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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

From dinos to Space City, this '65 New York World's Fair Mustang saw it all

One of the rarest of all Mustangs-one of 23 used in the Ford Motor Company Wonder Rotunda during the 1964-65 New York World's Fair-"time traveled" millions of miles to reach Mecum's Indianapolis Auction. And you wouldn't know by looking at its odometer.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/auctions/from-dinos-to-space-city-this-65-new-york-worlds-fair-mustang...
47 REPLIES 47
audiobycarmine
Technician

I was there. A few times.

Remember that 1964 was when the movie "Goldfinger" was released.
In the movie, Bond is "racing" a lady driving a car that had never been seen before: the Mustang.
He (dastardly) ripped her tires with his extending "knock-off" hubs. What??

That's right, this was the Q-Branch tricked-out Aston Martin DB5!
So we got two great cars introduced.

Incidentally, that DB5 was ALSO at the Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY World's Fair!
To my ten-year-old brain, that, and Sinclair's Dinoland, were dreams come true.
hyperv6
Racer

I have a Sinclair T Rex. They sent the plastic molding machines around the country with the Dino's on truck beds after the fair was over. They came to town and I molded a red T Rex. 

OldFordMan
Advanced Driver

I pumped alot of gas under that dino. And checked the oils, wipers, cleaned the windshield and made sure the tire pressure was what it should be..
Glad to have the tiny income at only 14. We weren't impoverished as that word didn't exist back then. POOR was the word!
joefo
Pit Crew

In 1964 I actually had the Goldfinger slot car game that had the Mustang and DB5!
There actually was a section of the track where the slots came close to each other so the DB5 could knock the Mustang off the track. cool
I wish I had it now!
hyperv6
Racer

I was a year old. 

 

I wish they still had worlds fairs like they did in the old days. Chicago was the one I would have loved to have seen. My grandmother saw it before she passed away young. I would have loved to ask her about it. 

audiobycarmine
Technician

To Hyperv6:

thanks for the 'like". My Operating System stopped being compatible with Hagerty's new "Like" & "Reply" buttons configuration about a month ago...
I would have "Liked" most or all of your postings.

I used to have a green, molded Brontosaurus from one of those machines at the Fair.
Don't know what happened to it, but I still have the Dinoland Booklet.
I loved every visit — living only about 35 miles East, on LI, it was a simple and short trip.

Some odd bits about that '64-'65 Fair are that Michelangelo's "Pieta" was on display, and the most popular item sold was the previously undiscovered "Belgian Waffle".

You're so right about having World's Fairs — they really can bring people together.

One of the Chicago Fairs, in the 1890's, I think; was where many people first saw incandescent lighting, and on a grand scale. Coney Island would later follow.
It was courtesy of Misters Tesla and Westinghouse, whose AC System worked just fine, as opposed to the very distance-limited DC System being promoted by Edison.

The personal and professional histories of these three men is about as fascinating as could possibly be, and as influential on every person now alive, as much as Henry Ford, Salk and Sabin, and so many others still are.
A book I highly recommend is "Empires Of Light".
Spookysgarage
Intermediate Driver

RARE FACTORY BENCH!!!
azaustin
Pit Crew

One my greatest regrets was that I was there but couldn’t take the ride because my family was time-limited. It was right about the time I turned fifteen in 1964. I was already seriously addicted to cars and considered it torture to be there and unable to get a ride on the magic skyway. It was an amazing fair.
Maestro1
Technician

I don't why anbody would pay six figures for the car shown just because it was a Worlds
Fair car. It's nonsense.
MustangJim
Technician

Because they can... some people have ridiculous amounts of money.
Smilodon
Instructor

If it was left to the corporate owners or government, many historical automotive icons would simply disappear. Whatever you feel about the very wealthy, they preserve a hell of a lot of history, some very obscure. It's not always automotive, but that seems to make the news.
Rider79
Technician

To you - not necessarily to all.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Wow, I would have loved to have been there in '64, But I was only 1 back then and living on the wrong coast. I love these period pieces, especially about the old Mustangs, It keeps me excited about the 66 restoration ongoing in my garage.
BillyBuick
Intermediate Driver

I will never forget the World's Fair. I played at the New York State Pavilion with my band "The Fugitives". Wish I could turn back the clock.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

I just checked out the song "We gotta run", good music.
MustangJim
Technician

Thats cool! Must of been quite an experince playing there.
Pete1
Pit Crew

The Green Men played at the Texas Pavillion in 1964. I've don't recall the music much but their long, fluorescent green hair is never to be forgotten.
DAdams
Intermediate Driver

