Jul 18 2015

The 15 1963 Pre-Production Mustangs Built at Ford’s Pilot Plant in Allen Park

From August to December 1963 Ford built 15 pre-production Mustang chassis to establish assembly procedures, to determine engineering revisions for future production at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plant and to create concept show cars.

These 15 pilot Mustangs were built at the Allen Park Pilot Plant prior to the first assembly of production Mustangs in early 1964.  Ford's Allen Park Pilot Plant was a scaled downassembly line, allowing Ford manufacturing to make adjustments before bringing the Mustang to the mass production assembly line.

Each of these pilot cars were assigned special "S" VIN numbers. After their use, all S-coded  Mustangs were scheduled to be destroyed since they were not meant to be driven or sold to the public.

In the April and August 2015 isues of Mustang Monthly, early automotive historian Bob Fria, author of  the book Mustang Genesis, describes how Mustang production began over 50 years ago.

Below are highlights relevant to the 15 pre-production S-Coded Mustang built at the Allen Park Pilot Plant including the Mustang III (5S 08F100009).


Howard Kroplick

See the Mustang III tomorrow at the 3rd Annual Mustang Showdown in Levittown.

Mustang Monthly- April 2015

Bob Fria's list of the 15 Allen Park S-Coded Mustangs. There are only three S-Coded Mustangs known to exist today.

As seen in the above list, the Mustang III (5S0F100009) was the ninth pre-production Mustang built. Since the first eight pre-production S-Coded Mustangs have been destroyed or unknown, the Mustang III is likely the oldest Mustang on the road today.


The 12th S-coded Mustang (5S08F100012) was shipped to Ford's Dearborn Assembly Plant in early 1964  and assigned the VIN 5F08F10001. It is currently displayed at the Henry Ford Museum.

The 15th S-Coded VIN (5S08F100015) was shipped to Ford's Dearborn Assembly Plant in early 1964  and assigned the VIN 5F08F10002.  The car is owned by Bob Fria.

Mustang Monthly- August 2015

Bob Fria confirms that the Mustang III is "the only known pilot car to survive today as a pilot plant VIN identified chassis, 5S08F100009, exists as a Dearborn Steel Tube company project, which modified the convertible into a fastback confirguation."


Jul 19 2015 Ted 1:59 PM

Hi there all,just sitting here relaxing inside keeping cool,too hot and humid to go outside,the temperature is about 95,humidity is 100. There certainly is a lot to know about the Mustangs,very interesting.We are really finding out a lot about them,leave it up to you Howard to find out things that you’re interested in and relaying it to us.Always finding out something that wasn’t known

Jul 22 2015 Roy Warner 3:12 PM

Dear Howard,
Thank you for going with ConstantContact; I stopped receiving email notifications each week. I was 16 y/o when the 1964 and 1/2 Mustang came out. I was a passenger in a convertible one in August of 1964 when I was working at a summer camp. What a ride. It felt like a race car. From what I remember, a 289 V8. Roy Warner. Boca Raton, FL.

Mar 19 2016 Mark S. Gustavson 2:01 AM


Is it possible to get a higher resolution image of Bob Fria’s chart of the S-Code Mustangs that were delivered to Dearborn Steel Tubing; the image on your page is so small that it can’t be printed and read with any degree of clarity.

I’m trying to chase down the history of the Mustang Vivace (built at DST) and I think it was built on one of the S-code Mustangs.  Please advise.

Thanks for your time.


Mark, I will email the scan to you. Howard

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