The first Ford Mustang came out in 1964. Well, technically 1964.5, because production started March 9th, 5 months before the standard model year change for 1965. But there is at least one 1963 Ford Mustang out there, and it belonged to the big boss himself, Henry Ford II. As you’d expect, this early example of the muscle car is unlike the ones sold a year later to the general public.
The Mustang hit the American hard. It was a revolutionary vehicle, with unique styling that captured the spirit of the era, and lots of customization options. It was also remarkably cheap and provided sports car thrills to the masses. This 1963 Mustang helped dial in some of the features which later made the car so popular, but it’s also full of luxury elements that would never make it to production.
Hagerty’s show Barn Find Hunter is in Detroit, the home of muscle cars and Ford, to check out this 1963 triple-black Mustang prototype built for Hank the Deuce himself, and as you’d expect, it has an interesting story behind it.
The guy who owns it must have gotten the deal of the century when he bought the car in 1975 for only $500. It was in bad condition but received an empathetic restoration to fix the rust issues associated with cars of that era. Over time, it became more and more apparent that this wasn’t any ordinary Mustang.
The ’63 pony spent all of its life within the same 3 miles. The Deuce gave it to his chauffeur after he was done with it, and it ended up with a friend and now its current owner, all within the same vicinity of Detroit.
One obvious difference between this and normal Mustangs made in 1964 is that it has a vinyl top with padding underneath, which is very unusual for a car designed to be affordable. Once inside, you’ll notice this also comes with leather seats. The luxury touches continue with a leather dash pad, leather headliner, and sun visors.
Henry Ford II didn’t like floor mats, so in their place, the car was fitted with a custom chrome plate bolted onto the body and rubber glued on top. Another touch: teak wood dashboard inserts, signed by Edsel Bryant Ford, the Deuce’s only son, who also authenticated this one-off. Confusingly, the 5F07K100148 VIN indicates this is a 1965 Fastback, which it’s clearly not. And the paperwork says it belongs to Edsel, which would have been in high school at the time.
All of it has been kept in its original condition, which probably adds tens or even hundreds of thousands to the value. While it doesn’t have the racing heritage of a GT350, we still believe this 1963 Mustang prototype is worth over $1 million.
Speaking of racing Mustangs, this has a nice engine. It’s a prototype K-code, meaning a 289 cubic-inch V8 that was rated at 271 horsepower. The prototype comes with an aluminum water pump and was retrofitted with an alternator instead of the generator. The power is needed because it’s got powered steering and powered disc brakes.