1965 FORD MUSTANG RETRACTABLE HARDTOP - 190406Sold* at Scottsdale 2016 - Lot #981.1 1965 FORD MUSTANG RETRACTABLE HARDTOPhttps://cdn.barrett-jackson.com/staging/carlist/items/Fullsize/Cars/190406/190406_Front_3-4_Web.jpg
Lot #981.1 - As indicated in Ben J. Smith's book "Skyliner: The Birth of the Retractable" and on Ben J. Smith's website Benjsmithskyliner.com "the retractable hardtop couldn't be built and Ben J. Smith proved them wrong." Ben J. Smith was a mastermind engineer who started working with Ford in 1940 through the Light Ford Program. In 1949, he moved to Nash and later with General Motors engineering hardtops and convertibles. He was hired back by Ford and he completed the 1955 Lincoln Mark II MP5 with a fully operational powered convertible hardtop. Over the following years Smith integrated the same concept with the Ford Fairlane. After Ford invested millions of dollars, the Ford retractable hardtop was introduced in mid-1957, and called the Skyliner in 1958-59. In mid-1965, he started working on his idea of a retractable hardtop Mustang. Ford provided over one hundred thousand dollars for development and Smith went to work. The car had to be increased in length to fit the top in the trunk. Some of modifications included the trunk, gas tank, deck lid and tail lights. The project was completed in the spring of 1966. Smith made the top counterbalanced, so it wasn't necessary to power it but after research Ford wanted it to be powered. Smith took another four months to design a power-operated top but couldn't reasonably add the power mechanism so the project came to an end. Smith later retired and in the late 80s he had of interest in the Mustang retractable hardtop. In 1993 Smith decided to open his own company named Retractables Unlimited. He would produce the entire retractable kit for the first generation Mustang that Ford had declined. Smith simply didn't have the time to devote to marketing and closed the company after two years. He only produced a total of 31 kits which has recently been documented by Ben J. Smith in a signed and notarized letter. His son David Smith constructed a limited amount of these kits at his shop Coastal Collision in Connecticut. This 1965 Ford Mustang Retractable was one of the first ones completed by David which has also been recently documented. This Mustang was completely restored and stored for many years. It was just recently lightly restored from top to bottom and presents itself beautifully. As the VIN indicates, this car was built in Metuchen, NJ as a 2-door hardtop with a 289 2V V8 engine. It retains the original born-with exterior color of Twilight Turquoise Metallic and Black Crinkle Pony interior. This Mustang is a very important part of Ford automotive history and will be a great addition to any collection. Memorabilia from Ben J. Smith and David Smith is included with the sale. Automatic transmission.
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