The 1965 Mustang wasn’t just a success, it was a phenomenon. In its first year of production, over half a million were sold and the next year would only improve sales.
But something else was popular in the sixties. Something sinister. And it was only a matter of time before the two juggernauts collided.
Early on in the Mustang's life, there were many rumors of a super-secret project to design a Mustang station wagon.
The Mustang Station Wagon Prototype
A prototype was even created and was documented in many photos and magazine articles.
The idea was the brainchild of Barney Clark, an ad executive. Along with the help of a designer, Robert Cumberford, and a ‘car enthusiast,’ Jim Licata, these three not only came up with the idea for a Mustang wagon, they also sent a car to Italy to have it outfitted as a wagon.
It took 11 months for the Mustang to return, now outfitted as a true wagon. Ford rejected the idea nearly instantly. Ford had already considered the idea and decided it wasn’t something they intended to pursue.
Some suspect that Clark, Cumberford, and Licata knew that Ford would reject it and planned to make their own wagon for sale. If that was their plan, they never followed through on it.
Thus, one solitary Mustang wagon was born. The green wagon was last spotted in New Jersey, so who knows where it is now. Some people claim to have seen it in Amsterdam, but their reports have less merit than the Jersey spotting.
Turn Your Pony Into a Wagon in Fifteen Minutes!
While no one is sure if that specific station wagon is still in existence, several other individuals have created their own Mustang station wagons.
One particularly bold company created a fiberglass wagon top they called “The Hobo.” The Hobo promised to turn your pony car into a station wagon in fifteen minutes.
Not a lot of these tops were sold. For obvious reasons.
Joe Kamp's 1965 Mustang Station Wagon
Instead, the brave souls who decided they wanted to have a Mustang station wagon decided that they really and truly wanted the real deal, not a camper top or the illusion of a wagon, but a true Mustang wagon.
One of the most famous of these projects was designed by Joe Kamp.
Kamp was a self-taught car fabricator. Originally, he only intended to buy the bumper from an old 1965 Mustang coupe. Kamp was told the only way he could have the bumper was if he towed the rest of the car with it. So he did. That’s how Joe Kamp ended up with the first of several parts that went into creating his Frankenstein-Wagon.
Kamp cut, lengthened, slightly widened the original roof and installed it utilizing the original C-pillars in the back of the car. Then he fashioned a tailgate and rear window area using portions of the hardtop and deck lid. The rest of the car was trimmed with original or period moldings. The design was intended to retain the car's sporty image, so there's a slight slope to the roof, along with the retention of the rear quarter windows. The signature Mustang taillights are also part of the design, along with gold Shelby stripes. The finish work was outstanding as well.
Instead of utilizing the 1965's 289 engine, Kamp dropped in a 5.0 V-8, which is essentially the same size, but offers a lot more power, adaptability and a massive aftermarket parts industry. While it might look OEM, the inclusion of the Ford EEC-IV engine management system, including mass-air induction system, and a more modern T5 5 Speed Manual transmission and Hurst shifter, gives the car a late model feel despite its 1965 look. The rest of the car has been modified to handle the increased power and weight of the engine and allows the car to be a comfortable highway cruiser.
The interior, too, is unique. It sports a bench style front seat, perfect for a wagon, and a custom center console, all trimmed in brown vinyl. The backseat is the one standard to a 1965 coupe. Air conditioning has been added, and, while the original AM radio still hangs on, an AM/FM/CD stereo was added in the custom console.
There may be many other Mustang wagons out in the world, but we’ll wager there are few that really took the time to make one as unique and well-made as Joe Kamp’s.
Source: The Ford Mustang Station Wagon That Never Was, Jalopnik | The Saga of the 1965 Mustang Wagon, MotorTrend | The Mustang Station Wagon Lives!, MotorTrend |