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Another Magic Skyway Mustang has been found!!

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Hi All,

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a gentleman back east who said that one of his relatives owned a 1964½ Ford Mustang convertible with the VIN of 5F08F100004, and he was wondering if I had any sort of documentation to prove it's history as a Magic Skyway ride vehicle in the Ford Pavilion. Here are a few photos of the car that he sent along as well...

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I did in fact have a copy of a November 23, 1964 shipping invoice from Carron & Co. (the company that Ford used to perform the ride vehicle modifications), that showed that a Raven Black Mustang convertible with the VIN of "100004" was shipped to the Ford Pavilion along with three other Mustangs on April 1, 1964. (Interesting to note that by Nov. 1964, people were already referring to these early Mustangs as "1964 1/2" models).

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So with this discovery of 5F08F100004, we have now located two of the twelve 1964 Season Mustangs, and one of the twelve from the 1965 Season. Three down, 21 more to go!

Now the really good news for those of you who live around the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area is that the owner is having the car cleaned up and is planning to display it at the 2009 Carlisle All Ford Nationals show the weekend of June 5, 6, & 7!

http://www.carlislee...ford-nationals/

Unfortunately, I live too far away to attend the show myself, but hopefully a few of you will be able to see this wonderful piece of World's Fair and automotive history in person!

Best Regards,

Kevin

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Unfortunately, I live too far away to attend the show myself, but hopefully a few of you will be able to see this wonderful piece of World's Fair and automotive history in person!

...And hopefully take photos of it in it's car show glory! Great find Kevin! Keep up the detective work.

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Super, Kevin! I hope you'll be in touch and can get the owner to send pix of the cleanup.

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Well done!

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The interior looks as if it could possibly be original. Maybe. Did the fellow mention the mileage on the car?

Johnny, I'll bet that a rough number of riders in that Mustang could be calculated by dividing the Ford 1964 attendance by the number of cars on the track - with a little fudge factor for big Galaxies and Lincolns and Park Lanes vs Mustangs, Falcons and Comets.

Kevin or Wayne, wanna take THAT one for a spin? :rolleyes:

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Hi All,

Thanks for the kudos, but I really didn't have much to do with this find... all I did was answer an email!

I'm told that Mustang Monthly magazine will be doing a feature story on this car in the coming months, so out of respect to my friends at the magazine, I can't reveal too many details about it right now. However, I can say that the car has about 70k miles on it, and is in mostly original condition (though it had some sheet metal replaced and a total repaint in the early 1970's).

Also - not only is this car special because of its Magic Skyway history, but it is also a very significant car in the Mustang hobby as well, as it is just the fourth Mustang to be given a production VIN number...

Mustang #001 is a Wimbledon White convertible in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan:

number_one_007.jpg(image courtesy of early-mustang.com)

Mustang #002 is a Caspian Blue hardtop owned by a retired airline captain named Bob Fria, and it is currently on display at the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar, California:

youve-got-to-love-bob-frias-hardtop-for-its-wonderful-simplicity-b.jpg(image courtesy of mustangmonthly.com)

Mustang #003 was another Raven Black/Red Magic Skyway convertible - its whereabouts are currently unknown...

And now we've found Mustang #004, an identical twin to #003... or should I say identical triplet, as Mustang #005 was also a Raven Black/Red Magic Skyway convertible too (#005's current whereabouts are also unknown).

These early Mustangs (about the first 180 to 200 VINs) are of particular interest to Mustang enthusiasts because they were built prior to the "official first day of production" of the Mustang on March 9, 1964 - and often utilized slightly different parts and assembly methods as the engineers figured out the best way to build the cars.

If you're interested in learning more about the Magic Skyway Mustangs, here's a link to an article by Gary Schweitzer about them that appeared in the October 2007 issue of the Mustang Times (with a little help from some prominent PTU members as well): http://mustangtimes.net/31-10/pg16-26.pdf

By coincidence, the editor of the Mustang Times also attended the Fair, and shared a few of her memories in this issue too: http://mustangtimes.net/31-10/pg6.pdf

To answer Johnny's question - It's hard to know for sure what percentage of the 14.9 million visitors to the Ford Pavilion actually rode on the Magic Skyway ride, but for the article, Gary and I estimated that the number of passengers in each of the Magic Skyway cars was somewhere around 40,000... (but that figure could be off by a few thousand riders in either direction).

Cheers!

Kevin

PS - Yes Doug, I'd love to take that car for a drive!

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My subscription to Mustang Monthly probably lapsed. Could you post when that feature story is published, please?

I used to have a red '66. That interior photo looked familiar.

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Hi All,

My contact back east sent me a few photos last night of the car at the Carlisle show...

