Drive or Restore: 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe

After spending the past 31-years in the care of the same family, the time has come for this 1966 Mustang to move on to greener pastures. It is going to need a bit of work to return it to its best, but when a running, driving 1st generation Mustang project car comes along in a No Reserve auction, it is definitely worth a look. It is located in Englewood, New Jersey, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $4,400, and remember those magic words…No Reserve.

There is no hiding the fact that the Mustang has some rust issues that will need to be addressed in the very near future. It has impacted many of the usual lower extremities of the car, including the lower quarter panels, bottom corners of the doors, and the lower fenders. There is also some significant rust visible in the cowl region of the engine bay when the hood is lifted. The owner says that there is some rust present in the floors, but that this could be easily patched. The Mustang received a repaint back in 1988, and this brought a color change. It isn’t clear what the Mustang’s original color was, but this shade of Silver Blue doesn’t look too bad. The external trim and chrome look to be in good condition, as does the black vinyl top.

The interior of the Mustang presents reasonably well and is certainly clean enough to serve as a daily driver. There is some puckering on the door trims, but things generally aren’t too bad. The Mustang has been fitted with an aftermarket radio/cassette player, while there are now also a set of speakers mounted in the rear parcel tray. Otherwise, the interior is largely original, and the inclusion of air conditioning is a bit of a bonus.

Under the hood of the Mustang is a 289ci V8, which is hooked to an automatic transmission. It isn’t clear which version of the 289 this is, but if the engine is original, then you should be able to bank on having at least 200hp at your disposal. This is an area of the car where there are some positives to be found, as the engine has always been properly maintained. This means that it starts and runs well and that the car drives really nicely. It would appear that apart from some cleaning and detailing, there is little that will need to be done to the engine of this car.

I’m quite torn by this Mustang. Since I was a young boy, this is pretty much the Mustang that I dreamed of owning. This one shows a fair amount of promise, but it is also exhibiting some pretty worrying rust issues as well. The rust in the cowl is the biggest concern because it would be imperative that this is fixed properly if the structural integrity of the car is to be maintained. What do you think? Is this a viable project car, or is the rust a bit of a worry?

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Comments

  1. CanuckCarGuy

    Seeing a coupe is very refreshing, especially one so original. I’m leary on the extent of the rust, once you dig into things and the cost to address it vs buying a more solid example. If you have the time and talent for the rust, it could be a good outcome if the bidding doesn’t get out of hand, and the reserve is reasonable.

    Like 3
  2. Cadmanls Member

    See old repairs, Bondo is poping in doors and front passenger fender. I am sure with mud there there is more hiding elsewhere. Next owner had better be prepared to go to work to save it. I used to live in the rust belt and watched as these cars rusted away, salt was hard on them.

    Like 6
  3. Marlon Smith

    According to the Vin its a C Code 289 c.i. 200 hp engine

    Like 3
  4. Ken Carney

    Just right for my niece! Just enough
    power to move it down the road without
    my having to worry as to whether or not
    she’ll break her neck driving it as opposed to a big, hairy version of this car
    with a hot V-8 that could get her killed in
    an accident. I’d like to put her in this
    car if possible. Maybe she could get a young man, settle down, and make me
    a great uncle before I get too old to enjoy
    having her kids around the house.

  5. Gaspumpchas

    Yep it looks nice in the pics but I would run Forrest run from this …if its rotten in the cowl you are in a world of hurt by that repair alone. You have to remove the windshield, drill out the spot welds and go from there. Parts to fix are available. if you think you want to take it on, look carefully at ALL parts. Its already a mud queen. Caveat emptor. At least the seller is honest about the extent of the rust.
    Good luck
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 4
  6. Andrew Franks

    I’m uneasy about this. Lots of 15 foot photography which is annoying when a prospect is trying to get close to a car before getting on a plane or arranging transport. I would restore it, convert the interior to Pony, and have a sexy driver.

  7. Jackie Hollingsworth

    Rust Bucket that could turn into a money bit if not careful.

  8. TimM

    Rust belt car!!! Expect rust!! Not going to drive it to long till it starts cracking!!! I wonder if you could put it on a scale and see how much more the car weighs with all that bondo????

    Like 1

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