Magic Skyway Edition: 1965 Ford Mustang

This 1965 Ford Mustang convertible is said to be one of 23 cars ever used on the “Magic Skyway” at the New York World’s Fair between 1964 and 1965. Effectively part of a very elaborate marketing scheme, the seller says only four of the original cars used on the Skyway are known to still exist, and this is one of them. It is said to need extensive restoration with plenty of rust issues to sort out following daily use by a longtime owner through Michigan’s winter season. Find it here on craigslist for $18,500. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Roger for the find.

This photo shows Ford’s cars rolling down the line, and the front-most vehicle may even be the one listed here for sale. Effectively, the World’s Fair provided a test bed of sorts for both Ford and Disney, the latter of which was looking for a means to evaluate the tastes of East Coast audiences and also test a ride type that would feature small carts moving along a mechanized track. The Magic Skyway was the answer.

Combined with Ford’s interest in promoting the launch of the 1964 Mustang as heavily as possible, the Ford Magic Skyway became a silver bullet for both companies. This particular car comes with documentation confirming it was used as a “ride” on the Magic Skyway before being sold into private hands, and the first civilian owner was a Ford employee who worked at the Research and Engineering Center.

The Mustang was driven extensively before being parked and put into storage in 1979. Unfortunately, time took its toll and the body is said to need large repairs via patch panels or good metal hacked off of a donor Mustang. The seller claims this is the first and only Magic Skyway Ford product to come up for public sale, and that it will draw a crowd wherever it goes. Do you agree it’s destined to be a fan favorite?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great story. Not what sure what the cyclops thing is by the radio though? https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Ford_Magic_Skyway

    4
  2. Nitehawk770

    $18.5k for a base-model convertible in need of serious restoration work? Hard pass. GLWTS. Some Disney die-hard will buy it…..trust me on that.

    9
  3. art

    The cost of this car plus the cost of a proper restoration will most likely exceed the value of the cars’ provenance of being one of the Skyway cars.
    Plus a six cylinder is a minus in my opinion.
    Interesting to see what happens.

    10
  4. Bob McK Member

    I wonder if they can prove that it was a Skyway car. Even if it is, that is a lot of money for a base 65 needing extensive restoration. Best of luck to the seller and new owner.

    6
  5. RoughDiamond Member

    This is really cool! I love to hear about cars and stories like this. Apparently the Ford or Disney Management did not catch the underage female driver at the wheel.

    2
    • Dave

      I was there in 1964, like Frank Walker in “Tomorrowland”. The cars were moved by a mechanism and parents letting the kids “drive” was common.

      3
      • Mountainwoodie

        me too :)!

        It was a great time to be a car crazy kid…………

        1
      • Dave

        Mountainwoodie, after my mother passed I found the VHS tape she had transferred the home movies to. Joie Chitwood was there, driving cars on two wheels. You’re right, it was a special time. We went on the train with a church group. Horseshoe Curve, electric locos east of Harrisburg, and the majesty of Grand Central Station.

        4
      • Dennis Taylor

        I was three too! great trip with my parents

  6. Poncho

    Looks like the dash was hacked…for a stereo? That’s a big hole.

  7. TimM

    It is a cool story!! I think if it had an early V-8 and maybe a 4 speed it might be that price!! However a six with an automatic!!! No so much!! Even if it had that third pedal and a three speed it might be worth more!!

    2
  8. Classic Steel

    cool story bro…I have a mustang convertible 67
    Modified with shelby tail lights and trunk.

    I am pretty sure it was used on a mission to the moon. Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit and the first to reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.
    The car was loaded with lead and the crew were fattened to avoid space floating away mode but never used and i am fairly possibly sure it was in the payload..
    you will have to take my word on it as crew had signed the dash but astronaut Frank Bowman spelled beer on it ruining documentation 😉😜

    Okay kidding but i would need much proof for a rusted six banger .

    Good luck on the sale as i love Stangs

    7
    • Dave

      You meant “Frank Borman” but autocorrect got you.

  9. Will Fox

    The only other ‘Skyway’ Ford I’ve seen come up for sale was a gold `65 T-Bird cvt. not long ago. It too, had FoMoCo documentation as to it’s history. There WAS a `64 Mercury Park Lane cvt. found, but it was almost falling in half with rust from sitting outside, and was barely good enough for parts. The price is way too high for what this is. A base model with a 200 Six automatic isn’t exactly desirable, but reproduction parts galore exist for these early Stangs. IMHO, the fact that it was used on the ‘Skyway’ means nothing, really. Millenials don’t have any idea what that even was, let alone a NY world’s fair.

    9
    • John

      And millennials don’t have the dough to buy it….Skyway means a ton to a generation…….

