Ford’s Stolen ’64 Mustang “Shorty” Prototype

Let’s take it back a few decades, back to the early 1960’s to be specific. It was around this time when Ford Motor Company first started toying with the idea of a two-door sports coupe sketching a handful of designs. Born from these sketches was the one and only prototype known as the “Shorty” Mustang.

Designed by Vince Gardner, the “Shorty” Mustang got its name due to it being 16-inches shorter than the standard model produced in 1965. It also featured its very own unique fiberglass rear end and outer door body panels.

Like many prototypes, it had a date with the crusher after it had made its rounds on tour. Being Gardner’s design, he hid it away in a warehouse to prevent it from meeting certain doom. Of course, Ford had no knowledge of Gardner’s scheme, and eventually they reported the prototype as stolen. Ford accepted the loss and received an insurance payment on the “stolen” car. Not long after, Gardner failed to pay the warehouse rent and the car was discovered. Since the insurance check was already issued, Ford then sold it to one of their executives.

After being in the hands of a Ford executive, the car ended up for sale in Hemming’s Motor News where Ohio resident Bill Snyder saw it. He contacted the seller and purchased this piece of history for himself. After 46 years, the Shorty still remains in Snyder’s possession.

About the author

Amie Williams

Amie's love and appreciation for fine machinery began when she was a kid spending summers with her father, a pilot and skydiving instructor. Her passion for everything automotive, and especially American muscle, continued after her dad passed. It was then Amie decided to become a journalist and photographer. She currently is a freelance contributor for Power Automedia.
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