1966 Ford Mustang GT Hardtop History….
The original owner kept the car until approximately 1984 when Dave Ernst purchased it with 65,000 miles. Dave Ernst is the man who owned the car when Motor Trend used it in their December 1986 article.
The third owner, William Carson, purchased the car in 1992 with 82,000 miles. He was the president of the Northern California Mustang Club.
William Carson sold the car to Martha & Joel a retired couple who live in Lake County. Martha and Joel restored and owned several Model A’s. They purchased the car for Martha to use as daily transport however the Mustang was recieving too much attention for Martha’s liking and this is when it was purchased by the current owner. There were several interviews on the phone, via email and finally in person with Martha and Joel before they agreed that he was worthy of taking care of the Mustang. They had the car for only about a year. He purchased it in April of 2006 with 102,000 miles on it.
Ford made around 600,000 Mustangs in 1966. This car was built August 31, 1965. It is an extremely early 1966 model. It was probably built within the first few days of production for 1966. The serial number is 6R07A102068. This 6 indicates model year 1966. The R means it was built at the San Jose plant. The 07 means the body style is a hardtop. The A indicates that the car was equipped with the 4-barrel carburetor 289 V8 engine. The 102068 is the build number and means that of all the cars built in San Jose that model year, the GT was the number 2068 off the line. They started the counting with 100001 and I understand that the counting included the various models built at that plant and this included Fairlanes and Falcons.
The “A” code engine was also called the Challenger engine. It was the middle engine of the three V8 engines available for the Mustang. The “C” code was the 200hp lower compression (9.3:1) 2-barrel carburetor engine. The “C” code engine is what you received for your $106.63 when you upgraded for the 6-cylinder engine, an additional $52.85 bought you the higher compression (9.8:1) 225 hp “A” code engine. The “A” code Challenger engine was required if you wanted to check the box for the GT package.
Of the 600,000 Mustangs built in 1966 by the three plants (Dearborn MI, San Jose, CA or Metuchen, NJ) only about 25,000 GT’s were built. Most GT’s were either convertibles or fastbacks. Someone who was willing to pay extra for something special usually wanted to be racy with a fastback or have top-down fun and this made the GT hardtops the rarest of the GT’s.
The GT group included the special handling package which includes higher performance front and rear springs, larger front and rear shock absorbers, a larger front sway bar and higher performance steering box. The GT group also included dual exhaust venting through the rear valance with trumpet tips and stainless trim rings
Some of the options on this car are as follows:
The axle ratio on this car is code 1, an open rear end 3.00:1. The transmission is a code 6 C4 “shift-o-matic” automatic.
Power Steering, specific to the GT package.
Rally Pack, tachometer and clock. Clock is original as the movement is electric where as re-production Rally Packs use a Quartz movement.
Styled Steel Wheels. In 1966 the Styled Steel Wheel was chrome on the spokes and center with a beauty ring where as the 1965 style was all chrome. The 1966 style wheel was not made available until October 1966 and this Mustang having been produced in August makes these wheels correct.
Tinted Glass and Banded Windshield, $21.09 got you the tinted & banded windshield and an additional $9 added the tinting on the rest of the glass.
Air conditioning costing $310.90 increased the cost of the car by 12%.
8 track tape player, $186.00 option
Center Console, $31.52 option
Vinyl Top, $74.36 option
Interior Décor Group also known as “Pony Interior”, $94.13 option.
Visibility Group, $29.81 option which included the remote control drivers mirror, larger then standard rear view mirror with day/night switch, two speed windshield wipers and windshield washers.
California Closed engine vent, a $5.19 option that closed the crankcase vent system. The reason this GT has this option is because of its early build date which was prior to the mandatory 1966 California emissions equipment.
The original owner who ordered the Mustang from the San Jose factory ordered it with just about every option and the breakdown is as follows:
1966 Ford Mustang Hardtop Base Price $2,416.18
289 V8 $ 105.63
Upgrade to 4v carb $ 52.85
GT option group $ 152.20
Automatic Transmission $ 185.39
Power Steering $ 84.47
Rally Pack $ 69.30
Styled Steel Wheels $ 93.84
Tinted/Banded Windshield & Tinted Glass $ 30.25
Air Conditioning $ 310.90
8 Track ($128.49) $ 186.00
Center Console $ 31.52
Vinyl Roof $ 74.36
Interior Décor Group (Pony Interior) $ 94.13
California Closed Engine Vent System $ 5.19
Visibility Group (day/night mirror, remote
Exterior mirror, 2 speed wipers) $ 29.19
TOTAL COST: $3,922.02
That is a lot of 1966 dollars for a car & there probably aren’t too many Mustang GT’s this heavily optioned.