My Car Quest

December 6, 2021

Design: The First Generation Mustang Could Have Looked Weird in 1965

by Wallace Wyss –

I am currently researching old clay model shots and have come up with some Dueseys that surprise even me, an auto writer since the ’60s. Like this 1962 clay model that was one of many clays intended to be for the sporty car that would be made out of the bones of the Falcon.

Ford Mustang Concept Design

Ford Mustang Concept Design

Now as far as I know there wasn’t even a high performance Falcon yet (the Sprint) but here they were proposing some pretty far out solutions. All the design studios pitched in, but at least the Ford design studio won. One shudders to think if the Lincoln group would have won.

Ford Mustang Concept Design

They didn’t decide on a firm direction for the car that would be the Mustang until ’63 but the only reason they were able to do it fast is because the floorpan, suspension, engine choices, all that already existed. It was more of a re-skinning job than designing an all new car.

The weird thing is that Ford’s idea to make a GT40 didn’t exist yet. Henry Ford II had attended the 24 Heures du Mans with his Italian wife who had made some remark akin to “Well, why doesn’t Ford make something that can best those red cars (Ferraris)?” So The Deuce gave the order to try to buy Ferrari but negotiations broke down and it was only then that Ford went to Lola for the mechanical inspiration and assigned Ford Design to start doing drawings and clay models to go on a similarly laid -out mid-engine chassis (and wasn’t it a coincidence that Eric Broadley’s GT chassis used a Ford small block!).

Some of the design cues on the ’63 clay model GT40 and sketches have the same side scoops as this 1962 Mustang clay model. They just borrowed that detail from the Mustang clay for their GT40 clay. The rear of the Mustang clay has two horizontal taillights that look like those on the mid-engined Mustang I show car.

Ford GT40 Concept

Ford GT40 Concept Design

I think Ford Mustang sales would have been a lot less if they would have gone with this design than what they chose because it’s too sporty for a family car though I think there was a Mitsubishi that used that nose later on.

I think when Ford became involved with Shelby making the GT350 variant, he introduced them to the realities of what racers really need. Only the R-model, though, had all the tricks. Like the fastback rear window that didn’t go all the way to the roof.

If anybody out there knows a source for glossy pictures of Ford clay models between 1963 and 2022 let me know. There’s lots to learn about how we get the cars we want in the showrooms. I can be reached at Photojournalistpro2@gmail.com.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books and co-host of Autotalk, a show broadcast weekly on KUCR FM Riverside.

 
 
 

Ford GT40 Concept

Ford GT40 Early Design Sketch

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Design: The First Generation Mustang Could Have Looked Weird in 1965
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Design: The First Generation Mustang Could Have Looked Weird in 1965
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I think Ford Mustang sales would have been a lot less if they would have gone with this design than what they chose.
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Comments

  1. Robert Feldman says

    Can’t you just see Shelby looking at this car, scratching his head and wondering “What am I supposed to do with this thing?”

  2. Interesting that there is a vague visual connection to the Gen 3 Thunderbird (61-63). Certainly not the same but there are styling and proportion cues that show they are cousins. Would be fascinating to see the styling illustrations of both cars in that era.

  3. Glen Durmisevich says

    The clay model looks like they were attempting to productionize the design of the 1962 Mustang l Concept car.
    It obviously didn’t work on the Falcon proportions.

  4. Mike Stellato says

    Ford did not consummate the deal of buying of Ferrari……
    So it looks like Ferrari took the GT40 Concept Design side vent idea [gray car] and glued it onto the Tesatarosa

  5. SKIP HINOJOS says

    TOO FAR ADVANCED IN DESIGN TO EVER BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED

  6. The car is good for midgets. Lol.

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