That's what might've gone through the insurance executive's car-enthusiast mind after the Mustang's paperwork crossed his desk. The 1965 2-seater "Shorty Mustang" had just become the insurance company's property.
The strange story of how it escaped the crusher, and the rich story of the car's designer Vincent Gardner, begins much earlier though. Not yet out of high school, Mr. Garner won the Fisher Body Craftsman Guild Competition. His first employment opportunity allowed him work with Gordon M. Buehrig on the design of the 1935 Cord. And, in 1950, with his Vega Roadster he won another design competition. This one sponsored by Motor Trend and Ford.
1953 Ford Vega Roadster
Ford had Vincent's "Shorty Mustang" built by Detroit Steel Tube Company with one of the 10 pre-production 1964½ Mustangs used as a starting point. 16 inches were chopped in total. It was fitted with a 260-cu.in. V-8 bored and stroked to 302-cu.in., and was constructed of fiberglass from the cowl rearward.
After it made the rounds of the show circuit as a '68 refresh proposal, Vincent became convinced the car would soon be crushed. This is where the story takes a twist. He actually stole it from Ford, and had it bricked-up behind a warehouse wall in Inkster, Michigan.
Vincent wasn't able to make the rent payments on the warehouse, so the insurance company took possession of the space. In doing so, they took the Mustang too, as Ford had already received insurance money for the stolen vehicle. All this transpired just 6 months after it was hidden away.
Enter the lucky executive whose desk the paperwork landed on. He purchased it and quickly put it up for sale in a collector car magazine. That's where Bill Snyder the current owner, found it and promptly bought it. He dreamed of owning the car since he first saw it in '66.
Mr. Snyder has said, "The car goes like stink".
It will be shown at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in Florida from March 8-10, 2013.