AJ of the radio DJ team of Chaz & AJ in the Morning of 99.1 PLR Radio in Connecticut has selected the 1963 Mustang III as his car of the day. AJ first saw the car at the 2016 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance.
AJ's Car of the Day '63 Ford Mustang III Concept Show Car
Posted on 10/10/2016 9:00 AM by AJ
Car: Ford Mustang III Concept Show Car
What makes it special: From August to December 1963 Ford built 15 pre-production pilot Mustang chassis to establish assembly procedures, to determine engineering revisions necessary for future production at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plant and to create concept show cars. This automobile was the ninth pre-production Mustang ever built. The first eight S-code Mustangs have been destroyed or their existence are unknown. It is the only known existing Mustang with an S-code VIN and according to Mustang historian Bob Fria, it is likely “the oldest known Mustang on the road today.” The body was built of fiberglass.
What made it famous: With Ford Marketing-sanctioned approval, DST decided to build a two-passenger Mustang, just to test the waters. A veteran designer that they had recently brought on-board, on a freelance basis, would draw it up. The design for the two-seater Mustang required shortening the car’s wheelbase by 16 inches, which effectively removed much of the rear seat area and made the job of creating a well-proportioned design much easier. Stock Mustang bodywork from the firewall back was thrown out, replaced by a new body with completely new contours that still managed to reflect the basic lines of the factory’s fastback coupe. Under the hood was a new version of the early Mustang’s 260 V-8, bored out to 302 cubic inches and equipped with a three carburetor setup – an experimental version of what would become an iconic “muscle” powerplant. It was mated to a specially strengthened, rebuilt automatic transmission, on a chassis otherwise equipped with the independent front suspension, hypoid rear axle, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes common to other early Mustangs.
Why I would want one: Even though just a prototype, this is historic in the fact that it's the only factory built, two-seater Ford Mustang ever created. It's priceless.
Fun fact: On May 2, 1965, the Mustang III was stolen from its warehouse, and walled it up in another nearby building. What plans for it were never recorded. Today, “Shorty” is complete with an enviable file of documentation, including newspaper and magazine appearances dating back to the 1960s, original DST and Aetna paperwork, photographs taken over the passing decades, appraisals, paperwork, and news releases, as well as comprehensive research by Mustang historian, Bob Fria. Its status as an original, Ford-sanctioned first-generation Mustang prototype, and the only one like it known in private hands, makes this amazing automobile the most important Mustang ever.