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The X-Files - Dearborn


Welcome to the FORD X-FILES! This is where you will find the controversial cars that Ford supposedly "never" built. Decide for yourself if these mysterious Fords are for real or not. Hang on, it's going to be a wild ride!


Passino's SOHC Galaxie Passino's 427 SOHC

Ford never built any cars with 427 SOHC engines in them, right? It was strictly an over the counter engine, right? Well they did build a few SOHC Mustang drag cars in 1965 and 1966, actually constructed by Holman & Moody. But did they build any regular production assembly line SOHC-powered cars? Mostly likely they did not, even though they gave the SOHC engines an engine code in the parts catalog. "L" was for single 4V engines and "D" was for dual 4V engines. Apparently Ford did build a '64 Galaxie test car fitted with a SOHC. But what about this '66 SOHC Galaxie reportly built for Ford Racing chief Jacque Passino. These photos were found in a book called FORD - THE PERFORMANCE YEARS (out-of-print) by Martyn Schorr. It was most likely built in one of Ford experimental shops, not on the assembly line. Where is this car today, and did it's vin contain a L or D in the 5th position?


Jacque Passino Ford - The Performance Years

Update 3-7-06: Adrian Clements from the Motor City Galaxie Club sent in this info.... In late July 2002, a fellow on a Ford e-mail forum using the handle "bigcarl" looked at a 1966 Ford full-size car that was for sale in the Detroit area with no engine or transmission. His rubbing of the Warranty Tag showed the following VIN and production codes: VIN 6S68L103XXX, BODY 63C, COLOR M, TRIM 25, DATE 15B, DSO 84, AXLE 9, TRANS 5

The VIN of 6S68L103XXX decodes as follows:
6 = model year: 1966
S = build plant: Pilot Plant (Allen Park, Michigan)
68 = Body Serial Code: Galaxie 500/XL 2-door hardtop, bucket seats (25,715 produced during the 1966 model year)
L = engine: 427-4V V-8 Single Overhead Cam (SOHC), 616 hp @ 7000 rpm (high performance)
103XXX = Consecutive Unit Number (CUN): 3,XXXnd Ford car scheduled to be built at the Pilot Plant (Allen Park, Michigan) during the 1966 model year (Job 1 was CUN 100001)

The production codes decode as follows:
BODY 63C = Body Style Code: Galaxie 500/XL 2-door hardtop, bucket seats (25,715 produced during the 1966 model year)
COLOR M = exterior paint color: Wimbledon White (white)
TRIM 25 = interior trim color, material and front seat style: unknown (likely a recording error on the part of "bigcarl")
DATE 14L = scheduled build date: Sunday, November 14, 1965
DSO 84 = District Sales Office: car was originally ordered through the Home Office Reserve (employee lease and purchase vehicles, factory show vehicles and crash test vehicles)
AXLE 9 = rear axle ratio and type: 4.11:1 non-locking
TRANS 5 = transmission type and shift location: Toploader 4-speed manual, console shift

Man, what a car! I tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with "bigcarl" back in the summer of 2002. I wonder whatever became of this car?
Yours in old Ford iron, Adrian

Could this be Passino's SOHC Galaxie? Big Carl, where are you and where is this Galaxie?!

Update 11/13/11: Astronaut Gordon Cooper also had a '66 SOHC Galaxie for a short time, courtesy of the Ford Motor Co. The story comes from Bill Holbrook.... "yes we did build some SOHC 66 Galaxies. After the Riverside race in California in 66 I was told by my leader Charlie Gray to deliver a vehicle to Shelby's shop at the LA Airport. It was a rust colored 66 427 SOHC Galaxie Hardtop, four speed. I had met Gordon Cooper, the Astronaut, at the track where he gave me the keys, he had been given the car to drive several months earlier for publicity. We were trying to get NASCAR to allow us to run the "Cammer"." Ford documents indicate a '66 Emberglow SOHC Galaxie with a vin number of 6U66Rxxxxxx was leased to G. Cooper.

Ed Rachanski Photo

Passino's Galaxie was featured in the June '67 issue of Super Stock and FX Magazine, using the same photos from the Ford Performance Years book. The "big carl" Galaxie was white, this article states this Galaxie is yellow, so they were likely two different cars.

