Home Cars Throttle-Back Thursday: Marvel at the Ford Mach 2 C, Larry Shinoda’s hidden-from-the-public mid-engine concept

Throttle-Back Thursday: Marvel at the Ford Mach 2 C, Larry Shinoda’s hidden-from-the-public mid-engine concept

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There’s a decent chance you’ve never seen the car we’re talking about today, the so-called Ford Mach 2 C. Or even heard of it.

That’s not us being smug. Your author certainly had no idea it existed, and there’s scant information on it anywhere on the wide, wild web.

It probably doesn’t help that its name is so similar to that of the widely publicized Mustang Mach 2 concept that preceded it. The Mach 2 C might have been given a cooler name before it hit the show circuit — had it ever made the show circuit, that is. Some geniuses at Ford cooked it up, apparently around 1970, and then it quickly disappeared without ever being seen by the public.

There’s nothing exceptionally weird about that; that’s the fate of a lot of design studies and prototypes, after all. It’d be one thing if a couple of hard-chargers put it together after hours to catch The Deuce’s attention, though. This car was hardly the work of no-name amateurs; it was designed by Larry Shinoda, formerly of GM (and with the Corvette Stingray, among other cars, on his résumé). And it was forward-looking: the Mach 2 C would have been powered by some sort of mid-mounted V8 hooked up to a rear transaxle. Interestingly, the similiar-in-passing Chevrolet Astro II was percolating at GM in 1968, right around the time Shinoda left for Ford.

So what happened to the Mach 2 C? In short, the DeTomaso Pantera came along, and in 1971, Ford decided to begin importing the Italian-built wedges rather than tooling up to build this in-house alternative. Whether that saved the automaker any heartbreak, or money, in the long run is a matter of debate. Either way, a production Mach 2 C would have been extremely cool.

And what of the concept itself, which was either a very elaborate mockup with an interior and an engine or perhaps even a drivable prototype? Did it, like so many other incredible Detroit concepts, meet the crusher? We didn’t seem to know back in ’77, and we still don’t know today. Until someone shows us photographic evidence of this car being destroyed, we choose to believe that it’s one of those rare concepts that escaped — that it’s still lying low somewhere in Dearborn.

Read more about the car in the excerpt from the September 9, 1977, issue of Autoweek below. 

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Autoweek September 9, 1977 — Ford’s mysterious Mach 2 C concept(8.92 MB)Click here to download PDF

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