In only a few years since its debut at the 1964 New York World's Fair, the Mustang shattered sales records and gave birth to the pony car segment.
Unlike some of its rivals, the Mustang survived on the market for seven generations.
Though some were better than others, the first generation (1964 1/2 - 1973) remains the most beautiful, fascinating, and sought-after for the vast majority of Mustang enthusiasts.
Because of this, the first-gen is also the most heavily customized Mustang ever built, with projects ranging from discrete restomods to full-blown insanities, like this triple-supercharged beast.
But just when you thought you'd seen all the custom first-gen 'Stang variation possible, Eckert's Rod & Custom came with the mid-engine Mach Forty, which was accompanied by the sound of jaws dropping to the floor.
An enthusiast's pursuit to make a dream come true
That project, dubbed Mach 2, never made it into production, but it inspired many enthusiasts to dream about a mid-engine 'Stang.
One of those enthusiasts was Terry Lipscomb, who, back in the early 2010s, purchased a banged-up 1969 fastback (aka SportsRoof) and decided to transform it into a custom Mustang like no other.
In his mind, the classic pony car didn't start as a mid-engine monster but evolved into that after countless months of daydreaming.
At one point, Lipscomb decided to put his idea on paper and contacted renowned hot rod designer Mike Miernik, who produced around 30 detailed sketches for the project.
Those sketches would come to life thanks to Dave Eckert and his talented Eckert's Rod & Custom crew located in Molalla, Oregon, who took charge of the project.
Extensive mods with painstaking attention to detail
Separated from its stock frame, the old Mustang body underwent a series of drastic modifications.
The greenhouse had to be moved forward to make room for the mid-mounted powerplant, while almost every panel was modified to give the Mach Forty its aggressive look.
While the transformation was dramatic, to say the least, Eckert's R & C crew, along with Hardison Metal Shaping (who handled the custom panel fabrication), made sure that the finished body retained and improved the original Mustang's timeless styling cues.
This attention to detail also carried over to the interior, which oozed 1960s vibes even if it was fully custom and thoroughly modernized.
Since Lipscomb wanted the car to behave like a modern supercar, the chassis was rebuilt from scratch using state-of-the-art hardware like a custom, C6 Corvette-based suspension with QA1 coilovers and a Baer braking system with six-piston calipers and 14-inch (355.6 mm) rotors.
Powered by a monstrous Ford V8
Naturally, the mid-mounted engine had to have ties with the latter Blue Oval engine. Still, since an original Le Mans-spec 427 V8 would have been nearly impossible to source and challenging to maintain, the Mach Forty received the next best thing.
Sourced from the GT40's modern successor, the 5.4-liter all-aluminum, supercharged Modular V8 was deemed ideal.
The powerplant retained its stock block, cylinder heads, and internals but received a series of awesome upgrades, including a Whipple 4.0-liter supercharger, a custom fuel delivery system with 1,000 cc injectors, and dual Lamborghini-sourced throttle bodies.
Hooked up to a Ricardo six-speed manual transaxle also borrowed from the 2005–2006 Ford GT, the epic powerplant was capable of delivering 720 hp (later improved to 787 hp) and 780 lb-ft (1,057.5 Nm) of twist to the rear wheels.
An award-winning piece of automotive art
Before being handed to its ecstatic owner, who ended up driving it as often as possible, the stunning one-off made an appearance at the 2012 SEMA show.
In Las Vegas, the Mach Forty became a worldwide star, earning first place at the annual Gran Turismo Awards.
Anyone who owns a PlayStation can drive it (well, sort of)
Since it earned the award mentioned above from Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo video game series, the Mach Forty became a playable car in Gran Turismo Sport.
It also returned in the next (and latest) iteration of the legendary car simulator, Gran Turismo 7, where it can be purchased for 300,000 in-game credits (a steal!) or won by achieving gold in the Moby Dick mission challenge.
Back in the real world, the Mustang reached the seventh generation, and for the first time in model history, a GT3 race car-derived special edition is set to be unleashed on public roads.
Though it's an impressive piece of machinery, the upcoming GTD is still a long way (at least in my opinion) from the Mach Forty, which remains the most impressive Mustang ever built.
If you would like to learn more about this fascinating piece of automotive art and see how it performs on the road, we recommend watching the YouTube video below by JC Image Inc, Joe Casvin.