The Gardner Mustang

11:19:00 AM



This is a rare piece of Mustang history, the car known as "The Gardner Mustang". This two-seater fastback Mustang with the LeMans gas cap was stolen from Ford in the early 60's. The designer Vince Gardner could not stand to see it crushed by Ford so he stole it and hid behind a false wall in a local warehouse. 
Just like an episode of Storage Wars, Gardner did not pay his rent and when the owner of the warehouse discovered the stolen car, the police were called. The car was recovered by Ford's insurance company, paid the claim, and took possession of the car. An executive at the insurance company ended up purchasing it thus saving a little bit of Mustang history. Bill Snyder eventually bought the car from that executive and began to show the car to the public once again.




The car on display in the early 60's
The car is a pre-production Mustang that was shortened 16 inches and equipped with a 302-cu.in. V-8 bored and stroked from 260. Dearborn Steel Tubing, the company behind the Ford Thunderbolt, created the one-off fiberglass body and delivered the car to Ford. The car toured the country for a time and was destined for the scrapyard when Gardner liberated it. While Ford did play with several two-seat Mustang styling exercises this is the only one ever to get past the sketch and into the prototype phase.



The Gardner Mustang appeared again for the first time in public at Amelia Island as part of the concourse "What Were They Thinking?" class in 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. 


Via: AmeliaConcours.org.

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