The red drop-top was revealed to rave reviews at the 2003 Detroit auto show and shown alongside its sister car, a Tungsten Silver coupe, which teased the new 2005 GT fastback.
Both cars were eventually sold-off at auction, but this one has since resurfaced, and it’s up for sale once again. Its asking price? A big $350,000.
That’s a sizable chunk of change no matter how you cut it; then again, it is quite a special car.
Ford’s fourth-generation Mustang was growing quite long-in-the-tooth by the early 2000s; sure, it had arrived new in 1994, but it was still largely based on the third-generation’s ‘Fox’ chassis. By 2003, it was time to get the Blue Oval fans all fired up, and that’s what this car did.
Interestingly, there’s more Thunderbird DNA under its body than Mustang. According to original press documents, the concept car was built on a heavily modified Ford Thunderbird chassis, which was chopped down to pony car proportions.
The front end geometry was all-new as well, as it had to swallow a 4.6-liter supercharged V8, making a claimed 400 horsepower (à la the SVT Cobra).
As time would tell, the 2005 production cars remained remarkably true to their 2003 concepts—what with the impactful first-generation inspired fascia, generously flared wheel arches, and raked windshield.
In terms of this car however, the billet aluminum roof bar, sleek hood and side scoops, and 20-inch wheels didn’t quite make the cut. Best reserved for concept car land.
It’s much the same story on the inside too; the vibrant red leather interior, racing bucket seats, four-point harnesses, and billet switchgear were all swapped for more production-ready components.
Following its 2003 debut, the concept made over 50 stops at auto shows worldwide before it was retired and eventually sold at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction, where all $192,500 worth of proceeds were donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
All in all, it’s a stunning bit of Mustang history, but there is one more bit worth mentioning. Given its concept car roots, it’s not road legal.
The car was never built to comply with any crash safety standards, it carries an incomplete VIN number, and was originally sold on a bill of sale only.
Still need it in your life? May we suggest finding a really long driveway or renting out a private race track. Have at it.
Photo Credit: Ford