Ford’s Mach 1 concept envisioned a competition-prepped persona with a few forward-thinking features – Thomas A. DeMauro @Hemmings

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The fertile imaginations of automotive designers have produced awe-inspiring renderings of idea cars with thought-provoking innovations. The freedom to explore new horizons, without having to be overly concerned about current production viability which could stymie creativity, has fostered positive results like those shown here.

Ford designer Charlie McHose, who’s also known for conceiving the body enhancements for the legendary 1967 Shelby G.T. 500, made these Mustang concept drawings of what would become the Mach 1 experimental car, as FoMoCo referred to it at the time.

First shown with the frontend design above, the Mach 1’s extensive restyling for 1968 is obvious in the color photo

Because the renderings likely pushed the limits of what was feasible, even for a concept car, the actual Mach 1 built for show duty in late 1966 didn’t incorporate a number of the ideas depicted.

Nevertheless, it was still quite the attention grabber with some GT40 traits incorporated, a dramatically lowered roofline, two-seat layout, and flip-out toll windows. Mirrors were added to the fixed side windows and large quick-release gas caps were installed. The front and rear treatments were revised, but they differed somewhat from the renderings.

Additionally, the Shelby-like lamps in the grille, the power dome hood, and the lower scoop shown in the lead drawing in this article weren’t used on the Mach 1. More intriguing elements presented in the renderings are discussed in the captions below.

The professional legacy of Charlie McHose endures in the remarkable designs he created at Ford. Fortunately, we can still appreciate these works of art and what their creator had envisioned in them. Just imagine blasting out of your local Ford dealer’s lot in a Mustang with the styling and equipment depicted here.

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Categories: 1960's, Concept Cars, Ford Mustang, Ford Mustang, Hemmings, Mach 1

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