One-of-a-kind ‘Shorty’ Mustang goes under the hammer

Once destined to be destroyed, the one-off Ford 'Shorty' Mustang prototype is for sale

US Auctioneer Auctions America has announced that it will be selling a unique Ford Mustang at its March 2015 event. Nicknamed the ‘Shorty’ Mustang, it’s the world’s only privately owned Ford Mustang prototype and brings with it a whole host of Blue Oval history.

So what's the big deal with this Mustang? Well...officially built by Ford supplier Dearborn Steel Tubing in 1964, the ‘Shorty’ Mustang earned its name thanks to a 16-inch shorter chassis length, resulting in the removal of the rear seats. The concept was developed whilst Ford toyed with the idea of a compact sports car, but it never passed the development phase.

The ‘Shorty’ was fitted with a custom-built 5-litre V8 with three dual-barrel carburettors, and wore a two-seat fastback coupe body designed by Vince Gardner, a famous freelancer responsible for creations such as the one-off 1953 Ford Vega.

When first unveiled, the prototype Mustang joined a travelling custom car show and was displayed at a number of US events. Despite much interest, Ford decided the car wasn’t to make production and prepared to have it destroyed. 

Designer Gardner was obviously particularly proud of his creation and consequently hid it from Ford. The carmaker listed it as stolen and received an insurance payout, only for the car to resurface months later.

It moved onto its latest owner in 1968 before more recently being fully restored to original condition. Its first post-restoration public appearance was at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and it’s made several Mustang 50th anniversary celebration appearances since (check out our 50th anniversary gallery).

Unsurprisingly, with such a tale behind it the car has become a legend in its own right. It’s expected to face heavy demand at the 27-29 March 2015 auction, held at Fort Lauderdale in South Florida. But as a one-off piece of the Mustang’s already interesting history, it makes for a very enticing purchase. And one hell of an investment…

Whilst we're certain the latest Ford Mustang probably won't see quite the same levels of appreciation for some time, that didn't stop us having a go in one. Read our full review here.

Recommended

Shelby Super Snake Speedster takes 812bhp muscle car open-air
Shelby Super Snake Speedster
Ford Mustang

Shelby Super Snake Speedster takes 812bhp muscle car open-air

Shelby’s latest Super Snake celebrates its founder’s 98th birthday, and there’s a topless version on the menu for 2021
16 Mar 2021
454bhp Ford Mustang Mach 1 priced from £55,185
Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang

454bhp Ford Mustang Mach 1 priced from £55,185

Ford has brought back the Mach 1 to the Mustang range after 17 years, and first cars are hitting UK roads this summer
15 Mar 2021
Ford Mustang review – V8 GT, EcoBoost and Bullitt driven
Ford Mustang front red
Ford Mustang coupe

Ford Mustang review – V8 GT, EcoBoost and Bullitt driven

Flawed, fun and fast - Mustang's not a great sports car, but it's a great muscle car
10 Dec 2020
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition turns torque up to 634lb ft
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition front three quarters
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition turns torque up to 634lb ft

The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E GT has gained mild cosmetic and performance tweaks with the Performance Edition
1 Dec 2020

Most Popular

BMW X5 M Competition 2021 review – how does the M division’s biggest SUV stack up?
Crop X5 M Competition
BMW X5 M

BMW X5 M Competition 2021 review – how does the M division’s biggest SUV stack up?

In many ways critically flawed, but there is something oddly captivating about its unerring focus
7 May 2021
Mandatory speed limiters to be fitted to all new UK cars after 2022
80mph motorway speed limit
News

Mandatory speed limiters to be fitted to all new UK cars after 2022

The use of mandatory speed limiters and data loggers on all new cars has been approved by the European Parliament, and manufacturers are already makin…
28 Apr 2021
Genesis G70 estate teased – Audi A4 Avant rival to launch later this year
Genesis G70 Estate rear
Genesis

Genesis G70 estate teased – Audi A4 Avant rival to launch later this year

Genesis is aiming at the Euro heartland with the 3-series Touring and A4 Avant-rivalling G70 estate
7 May 2021