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He also said I could share the following information as well:

The car is currently owned by Dr. John L. Mansell of New Wilmington, PA. Mansell attended the World's Fair in 1964 and vividly remembers all four different colors of Mustangs on the Magic Skyway. Unfortunately, he was late arriving at the Fair (due to a speeding ticket no-less) and did not get in line early enough to actually ride in one of the cars.

By 1964, he had already made connections with the Ford Motor Company manager responsible for pool car disbursement and a few months after the 1964 season ended, Mansell contacted this manager to see if one of the cars might become available - it just so happened that the manager was personally driving one! Mansell was in the middle of building a house at the time and was short on cash, so he convinced his father in law to go with him to Dearborn to buy the car in June 1965 for $2400. The father in law then proceeded to drive the car on an extended trip to California and back before Mansell was finally able to buy it back from him in December of 1965 with around 20k miles on the odometer - and for a discounted price of $2200.

From that point, the car became his wife's daily driver during summer months and his kids all have fantastic stories of riding in the car as youngsters. The car was put into storage in 1978, and continued to sit until last month. Prior to removing the car from storage, the Doctor even made a comment that after almost 31 years in storage, the tires were stuck to the concrete and might have to be removed from the car to break them free!

Hope to have more photos to share soon!

Best Regards,

Kevin

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There is so much wrench-cranking empty space in that engine compartment you can see the floor! If you knew nothing about anything you could probably deduce 90% of how an automobile motor worked by inspection of those heartbreakingly easily accessible components. Alternators, starters... where you can get at them! What were they thinking?

I was about to say the well cared for Skyway Mustangs are probably the only ones without cowl vent leaks but after seeing the wear on those engine parts, I bet they've got a cover somewhere in their garage.

Would like to hear what that blogger casually alluded to not have time to say about the Ford pavilion.

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My subscription to Mustang Monthly probably lapsed. Could you post when that feature story is published, please?

I used to have a red '66. That interior photo looked familiar.

I had a red late '66 coupe with parchment interior - there was something about the interior trim/colors that was actually intended for '67 (can't recall exactly) but apparently some of the parts were changed over early. What was in yours?

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I had a red late '66 coupe with parchment interior - there was something about the interior trim/colors that was actually intended for '67 (can't recall exactly) but apparently some of the parts were changed over early. What was in yours?

Gas fumes. Pieces of the heating system I had disassembled with good intentions of rebuilding the airflow channels and vent doors. Not transmission fluid. I kept a puddle of that on a piece of cardboard on the driveway under the car. I had what seemed to be the original keys.

Mine was red in/ex exactly as the photo above except the hump was covered with an automatic transmission console with a little storage bin. I couldn't distinguish what fraction of the year it was built. 6T07T220219

Bought it in 1987 in Tampa, used it in Miami, drove it once to Philly. It was so unreliable I bought a second car to use and kept the Mustang as a project. Hanging upside down working under the dash got less and less attractive with heat and mosquitos. Needless to say I never finished the job. From 91 to 97 or so it sat in the carport til a passing local asked to buy it to give to his daughter. He painted it silver and it looked great. Never saw it again.

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My subscription to Mustang Monthly probably lapsed. Could you post when that feature story is published, please?

The article on Dr. Mansell's car is on page 26 of the October 2009 issue of Mustang Monthly magazine. My copy just arrived in the mail today, so it should be on the newsstands soon, if not already!

Editor Donald Farr also has a nice little piece in the "Hoofbeats" section on page 6 about his own personal visit to New York and the Fair in August 1964. And for the "gearheads" in our group, page 46 has part two of the engine rebuilding project for Gary Schweitzer's 1965 Season Magic Skyway Mustang (no shots of the car, but it's nice to see that his engine is being correctly refurbished!).

Best Regards,

Kevin

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I had a red late '66 coupe with parchment interior - there was something about the interior trim/colors that was actually intended for '67 (can't recall exactly) but apparently some of the parts were changed over early. What was in yours?

Thanks, Yadda Yadda.

Breathing exhaust fumes must have brain damaged me. Waynebretl was probably asking what engine I had.

Wayne, it was NOT the 289. I had harbored a long memory of the displacement being an odd number like 201 cubic inch but thought, gee, that is a strange number. Plus I have no idea how I knew that back when I bought the car.

But now in these glorious web days, a quick peruse shows me that Pony people are referring to 200 or 201 cu in motors so my addled memory is correct.

If you had driven that thing from Philly to Miami in the winter inhaling exhaust fumes with a drafty driver's side window blowing cold air onto your face enough to give you painful sinusitis, the first thing you would think when asked "what was in it" would not be the power.

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