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The First Mustang Prototype: Mustang I

The aluminum-bodied Mustang I made its debut in October 1962 at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Dan Gurney, in a non-competitive demonstration drive, drove the 1,200lb two-seater at speeds in excess of 100mph. Only the Mustang name and emblem from this prototype found their way to production vehicles. The Mustang I, an aluminum bodied, tube frame mid-engine V4 with a transaxle, independent suspension, and a 90in wheelbase, debuted October 7, 1962, at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Dan Gurney drove the fresh 1,200lb prototype around the track at speeds approaching 120mph, while Chevrolet's nonfunctional styling exercise sat aside, ignored.

When Ford took aim at the younger sports car buyer, they did it with a Mustang I -- a fully functional, hand-built prototype designed by Roy Lunn and crafted by Troutman-Barnes of Culver City, California. The engine was a rear mounted 60 V4 with 4-speed transaxle taken from the FWD Taunus, a Ford of Europe product. It's 1,498 cc's produced 89 hp @ 6600 rpm, good for 0-60 times of 11.1 seconds and quarter mile ETs of 17.4 @ 76 mph.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
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