The Mustang Convertible of Goldfinger

© Wolfgang Kohrn 1996, updated February 2024

The early 1964 white Mustang convertible appeared already during the Golf scene filming near the Pinewood Studios in May 1964
Note the white convertible soft top underneath the otherwise visible red top cover and the white sunvisors.
Richard Truesdells article appeared in 2019. Picture with permission from him appear here.

The Timing was bad for Ford
To have a new car in a Bond movie has been always a promotion that each car manufacturer lusted for. When the 3rd. Bond movie Goldfinger was scheduled, Ford had a problem. The first scenes were already filmed from 20.-24th. of January 1964 in Miami at the hotel pool, where Gert Froebe (Goldfinger) and Shirley Eaton (as Jill Masterson) played false. Still at this time doubles were used, while the close-up shots of the actors were done later in the studio.

Fort Knox was rebuilt in the Pinewood studios in England in March 1964 - without any detailed plans, just according to Ken Adams visionary film set designs - which was very close to the real thing - as officials later confirmed. Flying over Fort Knox several times with running film cameras and no approval would be definitely a no-go today, but was initiated by Director Guy Hamilton back then. These scenes were even used in the final movie.

The 3 million dollar budget apparently allowed the producers to acquire some interesting cars. The most famous movie car in the world (as of today) is certainly the special DB5.
 It could have been the golden Mustang Fastback as described on this website, but Ford was late. Spending big money on the Bentley of Goldfinger plus a crashed new black Lincoln - a scandal at that time - took its toll on the car park budget. A Ranchero was in the movie as well as a Ford Country Squire Station Wagon and a Thunderbird convertible driven by CIA rep Felix Leiter.

A side note - if looking close, you can see that the engine in the crashed Lincoln was missing, so they saved some money, which was probably left for hiring the most beautiful car in this movie for the female Bond counterpart in Europe - Tilly Mastersen - played by english star model
Tania Mallet.

Ken Adams, Goldfingers production designer was known for his interest in sports cars, probably he was influental that a new Mustang had just to be in there despite that Ford could not manage to get the special Mustang built in time.

Of course he was the man, who had the idea for the special equipment in the Aston Martin DB5. So we can be pretty sure that it was him who requested a Mustang to be used. An advertisement from Lincoln Cars in September of 1964 with a white convertible and Tania Mallet may be proof that they delivered the car and used this connection for promotion later on.

Back to the schedule the Golf Course scenes were filmed at Stoge Poges in May 1964 as well as the famous chase scene in the night at Black Park, both locations being close to the Pinewood Studios in England. The white Mustang got already pictured at the golf course with Tania, so obviously it was already then in the UK.

Aside from the Miami shots and some scenes being filmed in Washington, only the chase scene with the Mustang was filmed at the Furka pass in Switzerland around early July 1964. The chosen DB5 did not make it to Switzerland, so the gadget equipped DB5 had to be flewn in.

As Alan Mann of Alan Mann Racing Ltd./UK told me, 
they were approached by Walter Hayes, the lengendary Public Affairs boss of Ford Europe. The film producers had asked Allan for some help on the stunt scenes and requested a Mustang convertible for a female actress as well.
As Allan recalls, "he had a convertible around" and it was easy to locate it for the filming. Lincoln cars actually had handled the Ford Performance cars imports to UK early in the 60ies and John Grant said that most cars delivered to Alan Mann in 1964 came via Lincoln Cars around the corner.
It must have been still tough to get a 64 1/2 convertible in May, but nobody would turn down a request for a Bond car. And if Walter Hayes and George Merwin with a link to Jaques Passino was in the background... it should have been rather easy. Actually the US licence plate is known meanwhile from Goldfinger production files.

The white 64 1/2 convertible with a white soft top under the read cover was the first appearance of a Mustang in Bond movies. Blueray disc research shows, it was rather white.

Alan Mann was in Monte Carlo at the time of the filming and could plan ahead for the support indeed. Some suspension modifications were done to make it race-ready for the small curves and steep tiny roads at the Furka pass.

Alan Mann did not remember the VIN nor what happened to the car later. He thought it might have been scrapped, but we all know, movie cars apparently pop up here and there. In the end Alan Mann confirmed that he will be able to verify any car by specific changes they made, so attempts to produce fakes will not really be successful.

John Grant from Alan Mann Racing remembered the car very clearly.
He told us a decade ago in his interview a nice anecdote about the actual filming at the Furka pass.
Andrew Cowan drove the car in some scenes and had to wear a wig, which was quite funny to see for his  race team mates, as he was quite tall. They all had a lot of fun being there.

The red interior is clearly visible, although the white or light yellow color was discussed for a period.

Most of us today are convinced - and  Ian Fleming Organisation confirmed - it was a white Mustang, other pictures with Tania from the set show the white convertible top.
Also note the whitish sunvisors, probably colored to light up the face for close-up shots.

John Grant (ex-Allan Mann mechanic) told me it featured a regular 289 engine, not a HiPo.

Note the big UK licence plate MLO973B indicating that this car was brought over from England, but in fact it is a fake movie plate as we found out with help from a person who had insight into the old files back then. The US licence is known as of now.

In 2008 Tania Mallet joined a special photo event with Peter Lanz Mustang convertible being used as a replica at the Furka pass.

The Ponysite was partially involved in making the contact and Peter as well as Tania enjoyed this day very much.

In March 2019 Tania Mallet died unfortunately at the age of 77.
Rest in peace.
We feel sorry for her family and friends.

An orbituary is currently written by Richard Truesdell and  published in April 2019 in Mustang Monthly.

Where is the white convertible today?
This question has been posed so often over the past decades.
We asked John Grant from Alan Mann and he did not remember, suspected that it was simply scrapped. Around the year 2000 we had been contacted by somebody from the Ian Fleming Organisation telling us that the car is around. We fortunately got in touch with Doug again recently and he told us that the white convertible was owned by a higher rank of the production company back then.

"The white Mustang was given to the producers by Henry Ford and Lee Iacocca back in 1964. The car was actually a 1964 1/2  due to the time frame when it was built. 
After the production was finished the car was given to a woman as a gift. That means the car stayed in Europe.  Lost forever now I'm afraid.  Without the actual VIN # for that particular car there's really no way of know which one it is." (D.R.)
There appeared two nice articles in 2011 in a german mag called Oldtimer Magazin (Octobre issue) about the convertible (not the real movie car, but a replica from a rental car company) and another 007 magazine about all the details.

Meanwhile as of 2024 a lot of other Bond book researched way more details about the scene at the Furka pass. We will edit this page soon after another article has appeared .Stay tuned.
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