Click on a photo below to enlarge
Ford had the styling of their
upcoming new Mustang nearly 100% complete. The year before, they set
the Automotive press on its duff with the Mustang I mid engine
research vehicle. Something spectacular was needed to bridge the gap
between the Mustang I and the Production Mustang.
Taking a page out of the GM proven "Hype
Notebook", Ford took a pre-production Mustang mule and created a
show car beauty. The intent was to give the impression that the
Production car was a variant of the show car. Actually, the opposite
was the case.
Stylists took the wedge nose shape of the Mustang I and blended it
to the headlamp area of the Show Car. The bumpers were removed, the
top was chopped and the car was painted white with a blue stripe
down the center, ALA Mustang I.
Mechanically the car was very close to the actual
production Mustang. In all, a great looking car.
The Mustang II Show car was unveiled at the
Watkins Glen Grand Prix in October of 1963. Lee Iacocca was the Ford
Division Vice President and the Driving Force behind the Mustang.
Mr. Iacocca gave a lofty speech about how Ford finds it useful to
produce show cars to test the publics' reaction to styling and
mechanical innovations that are under consideration for future
production ... BUNK !
This was 100% Preproduction Hype ... a proven
effective method of whipping up the public, getting them on their
feet and wondering what's next. Pure old fashioned Showmanship ..
and it worked.
had spent nearly 100 Million dollars on this revolutionary new car.
Needless to say, jobs and careers were on the line. But nobody, not
even Lee Iacocca, had any idea how much of a wallop the Mustang had
store. The General (GM) never knew what hit him.
In 6 months time, the Mustang would hit the
streets. The Mustang revolution would begin, and it hasn't stopped.
Today, this unique vehicle resides in the
collection of the Detroit Historical Commission. A gift to the City
of Detroit from the Ford Motor Company.