Dan & Cristy Cordeiro’s Mustang Jr. Power Car
| As we all know, in 1964 Ford released the first ver-sion of the Mustang. In 1965-67, Ford contracted with the Power Car Company to make a 1/3 size version of the Mustang. They made an electric version for kids, an electric version for adults and a more powerful gas-powered model for adults.
Ford originally did this in 1954 for the T-Bird. Over the three years they pro-duced only 600 models of the Mustang Jr. – many were wrecked by the poor driving skills of the young owners. Some dealers used this as a promotion to let the kids drive one – in hopes that the parents would buy a new family-sized Ford. Dealers sometimes raffled them off, but they also sold them for a whopping $537. The full-size Mustang started off at $2,557. The dealers also offered the Mustang pedal cars for $12.99.
Our Mustang Jr quest started when Dan’s friend Dan McCabe sent a video of a guy making a delivery with a Mustang Jr. in a Pizza Hut commercial from the 60’s. GHMC also participated in a program Kmart had giving kids rides in Mustang Power Car type cars. Dan now had a mission – he wanted a Mustang Jr. Power Car to match his 1964 ½ convertible and his Mustang Pedal Car. He finally found one around 2008. He had it deliv-ered and was so happy! However, it was 44 years old. Dan knew he wanted to use it in parades and did not feel safe driving around people. He found someone to build a safer/stronger chassis and put in a new Briggs and Stratton gas-powered motor with an electric start. He painted and accessorized the original body and let the fun begin!
Dan’s first parade was at Kool April Nights. At that time, the entries for the Friday Night Cruise only specified that it would be a Mustang. Dick and Kathy Pickering were unable to attend the KAN that year and had already registered, so Dan used their parade entry for the Mustang Jr. while Cristy and Rachel followed closely in the 64 ½ . The guy at the intersection gave him a hard time getting on the route, but he talked his way on the cruise.
I have been in a lot of parades, but you cannot imagine the reaction Dan had from all the car enthusiasts watching the parade. There was a roar of voices and people standing up and taking pictures – it was crazy! Dan was having fun driving around and giving high-fives to the kids…
We were just going down the overpass hill and Danny was swerving and driving fast. Rachel and I were like “OMG, what is he doing now?!” But Kirk was a passenger in his car and saw that Danny was in distress and jumped out and helped him stop. The cotter pin for the brake clevis rod sheared off and he could not stop! (he has since then made an emer-gency stop brake).
The next day at the car show, we had the 64½, the Mustang Jr. and the Pedal car on dis-play. You cannot imagine how many people exclaimed – look! he does have legs!
The Mustang Jr. has been in many fun parades and displays, but one of the most fun was at the SPSV car show when Danny brought all his pedal cars, his Mus-tang Jr. and his Corvette Jr. for a display. As it goes, during car shows, everyone started talking and it was decided that Danny and Kirk would race the cars on the track – of course you have to have a pretty girl start the race! Needless to say, Danny has enjoyed all the parades and events with the car. But we are so happy that we could share the fun with picture taking with our friend’s kids and kids who just want one too! By Cristy Cordeiro