Edsel B Ford’s Mustang

Edsel B Ford’s Mustang

Huw Evans takes a look at Edsel B Ford II’s one-of-a-kind 1965 Mustang, a truly unique and remarkable pony… Words: Huw Evans. Photography: Ford Motor Compan.

Christmas pony

Many of us have no doubt dreamed of getting a Mustang for our 16th birthday but in the case of Edsel B Ford II, not only did he receive a brand-new one as a gift from his father, Henry Ford II, he also got a car embellished with a whole raft of personal touches. The car was built as a 1965 2+2 and came with goodies such as the Hi-Po 271 horsepower, 289cu in V8, four-speed manual gearbox, rally-pack instrumentation cluster and styled steel wheels, with dual exhaust trumpets exiting through the rear valance and special pearlescent white paint with a contrasting blue interior and narrow racing stripes over the hood, roof and rear deck as well as along the rocker panels.

Other signature touches included a functional hood scoop, unique EBF II signature fuel filler and twin sport mirrors often found on Mustangs sold in Europe at the time. From some angles, the car looks like a more civilised version of the rowdy first-year Shelby GT350. It was delivered on Christmas morning, 1964 and Edsel said his father told him he should take a look outside. “This amazing Mustang was sitting in the driveway, and I immediately grabbed my coat and shoes and went outside to check it out,” he said.

Edsel reportedly got behind the wheel on the very first day he received the car and was quoted as saying: “I only drove it for a few minutes that first day because there was snow on the ground, but as soon as the roads were cleared, I drove it almost every day.” He went on describe that during his time with the car, “the rumble of the high-performance [289 cubic inch] V8 was always intoxicating”.

The one-of-a-kind Mustang served as Edsel’s daily driver through the end of high school and he took it with him when he went off to college. In 2014, in line with the Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Ford released photos from the archives showing Edsel’s one-of-a-kind 2+2. And although the photos have survived, unfortunately, the same can’t be said for this unique Mustang. It remained in Edsel B Ford II’s ownership for four years, but then one day, he decided to loan it to a friend.

Needless to say this decision sealed the fate of this car. The friend ended up crashing the Mustang and it was written off, a sad end to what was a unique and interesting piece of Mustang history. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Back when the original Mustang was first launched, there was no Mustang movement, nor really much thought to preserving or cherishing these cars. So it probably wasn’t surprising that this particular 2+2 met an untimely demise, as did thousands of its brethren.

Yet if things had been different, and if Edsel hadn’t lent the car to a friend and it was still with us, how valuable would it be today? Given that one of the surviving Mustangs from the film Bullitt recently sold for $3.4 million at auction in 2020, it’s fair to say the sum would be significant. And although we’ll never have a chance to see this car in person, we are able to share these photos at least. We hope you enjoy looking at what is, without question, a unique and fascinating part of Mustang history.

Check out that pearlescent paint! Plush carpet and console make for a cosy interior. Racing stripes are reminiscent of those used on Shelbys. Racing mirrors and unique grille were part of the package. One-piece seats…… tilt forward for rear passenger access. Sadly this one-off pony car was ‘totalled’ by a friend of Edsel’s.


Edsel Bryant Ford II was born on December 27, 1948. The son of Henry Ford II, grandson of Edsel Ford and great-grandson of Henry Ford, he currently serves as chairman of Fair Lane, the Henry Ford Estate located in Dearborn, Michigan. Edsel’s background includes time spent as head of marketing operations for Ford in Australia (1978- 80), as well as being highly active in both Ford’s corporate affairs and dealer relations. He was named president and chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company Credit in 1991 and became a Ford vice-president two years later. Additionally, Edsel has been a major proponent of Ford’s racing efforts over the last four decades, particularly in NASCAR circles, and was seen as being instrumental in bringing manufacturer support back into stock car racing during the early Eighties—laying the groundwork for other OEMs to follow. In 2019, Edsel was nominated for and received the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Landmark Award for his contributions to the sport.

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