Dearbornflashback Photo


428 4-speed Country Squire 428 4-speed Country Squire

A 428 Q-code Country Squire might not sound that rare, but how about one with a 4-speed toploader and buckets and console!? This is Adrian Clement's extremely rare '67 Country Squire wagon, one of one produced. This combination was not available, unless of course you wrote a letter to Iacocca requesting the order, which is exactly what the original owner did. Iacocca obliged, and the order was processed. Never say never when it comes to Fords! Check out more shots at Adrian's website.


1966/67 427 FAIRLANE GT

427 Fairlane Ad

This multiple X-File comes from Bob Ewald.....

1967 427 GT Fairlane: Most every source out there will tell you that no 427-powered '66/'67 Fairlane GT's were ever made. The 427 came in other 2-door body styles like the coupe, 500 hardtop, and even the XL, but most every source claims that no 427 GTs were ever made. That was up until now. While researching for an in-depth article on '67 Fairlanes for "Fairlaner" (the Fairlane Club of America's magazine), club editor and author of the preeminent book on small block Fords, Bob Mannel, found that one '67 Fairlane GT (Springtime Yellow with black interior) was produced with a W-code 427. Bob confirmed this fact with Kevin Marti. No one (at least no one has come forward), including the thousands of members of the Fairlane Club with any information on this car, other than what Kevin Marti's database confirms. This car is shrouded in mystery, it's life, it's status all seem to be a mystery!


1966 427 Fairlane convertible: An interesting side note to this is that a '67 Fairlane convertible that was found was apparently mis-coded at the factory as an R-code, and caused a big stir in the Fairlane ranks. It was learned that this car originally came with a 289 and should have been coded as a C-code. This fact was not learned before several people paid a premium for what they thought might be the holy grail of Fairlanes, if not '60's muscle car Fords.


1966 427 GT Fairlane: Another item to consider including among the X-files is similar to your write-up on the 427 Torino that appeared on the cover of the Dec. '67 issue of "Super Stock" magazine. "Hot Rod" magazine ran an article in their July 1966 issue entitled "427 Wedge Shot." The car that was profiled was a '66 GT with all the badges (interior/exterior, as well as stripes, buckets, etc.). The pictured car had a 427 with the fiberglass, scooped hood, 427 fender badges, and a tach. The article represented that exact GT, with everything shown (multiple pictures), as a Ford issued car. Only in the last paragraph does it state: "The 427 Fairlane will be available in 2-door, 500 2-door, 500 2-door hardtop and XL 2-door hardtop models" which was true for '67s, but not '66s. All known '66 427 Fairlanes were Wimbledon White, and none of the respected authorities on these cars know of a '66 GT ever having been made. Unfortunately, Kevin Marti's database does not include cars made prior to the 1967 model year. So was the "Hot Rod" 427 Fairlane every produced by Ford? Hopefully someone reading your X-files might know.


Hot Rod July 1966


A '67 GT-500 convertible? One of one built? Yes, Shelby did build one prototype convertible, which somehow survived all these years. The story is it was stolen before it could be crushed, when it was recovered, it was converted to '68 bodywork and sold. Somehow it was discovered to be the long lost '67 convertible. Old Shelby himself was surprised to see it survived. Supposedly he gave the car his blessing. It has been restored to '67 specs and is on exhibit at the Volo Museum in Illinois. Is this really THE '67 GT-500 convertible? Hmmm.....


Update 11/13/11: The '67 GT500 ragtop is being re-restored, this time as a '68. It was originally updated to '68 trim and photographed for the '68 ads. Apparently no vintage photos of it in '67 trim exist. Read all about it here...


A '67 GT-500 Hardtop too? There was also one prototype GT-500 hardtop, a supercharged 428 vinyl-topped terror called "Little Red". Unlike the convertible, Little Red was shown off to the press and then disappeared forever. Most likely another unfortunate victim of Fords crusher.



Another GT-500 Hardtop? This one's a '68 loaded with goodies and it survives today. Called the "Green Hornet", this prototype was a 390 test car fitted with a 428-CJ equipped with an experimental Conelec fuel injection setup, and an independent rear suspension, neither of which ever made production. It was purchased from a Ford factory sales lot in 1971 by a Ford employee, it's owned today by Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson fame. The Green Hornet apparently never received a Shelby serial number, so it's not recognized as a legit Shelby by purists.