  10. LARRY

    Lmao @classic steel

    4
  11. JohnfromSC

    The interiors of these cars plus other parts subject to wear were replaced many times over from all the people that rode these during the fair. So “original” is a relative term. Another one, a fully restored example is currently on loan to the new Mustang Owners Museum nearby the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

    4
  12. Bob_in_TN Member

    Some interesting history here. Not only for Ford (specifically the Mustang’s role), but also for Disney. The pic above reminds me of how Disney (et al) now organize their rides/riders, with an employee walking the moving line and ushering people into their seats based on the size of the party. So, was it just luck if you got into a Mustang (or perhaps non-luck, if you were a large/tall person wedged into the back seat)?

    Any one here actually take this ride?

    Also interesting that the cars ended up being sold to the public. Not sure the involvement adds much to the value of this car, but it does make for a fun story.

    1
  13. Big Len

    I might have ridden in this car !! My brother and I waited to time our ride in a Mustang!!!

    3
  14. BULL

    A MARTIE REPORT will tell if this “Tale” is true!

    Very hard to believe the seller has not order one.

    • Stang1968

      Marti Reports are only available for 67 and up. The records for 66 and below were destroyed. Build sheets and window stickers are the way to show factory correct options on the earlier cars.

      1
      • BULL

        that’s right I forgot about that!

        What happened to Lois’s information on some of the early Mecheon built Mustangs?

  15. Del

    A “favorite” ?

    Not at that price and condition.

    1
  16. George Mattar

    I don’t care if Steve McQueen drove it. It is a pile of rust. Anyone who actually knows something about body work knows these cars rot to death. I saw this display at the Worlds Fair. It was great, but That was more than 50 years ago. Mustang were thrown together quickly and poorly.

    4
  17. bigdoc

    Being a Midwest boy I never heard of the Skyway so that is nothing to me really. The car is a rust bucket and the price is outrageous.

    3
  18. Frank D'Elia

    As a 14 year old car nut, living just 3 stops away from the NY World’s Fair on the #7 Subway line, I spent a lot of time over those 2 fair seasons in the Transportation Section of the Fair, which was located across the Grand Central Parkway from the main body of the fair exhibits. Along with my two best friends David and Richard, we made better than 50 visits to the NY World’s Fair during 1965 and 1966, and because the Ford Pavilion was a “constant motion” ride, rather than a stage show, it was one of our favorite venues, and one we probably hit on every visit! There were displays of new FOMOCO products, and Show Cars, and lots of literature, but the Magic Skyway was the highlight! We always wanted the Mustang, but sometimes got shuttled into a bigger Ford or Mercury convertible. The ride charted the history of transportation from the invention of the wheel to modern day. It started with the dinosaurs, which I think even lived on for many years at Ellen’s Energy Expo at EPCOT, but for us, the highlight was the ride in a new convertible, where the radio guided you through the ride. On the day the fair closed for good in 1965, the Magic Skyway at the Ford Pavilion was one of our last rides, and most of the knobs and anything takable from the cars had been stripped as souvenirs. It was a great ride and it was incredible having our own Disneyland just down the street for two magical summers in the 60s!

    2
  19. Johnmloghry Member

    Rusted and broken too far gone repair not cost efficient. Can only be saved by love, unconditional love. That’s how I was, but God had mercy, and saved me, restored me, although I had no value. That’s Gods great love. It’s the same reason some people restore these old cars, they know they can never get their return, but they love the finished product and the story that goes with it.
    God bless America

  20. Greg Williams

    The build date on the warranty plate is 18A which is January 18 of 1965,
    When did the worlds fair end ?

    2
  21. Rob S.

    Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof!

    3
  22. bpass

    This has an interesting history of the worlds fair cars. Looks like a total of 24 mustangs were used.
    http://www.mustangandfords.com/featured-vehicles/1510-al-gary-schweitzer-1965-ford-mustang-worlds-fair-convertible

    • bpass

      Read deep into the article and this car is actually mentioned by vin number,

  23. Brian B

    The Magic Skyway part is pretty minor in Mustang history so I can’t see how this car would be worth even half of the asking. The cost to restore this would probably exceed the value of a 6 cylinder convertible.

    1
    • don

      Actually, the Mustang made its debut at the 64-65 World’s Fair so its a big thing. All cars there would have low VIN numbers, which is VERY important to Mustang fans . The cars were welded to the Skyway tracks , so there should still be noticeable weld/cut marks on the rear diff and front end from where they were removed from the ride after the fair. I’ve seen complete basket case early Mustangs that were totally restored because of low VINs, and the fact this one has the rare Worlds Fair provenance (if proven ) will guarantee its restoration

      • bpass

        I did run across a 65 convert at an auction recently that had what appeared to be angle iron welded to the frame rails. Started approx under the front seat and ran to the end of the rail just before the axle. Saw this article well after the car was sold. So I did not pay much attention to the vin or data tag, besides verifying the engine and trans. I doubt it, but will always wonder if the one I saw was one of the worlds fair cars.

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