The two-seater Fastback, which will headline the upcoming 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, was designed by Vincent Gardner, of South Bend, Indiana, back in the 1960s. Gardner was so convinced that Ford would eventually consign his custom show car to the dregs of prototype hell, a.k.a. the crusher, he stole the car and hid it within the walls of a warehouse in Inkster, Michigan.
Sometime later, after several months of missing his rent payments, the car was discovered. As the story goes, Ford didn’t want the car, as the insurance company had already paid its claim, so the insurance company took this special fiberglass bodied Mustang and parked it in front of their headquarters in New England. No doubt, the car attracted quite a bit of attention. So much, in fact, that a company executive purchased the Mustang.
That’s where its current owners, Bill and Chris Snyder, come into play. Bill Snyder saw the Mustang for sale in a car collector publication and fell in love with the ride. The deal was sealed, and one of Bill’s employees drove the car back to his home state of Ohio. Hence, the car was saved from the crusher and remains a part of Mustang history to this day.
The one-of-a-kind 1964 ½ Shorty Mustang features fiberglass panels from Dearborn Steel Tube Company, and is built on top of a pre-production Mustang chassis, one of ten, that was designed for research and experimentation.
"It was custom built and became part of a Ford travelling show," said Bill Snyder. "I loved it, I said 'I'm gonna buy one!'" Unfortunately, the Ford salesman told Bill there would be no such car for sale and that this fastback fiberglass Mustang was likely headed for exile or worse.
The car’s wheelbase has been shorted by about 16 inches, hence the “shorty” name. Under its hood you’ll find a standard 260 cubic-inch V8 engine, which has been upgraded to 302 cubic inches. "The car goes like stink," said Snyder.
The car will headline the upcoming 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which takes place March 8-10, 2013 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton in Florida. It will appropriately be assigned to the “What Were They Thinking?” class. The class, which is the real deal, is a place for significant and interesting cars that fit no class, category or commercial orthodoxy.
For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.
About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
Now in its second decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, "The Amelia" draws nearly 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show's Foundation has donated over $2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other deserving charities on Florida's First Coast. The 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is scheduled for March 8-10, 2013. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.