1968 427 MUSTANG

Ah yes, the always controversal 1968 427 Mustang, a very touchy subject for some Ford "experts", especially those that own W-code Cougars! Here we find both Tasca Ford's "King of the Road" 427 Mustang, obviously an engine-swap done by Tasca, and a "pre-production pilot" 427 Mustang. These photos were also found in the Ford - The Performance Years book. The author, Martyn Schorr, was the editor of CARS magazine in the 60's.. The highlighted text reads: "This is a shot of a pre-production pilot 427 Mustang...." Ford undoubtedly DID build some 1968 427 Mustangs and Fairlanes in the prototype shop, but did any of these cars carry a "W "engine code, and did any of them survive the crusher?


1968 427 TORINO

According to all the Ford experts, including Mr. Marti, in 1968 Ford put 427's in one car, and one car only. That would be the fabulous Cougar GTE, which featured a slightly detuned hydraulic cammed, single 4-barrel, 390-horse 427. These cats are identified by a "W" engine code in the vin number. Why Ford put 427's in Cougars only is anybodys guess, that aspect seems to be a mystery. Apparently the vin records Ford has produced show zero 427 Fairlanes, Torinos, Cyclones, and Mustangs. The 427 was planned for these models as evidenced by the option showing up in brochures, owners manuals, and parts catalogs. Ford also tooled up 427 hood scoop emblems for '69 model year 427 Mustangs and Torinos that were never built. These emblems were availible over the counter at Ford dealers, p/n C9ZZ-16637-A. Here we have a "427" Torino GT that appeared in Super Stock magazine in December 1967. Was the magazine car a "real" (W-code) factory 427 Torino, a 427 prototype, or simply a re-badged 390 car? Hmmmm......


C9ZZ-16637-A 1969 Mustang
& Torino hood scoop emblem.

C8OZ-16228-A 1968/69 Torino
& Fairlane fender emblem.


In response to Chryslers first Nascar warrior, the Charger 500, Ford produced around 750 "Talladega" Torino/Fairlanes in 1969. The Talladega featured rolled rocker panels, an extended nose with a flush grill, and a radically reworked rear bumper mounted on the front. All in the name of aerodynamics and beating the Charger 500, and eventually the Charger Daytona, on Nascars big tracks. Win they did, with victories at Daytona, Darlington, Charlotte and other tracks, the Talladega brought Ford yet another championship. Factory Talladegas were only availible in three colors, Wimbledon White, Presidential Blue, and Royal Maroon. All Talladegas featured 428 Cobra Jet non-Ram Air engines and black bench interiors with a column shift C-6 auto trans.

So, why is this one painted Bright Yellow? This is a very special one-off Talladega, built for then Ford boss Bunkie Knudsen. It was finished with a yellow exterior and a unique white bucket seat/floor shift interior. It is beautifully restored and was on display at Ford's 100th Anniversary celebration in 2003. There are also rumors of two other special paint Talladegas being built as well, a red one and a black one. One or both of these also supposedly had Ram-Air, another option not availible on Talladegas. Where are these cars now?


UPDATE...The Red and Black Ram Air Talladegas aren't rumor anymore, here they are. Noted Ford Racing Historian Dr. John Craft sent the photos and the details.

"This is the Red Prototype R Code car. After use as a PR photo subject, this car was given to Banjo Matthews. It was a cool car: C Stripes, Ram Air, Red GT Bucket seat interior and A/C. Unfortunately, Banjo drove the car into the ground. It rusted away to nothing behind his shop and was sold just after his death. Very unlikely that it will be restored. And, this is a shot of Ralph Moody's Black R-code Talladega circa 1990. Ralph still owned the car at the time of his death. This car could and should be restored". (John Craft 10/14/05)

Update 11/13/11: The red Talladega has surfaced, it was found by Jason Thompson a couple of years ago. It has since been restored. Jason also acquired a white prototype Talladega also owned by Banjo Matthews. Below are as-found photos of the red car, found on the Torino Cobra forum, and post-restoration shots of both Banjo cars from Jason Thompson. The black car is owned by Ralph Moody's son and is undergoing a total restoration. More on these cars at, and at Photo Photo Photo