It is likely the indicated mileage does not include the Magic Skyway mileage. The car has an automatic transmission. By 1965 most (all?) automatic transmissions received all of their lubrication from the front, engine driven, oil pump. Thus, as with when towing, it would have been necessary to remove the driveshaft to protect transmission from damage.
Smilodon
Instructor

What!? I've been modifying and hotrodding American cars- mostly GM- since the early 1970's. NEVER have I seen any automatic transmission lubricated by the engine oil pump. GM Turbo Hydromatic 350/400, PowerGlide; Ford C4, C6, etc, Chrysler TorqFlites- all are self pumped and lubricated, usually through the pressure created in the torque converter. Maybe there's another way, I've owned several motorcycles that share oil between the trans and engine, but my direct personal experience under hundreds of cars tells me that the engine and transmission lubrication systems in classic American cars are closed loop, never combined. Look at the fluids!
petersalt
Advanced Driver

He didn't SAY "the engine oil pump" ..
said: "the front, engine-DRIVEN oil pump .. " (and he obviously meant the
transmission's front pump .. IF some transmissions have more than one ..)
the pressure isn't 'created' in the torque converter; the transmission's fluid
pump draws suction from the sump and provides all the transmission fluid
pressure-actuated functions, primarily SHIFTING.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Whenever I run into a Mustang with a straight 6 under the hood I thank the owner for not motor swapping it out like too many do. I know it's not fast, but it is original and it is cool.
petersalt
Advanced Driver

well, .. maybe not really.
"Slow" is cool for the very first generations of automobiles, the curved-dash Oldsmobiles,
the Ford Model A (not the 1929 cars, but the single-cylinder 1902 Model Model A), the Brass-nosed Model T's & etc. After the 1920s, when lots of paved roads were installed around the US, FAST was the criterion for Cool .. and that's never gone away.
[And I changed out dozens of exhaust manifolds off 6 cyl Mustangs in New Orleans and Baton Rouge; heavy rains are a fact of life down here, and wives and daughters who drove briskly thru substantial puddles got cold water flung up on that long, hot cast-iron part and broke it in smaller pieces.] If a 6-cyl, four-lug axle Mustang was numbers-matching (w/the original motor), I can value that. If the motor has been replaced (and >60% probably have been), then I'd pop a 289 or 302 into it in a jiffy never looking back.
MustangJim
Technician

Great story! I was there one time...my older brother took us. Unfortunately he was not really into cars. I stood in awe at that skyway and wanted so badly to sit in the cars but the line was long and my brother had some science exhibits to see and 10 year old me was not in a position to change anything. I was annoyed at the time, but in retrospect I was pretty lucky to have an older brother who would take me to a worlds fair. He brought me to the Montreal words fair also in 67.
Tinkerah
Engineer

I was seven when my family went to "Expo '67". By the time I was an adult all my memories of it had been replaced with the 8MM movies Dad took of the trip.
Jay
Intermediate Driver

I was 15 in 1964 and visited the NY Worlds Fair several times. I recall the Ford exhibit as well as the futuristic visions of many other major companies. Looking back, it was an era of incredible optimism about the outlook for the future, especially when compared with the mood today. Glad I was an impressionable 15 year-old back then!
Snailish
Instructor

Disney did that odd "Tomorrowland" movie with George Clooney. It was about that optimism of the past and a bit of commentary on it being lost (in the vehicle of monetizing a Disney attraction as a movie).

 

What if we put on those technicolor glasses and try to view today with that upbeat hope? What if we insisted our politicians did the same...

dd1
Detailer

Oh, how this vehicle gives me pangs of yearning for a simpler era. Simple mechanical and hydraulic systems. No complex multiple computer systems, no reams upon reams of electronic data to interpret. Just a simple machine with simple electronics that any backyard mechanic could master.
dough
Intermediate Driver

Well, if those pangs are serious enough, you might be in luck. I happen to have a '64.5 Mustang convertible for sale. It's one of the first 5500 cars built, "D" code 289 and factory Rangoon red over factory double red interior. 100% unmodified, right down to the old generator and brake switch mounted to the master cylinder. Very much a time capsule. Post a reply if interested.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

Personally I think cars like this belong in museums.
Makes me wonder, what happened to the other cars? And for crying out loud all of those people in and out of the car day after day must have put some wear on those seats and interior.
Snailish
Instructor

I like museums, but they are the closet space for dead things and broken bits of history. Let the museum have archival footage, modern pictures, replicas, and computer scans...

