Just three years after founding the high-end, hardbound, advertising-free Automobile Quarterly, L. Scott Bailey had a grand idea. He commissioned Nuccio Bertone to come up with a new body for the Mustang, something that went well beyond what was essentially Ford's new wrap for the Falcon's underpinnings.
At Bertone, this rather rushed project was lead by a 27-year-old Giorgetto Giugiaro. 1965 was a key year for Carrozzeria Bertone, as the commercial success of the Fiat 850 Spider allowed them to produce up to 120 cars per day.
Giugiaro left Stile Bertone for Ghia the following year to cook up cars like the De Tomaso Mangusta and the Maserati Ghibli, but not before shortening the Mustang's radiator to end up with a much lower, sleeker, aerodynamic front end.
Apart from its body panels and glasshouse, Bertone's Mustang was almost identical to the red 289 fastback Alitalia flew to Turin. Slight changes included a smaller fuel cap, an interior re-upholstered in "cowhide-like" vinyl, and 14-inch Campagnolo wheels designed by Bertone and cast of Elektron magnesium alloy, wrapped in Pirelli Cinturatos.
After winning Best of Show at the 1965 New York International Auto Show, Bertone's allegedly $30,000 Mustang landed with Road & Track's Stephen P. Wilder, who fitted it with his own Mustang wheels, due to the magnesium ones not being recommended for road use. But those Campagnolos did make it to the cover of 1966's first issue of Road & Track:
The problem is that nobody seems to know what happened to the car after it did its rounds at the Paris, London and Turin shows. What's for sure is that Bertone was offering it at "one-third its actual cost," with "only a few miles" for $10,000. Yet there's no record of a sale in period, nor was the car part of Bertone's collection that was sold off during its liquidation in 2014.
Those in the know seem to agree that the car hasn't been scrapped, but despite L. Scott Bailey's best efforts to re-purchase it before his passing in 2012, nobody came to light with the Bertone Mustang's whereabouts.
Now one in ten million, the trail of this special Mustang went cold in 1966. Somewhere around Turin...