Smith was rewarded by being promoted to chief engineer for Ford of Argentina, before William Clay Ford tapped him to be director of advanced packaging in Dearborn. By this time, Mustang fever was in full flight, and Ford was already looking for derivatives of its original three-box body style. The first was the 2+2 fastback, which Lee Iacocca approved on the spot. A variety of removable hardtop designs were considered, and Smith ultimately pitched the idea for a retractable Mustang—with some key differences.
Three prototypes were built, including a red 1966 with a black interior and a white roof; a powder blue 1965 with a blue interior; and a gunmetal gray car built for Ben A. Smith, another son. The project eventually evolved into conversion kits, incorporating Smith’s structural reinforcements, up to 50 of which were sold.
Could this be prototype two, the “powder blue” car? If so, the top has been recovered, and both the car’s exterior and interior have changed colors. There’s also the matter of production year; the second prototype was a 1965, while this example is clearly a 1966. It can’t be the red car featured in the October 2005 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, as this was owned by Rae Smith, not Harvey Bish, when the article was published.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Jim Donnelly.