 

Seeing something you know is special in a museum can be cool.

 

Seeing it on the street or at a show/event it drove to is cooler.

Tinkerah
Engineer

The article says the interiors got replaced but I'm thinking the door hinges and latches must've gotten mighty sloppy after several lifetimes of use.

elvacarsdallas
Intermediate Driver

Out of the army, school and working in 1965 when I got married took a 65 white on white 289 4spd fastback on honeymoon.
espo70
Advanced Driver

Man, I wasn't even alive then, and I feel nostalgic for that!
SAG
Technician

I was there Too.
'64 vaguely remember the 'Ford' exhibit.
but still remember it.

Returning to the USA (vacation), then heading back to Australia.
Next stop Hawaii ['65] where we rented a "rag top Mustang" to cruse the sights.
HardyFlick
New Driver

My family went to the World's Fair and waiting in line at the Ford Pavilion, I was hoping we would get a Mustang. I was so excited when we did get a British Racing Green Mustang! What a great memory.
RichL
Pit Crew

I was there for one day. Unfortunately my parents didn’t allow me wander about to see things like this. 🙄
1963-Impala-SS
New Driver

Great article and video, brings back some memories!!
I was only six years old when we visited the '64 New York World's Fair. I have only a few memories of the Ford exhibit, but we did get to ride through the exhibit in a Mustang Convertible with my oldest sister in the driver's seat!! I had always thought that ALL of the cars were Mustangs, but I now see there were other Ford & Mercury models too!!!
Growing up in NJ, we were close by and visited the World's Fair again in '65 too!!
A simpler time with so much promise and so much to look forward to!!!
wentwest
Intermediate Driver

I went to the Fair a couple of times. I was 18 and interested in cars, but not so much in just production cars. The "dream cars" were more interesting. Oh well. I really don't remember much except the GE "House of Tomorrow" and the Belgian waffles.
Northwoods54
New Driver

I was there in 1964 as a nine year old. I was already in love with cars, and I couldn’t believe I was about to sit in a brand new mustang convertible as our family took our trip on the Magic Skyway. I got the driver’s seat (white car, red interior, cruise-o-matic shifter is what I recall—evidently they were all so equipped). I remember the chewing brontosaurus from the display, but nothing more. I was mesmerized by the Mustang itself. That is what captured my imagination, and my heart. That ‘Stang was the highlight of my trip to the World’s Fair!
miata93
Advanced Driver

I thought that our car on the Magic Skyway was a Fairlane convertible, but I could be wrong. The Mustang was up on a pedestal if I recall. I remember that the radio buttons were labeled for various languages like French English and German. I was about ten at the time.
Tinkerah
Engineer

Amazing that we clearly remember the color of a car we spent fifteen minutes in as a nine year old but can't recall the password we created yesterday! 

elvacarsdallas
Intermediate Driver

You too???
SJ
Technician

Cool!!
OCULUSNY
Intermediate Driver

Something else very contemporary was on display back then in 1964: the NASA satellite that was powered by a FUEL CELL.

And we still can't get one to power a vehicle, although Ford did produce a demonstration model about 12  years ago.  The problem is generating hydrogen for reasonable money.

27stutz
Pit Crew

Something wrong with the suspension on the car - it's riding way too high...
BimmerBrad
New Driver

In 1964 I was 9 years old. My father was in the Navy and we were being transferred to Spain. Our point of embarkation was NYC. While in New York we visited the World's Fair. I vividly remember a red Mustang with white interior on the turntable outside the pavilion. I thought it was the coolest car I'd ever seen. We stood in-line for who knows how long to ride on the Magic Skyway Ride. I, of course, wanted to ride in the new Mustang. Alas, when our turn came we ended up in a Fairlane convertible. I was NOT a happy camper, however, whimpering and complaining in the in-front of 'The Captain" was strictly verboten. From that day on I dreamed of owning a Mustang, but I never have. Coming up on 60 years later, maybe it's time.
I've heard there were a total of 11 Mustangs used on Magic Skyway Ride. I don't believe that includes the Mustangs used on the turntable outside, because I've seen pictures of a Fastback and Notchback on the podium and only convertibles were used on the Magic Skyway Ride.
Apparently, only 3 of the Magic Skyway Ride Mustangs are known to survive. I wonder how many of the turntable cars still exist and if there is are any records of the cars used.
steveadil
Pit Crew

Our family of six attended. I was 12. We stood in line waiting for our convertible. Even then I was a Lincoln fan and convinced everyone to wait until a Lincoln came by.