The story behind Ford’s mid-engine Mach 2 sports car project might not be as fully documented and fleshed out as, say, the story of the Mustang or any other enthusiast car that actually made it to production, but it’s less shrouded in mystery than many people would suspect. We know who was involved in it, we know much of the car’s timeline, and we know for what purposes Ford intended to build the car. It’s a rather complete story up until the very end when the one remaining prototype vanished without a trace.
“Nothing,” said Jim Kreuz, who writes about Shelby and (in this case) Shelby-adjacent vehicles and who is searching for the missing prototype Mach 2. “I quizzed Howard Pardee, who located all the Shelby paperwork in the Ford files in Detroit in 1970’s, and his words of advice were, ‘good luck.'”
Still, Kreuz believes it may still be out there
The Mach 2, as Charlie Henry wrote for Ford Performance, was not necessarily intended to be a mid-engine Mustang, more an in-house Shelby Cobra positioned to compete head-on with the Chevrolet Corvette, both in showrooms (retailing for no more than $7,500, with a well-equipped small-block Corvette going for about $5,500 at the time) and on the track (designed with SCCA A-Production and FIA Group III GT specifications in mind). The program kicked off in the spring of 1966 with Roy Lunn at the helm and with an eye toward involving Shelby American in the production process somehow. Ford plucked a 1966 Mustang convertible off the assembly line and shipped it to Kar Kraft to have it converted to mid-engine layout for initial feasibility studies
Two more followed, one red and one white, both full fiberglass-bodied prototypes that Kar Kraft built on 1967 Mustang chassis. According to Henry, Ford designated the white one for further development for racing but finished the red one as a street-trim car and sent it out to the media for road tests. By the fall of 1967, however, Ford’s designers had shifted their focus to what has since been dubbed the Mach 2A, leaving all three of the Mach 2 prototypes with Kar Kraft for disposal.