AUBURN, Indiana (November 19, 2014) – Auctions America is delighted to announce it will lift the gavel on the unique and historically important 1964½ Ford Mustang III Factory Prototype, affectionately known as the “Shorty” Mustang, when its highly anticipated Fort Lauderdale sale returns to South Florida, March 27-29, 2015.
Recognized by Ford Motor Company as an original factory prototype, the Mustang III was a one-of-a-kind design study built at Ford’s request by the famed Dearborn Steel Tubing Company. The car began with a prototype Mustang chassis, shortened by 16 inches and outfitted with a custom-built 302-cubic-inch V-8 with three dual-barrel carburetors. The special two-passenger fastback coupe body was penned by freelance designer, Vince Gardner, well-known for his custom creations during the 1950s and 60s.
When first unveiled, the “Shorty” Mustang was part of a travelling custom car show, displayed, among other events, at “Sports Cars in Review” at the Henry Ford Museum in 1965. Much to the disappointment of showgoers and its designer, Ford’s plans for limited production of the model did not pan out; and, upset at the prototype’s pending destruction; Gardner stashed it away in a nearby warehouse. It was subsequently reported stolen by Ford, who received a payout for the loss, only for the car to be discovered several months later. An important piece of Ford history, it eventually found its way into the possession of its current owner, a passionate sports car enthusiast, in 1968. He later commissioned a complete restoration to return the car to its original condition before debuting the vehicle at the esteemed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2013. The appearance marked the first time that the car had been shown publicly in four decades. More recently, it has been displayed at numerous events across the U.S. as part of Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
“The upcoming sale of the Shorty Mustang represents an incredibly rare ownership opportunity,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, Auctions America. “Not only is it believed to be the only first generation Mustang prototype in private ownership, but it is an immensely important piece of Ford Motor Company history - truly something special for the ultimate Ford collector. We’re proud to have been trusted with its sale by its long-term owner. Arguably, the most historically important Mustang ever offered for sale, it’s certainly set to be a highlight of the Fort Lauderdale auction.”
Celebrating its 13th year in 2015, Auctions America’s well-established Fort Lauderdale sale is regarded as South Florida’s premier collector car auction. In 2014, the sale enjoyed its most successful performance to date, generating more than $21 million in sales. The 2015 event is set to build on Auctions America’s strong track record in Florida, presenting approximately 500 quality collector cars. The offering will again span the spectrum of the market from American classics, European sports cars, Detroit muscle, hot rods and customs, catering for a broad range of automotive tastes and budgets.
For further information, to discuss consignment opportunities or to view a frequently updated list of entries, please call toll free 877-906-2437 (or +1 260 927 9797 outside North America) or visit auctionsamerica.com.