practical–the entire rear valance panel a mesh screen for cooling. Luggage room was minimal–maybe you could fit a cloth bag around the spare up front. But maybe one reason it did not get the green light was its styling had no hint of Ford lineage.
Also they didn’t solve the where-do-I-roll-down-the side window problem.
I think the big cost to Ford in manufacturing would have been the transaxle. I remember buying a ZF transaxle from a Pantera decades ago for $600–today they are probably $16,000!
Now as to how many they made–here’s a “barn find” tip for free. I always thought they only made one. But in a televised interview of Edsel Ford II I spied two of them in one picture, one on a hoist, indicating it was a running driving car.
I have been to many Ford events in the last 40 years and never seen hide ‘nor hair of the Mach 2. I don’t think it was sold off as many of their GT40s were.
Oh, as far as driving, any concept cars only run, drive, steer and brake sufficient to driving up on stage by one journalist actually drove the car so I think it was a runner.
Is it too late to bring it back? I think so. Safety requirements are much more strict now. But I get the feeling starting with a Mustang floorpan was a good concept to keeping the cost down.
Let us know what you think in the Comments.
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss’ newest book is Porsche 356 Photo Album. Those who wish to be on the notification list for when it’s published can contact Enthusiast Books (715) 381 9755.