Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

California Special: 1968 Mustang Barn Find


I’m out in Kansas City for work, and as usual checked out the local ads. Imagine my surprise when I found this really neat, true barn find 1968 California Special Mustang! It’s located in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and for sale here on craigslist for $10,000.


Although the California Special add-ons were purely cosmetic, the cars feature a lot of the body components developed for the Shelby Mustangs. They also have those cool 1965 Thunderbird-type tail lights, although they were not sequential on the California Specials. There’s all kinds of information here at CaliforniaSpecial.com if you’re interested in the details of these unusual Mustangs. This particular example is said to be largely rust-free and numbers-matching, two excellent qualities.


I’m guessing the pictures in the barn were taken before this one, which is the classic flipper acquisition picture on a trailer. The seller says they have reduced the price to move the car quickly. I hope that window wasn’t down during the time the car was in storage; there are no pictures of the interior in the advertisement to tell what it looks like.


The car does come with a 289 and a three-speed manual, as well as “hang down” air that I assume is a dealer or aftermarket addition. The amount of rust under the hood makes me wonder about the condition of the under body, as the car has obviously been in a moist environment. However, it still looks pretty original under there, and I would hazard a guess that since the car still has what I think is the original air cleaner, the rest of the car is probably pretty original as well. The Missouri front plate on the car dates from the period 1980-1996 according to this site, so we have a pretty good idea that it’s been off the road for at least 20 years.


One of my favorite items on these Mustangs and the similar Shelbys as well is the Lucas “Square 8” fog and driving lights. They were also fitted to Triumph TR6’s as an option, which is part of the reason I like them so much. Are you a California Special fan? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Avatar photo JW

    IMO if you need to move a car fast putting your price as firm is a bad idea unless your close to giving it away which this one isn’t priced that way.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Jim

    “hang down air”, would be aftermarket and I’m not certain CS’s came with a 3spd.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Stang1968

    It has a Galpin Ford license plate frame. That’s a Los Angeles area Ford Dealer.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      I was hoping someone would notice the dealer frame! Galpin opened in 1954 in what then was the small town of San Fernando, California, with a 1-car showroom. Today, they are one of the largest Ford dealerships in the entire U.S.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo randy

    I always have to roll a window down when trailering a car, sometimes I even have to crawl out the window, that may be why the window is down. The seller looks to be a typical bottom feeder flipper. I think the car is worth 10K, if it’s not rusted to bits. Sheep in wolves clothing, but a decent sheep at any rate.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      I haven’t seen the ad, but anybody who won’t show pics of the engine or interior, then says he’s “firm”, is just playing with himself. I’m not convinced it’s a 10 Large car, either.

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo 64 bonneville

    The “hang down” air was a typical Ford Dealer install done in the 60s’. If it has the ford script and “selectaire” on it, it is the correct unit in most cases. You will see thses on a lot of the 62-64 Galaxies, it wasn’t until 1965 that Ford incorporated the air conditioning into the full size cars. and in 1966-67 on the compact and mid size. (Think falcon and Fairlane). GM started incorporating factory air into full size in 1963, unless it was a dealer install accessory, in which case you could still see the under dash air as late as 1964.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Bwhyz

    I have a 1965 Mustang my aunt bought new and it has the original under dash air condition unit.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo rancho bella

    Just another gimmick to sell Mustangs from Ford at the time. Nothing special. And certainly not for 10K now.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Casey

    Regardless of how “special” you think they are, nicely restored regular coupes can push $20k now, and these are tons more rare.

    I think the CS could be ordered with any of the same drivetrain options as a regular coupe, so the 3 spd could be original and a past swap to one seems pretty unlikely. Anyhow the vin will tell you for sure. I’d guess this is a C code 289 2V, given the 3 spd.

    The main problem with these cars is hidden structural rust beneath otherwise solid looking panels and rails. These were built by layering steel and spot welding it together with no rust proofing between. The rust tends to blossom at the weld points between the steel. Whatever rust you see is generally just a fraction of the real damage.

    The upside is that every part is still available for decent prices. You can rebuilt the entire car from just the vin plate if need be.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo piper62j

    I agree. Not worth 10k.. Manual trans for a California Special with a small block is questionable..

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder on this one.. Some one will snap it up thinking it’s a treasure..

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Bob

    Typo?? Title status………………….MISSING??

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.