Jason Thompson Photo
Jason Thompson Photo
Jason Thompson Photo

1969 BOSS 429 COUGAR

Ford did indeed commission Kar Kraft to build two white Boss 429 Cougars in 1969, one for "Dyno Don" Nicholson, and one for "Fast Eddie" Schartman. Dyno painted his red and dumped the Boss engine, replacing it with a SOHC. Shartmans yellow and blue Cougar was updated with a 1970 front clip and retained the Boss 429 engine. While these Cougars were built by Kar Kraft with Boss 429 engines, they did not carry the tell-tale "Z" Boss engine code in their vin numbers. Knowing they were destined for drag strip duty, Ford did not bother changing the R-code Cougars over to Z-codes as they did with the Boss 429 Mustangs. Ford sold these Cougars to the two drag racers for ONE dollar each with the agreement the cars would be returned to Ford (for a date with the crusher) after they were done racing them. Surprisingly, neither one made it back to Ford. They were briefly in the spotlight, being raced by big-name drivers Nicholson and Schartman, and then they were sold off and forgotten like so many other old race cars. Both cars are supposedly accounted for today. One of them turned in a Mustang & Fords magazine Rare Finds article several years back, relieved of its floor pan. A great article on these cars was on, but has since been taken down. Read it here, less photos.


Update 11/13/11: The Schartman Cougar is currently under restoration by Owner Doug Herzog. It lost it's original floor and shock towers at some point in it's racing career. Check it out on Doug's Facebook page.

Doug Herzog Photo
Boss Cougar 1969
Doug Herzog Photo
Boss Cougar current
Kar Kraft Photo
Kar Kraft Invoice

1969 BOSS 302 SHELBY GT-350

A Boss 302 Shelby was built in 1969, probably as a prototype for a Boss 302 GT-350. It used the standard Boss body and did not have any of the unique Shelby fibreglass panels. It did however, carry a Shelby vin with a consecutive number beginning with "48" as all 69 and 70 Shelbys did, and the all-important "G" engine code.



Conceived as a possible replacement for both the Boss 429 and Shelby Mustangs, the so-called QuarterHorse Mustangs were built from actual Boss 429 Mustangs by Kar Kraft. Only one of the two built carried a Kar Kraft number, however both Quarterhorses were true Boss 429s. Also referred to as the "Composite" Mustang because it contained several different parts and pieces. The body was standard 1970 Boss 429, the front clip was Shelby Mustang, less the hood scoops, and the dash was Cougar. The first Quarterhose, KK 2061, was painted Grabber Blue and was intially fitted with a Boss 429 engine. It was soon replaced with a 429 SCJ and sent to Hollywood to star with Burt Reynolds in a short-lived tv series called "Dan August". The second Quarterhorse was Candyapple Red and was fitted with a 429 SCJ engine. Amazingly, both Quarterhorses survived the crusher and are in the hands of collectors.



Photos from & John Craft

When Ford changed to a all-new bodys for the Torino and Cyclone in 1970, the '69 Talladega and Spoiler became last years race car. Ford wanted the car you could buy off the new car showroom winning races, not last years car. So, the Talladegas and Spoilers were to be shelved and replaced by the new 1970 Torino "King Cobra" and Cyclone "Super Spoiler II"...... Click here to read more.....


Ford built as least one Boss 302 Mustang in 1971. No not a Boss 351, but a Boss 302. As Ford made plans for the 1971 model year, the SCCA relaxed it's engine displacement rules for the Trans Am series and allowed the larger 351-ci motors. Ford dumped the Boss 302 immediately and the Boss 351 was born. Photos of this prototype turned up and the decals were also listed in the parts catalog. It never reached regular production, but what happened to this prototype? Like most of these cars, Ford likely crushed it!


1971 Boss 302 - 1970 Ford promo shot 1971 Boss 302 - 2008 Mustang Monthly shot

Update 4/13/08....Thanks to numerous e-mails, including one from the owner, we can report the sole 1971 Boss 302 Mustang has NOT been crushed! Ford was apparently planning both a Boss 302 and Boss 351 package for 1971, but just ONE Boss 302 was built. Andrew Hack found this long-lost Boss recently on eBay. Unaware of it's history at the time, Andrew bought it for a driver, sight unseen. His thorough detective work has proven the car was an early promo unit built with a Boss 302 engine, and corresponding "G" vin plate and door label. It was then used for promo photos and a new car intro show in Las Vegas. After Ford pulled the plug on the Boss 302 program, instead of crushing it, the car was refitted with a 351-2V Cleveland engine and sold by a dealer in California. The Boss 302 decals were also removed by Ford and the dash vin plate was replaced by one with a "H" engine code. The door vin label however, was simply covered over with a new one with the updated engine code. Andrew found the "G" vin label while researching the car. Andrew's amazing discovery was recently featured in Mustang Monthly magazine. More photos and details can be found here and here.

1971 Boss 302 - 2008 Mustang Monthly shot

Photos, comments, questions, opinions, and speculation are all welcome.

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Updated: 1/12/13

Dearborn Flashback

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