Driver-Quality Drop-Top: 1966 Ford Mustang

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Between 1964 and 1966, Ford was working overtime to keep up with the demand for their new “pony car”, the Mustang. And sales would peak in ’66 at more than 607,000 copies. Beginning the following year, competition would flood the market such that it seemed like almost every driveway sported one of these types of automobiles. This 1966 convertible is said to be in mostly original condition and was once a barn find, but it’s been cleaned and tuned up and is offered here on craigslist as a nice daily driver. From Babylon, New York, the asking price for this drop-top is $22,800 (OBO).

If you assumed the production lines were running 365 days a year and 24 hours straight, Ford built 55 Mustangs per hour in 1966. That’s almost one per minute. That’s a staggering achievement considering they still had Falcons, Fairlanes, Galaxies, and trucks to assemble. Of the record Mustang production that year, 72,119 of them were convertibles and more than a quarter of those had the luxury interior like the seller’s car. It was a good time to be Ford and Lee Iacocca.

As the story goes, this ’66 auto was a collector-owned car for many years and has recently come out of hiding. The motor has been tuned, the automatic transmission rebuilt, and new tires installed. It originally came with a 4-speed and a swap was made at some point, but the factory tranny was kept and will come along for the ride. We’re told the car starts, runs, drives, and stops exactly as it should. The body is straight and the Ford has avoided catching the rust bug. The paint (Sahara Beige?) was old and tired, so the seller had it wet sanded, buffed, and a new clear coat put on to preserve 57 years of patina.

Under the hood resides the car’s original 289 cubic inch V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor. From the factory, it was rated at 200 hp. For 84,000 miles, we’re told all is well with the motor and the blue engine paint looks new so the compartment was likely detailed. While the power top works fine, the canvas is worn out and needs to be replaced. The Mustang comes with air conditioning, which was a bit rare on a mainstream convertible in the 1960s. And the car sports GT fog lights and body stripes. The dash has a set of Rally Pac gauges (not hooked up) and the interior looks nice enough overall.

If I were to take this car home, the first thing I would do is source a set of 1966 Mustang wheel covers (maybe those cool spinner types). The styled steel “simulators” the car has now look a bit cheesy to me. The seller has gone to the trouble of producing a walkaround/driving video for our review. And he/she is not opposed to a trade if you have something “cool and classic” that you can bring to the doorstep.

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  1. Doone

    Looks like some body work on the driver side rear fender.

    Like 4
    • Doone

      And on the right rear fender too. Also the right rear dogleg looks like its rusting.

      Like 2
  2. Rob Jay

    You really need to thoroughly check these old Stangs out for rust, they can be really bad. If it really is rust free it’s a reasonable deal.

    Like 0
  3. MikeG.

    Non-rally pack gauges, non pony interior.

    Like 1
  4. stefano sioli

    many yrs ago I had a very nice 65 fastback, I sourced an original rally pac from a 66 hardtop in a graveyard (I had to buy the entire hardtop car in order to obtain the instruments, the 66 hardtop was later sold and became, after being restored, a succesful vintage racer). BUT my rallypac had on the left the rev counter, and on the right a clock. This rally pac on this car duplicates on the right the voltmeter , and on the left duplicates the water temperature. Is this correct ? Were there different versions of the rallypac housing different instruments ?

    Like 0
    • Steve

      This looks like a home made rally pac.

      Like 1
    • dannys mustangs

      the housing is correct the guages junk Dannys Mustangs

      Like 0
  5. dannys mustangs

    the housing is correct the guages junk Dannys Mustangs

    Like 0
  6. stefano sioli

    if I recall properly (those were the days of traditional photocameras and paper printed pics) the entire instrument was painted in shrinking black. The paint of mine was damaged, so I scratched the paint away from the lid and underneath it was nice chromed. So mine was a black cluster with chrome lid. Car was auto, 225hp, original Ac and console, power steering. Fastback, red white interior.

    Like 0
  7. TBall

    Hmm, out on Long Island, from photos, does not look like there is not a piece of sheet metal that will not need to be addressed. Nice 20-footer, but would warrant close inspection prior to dropping 22k

    Like 0
  8. Al

    Plate on front of the car reads Anna Maria Island which is off the West Coast of Florida and Bradenton, which means salt. Although a decent shine, many body panels have bumps, paint missing and what appears to be hidden rust (both rear quarters). Seems like a lot of money for a driver, non-original Mustang.

    Like 0
  9. Jim in FL

    I think these cars are beautiful and would make great daily drivers, but the price is too high for me. I’m sure they aren’t overpriced for collectors but they made a zillion mustang convertibles and I’m surprised they bring this money. I got on a kick several years ago because I wanted to dd one. Tuned out that I could get a 60’s t bird convertible for a lot less so I did and dd’d (that’s a lotta ds) it for a year.

    My aunt had a 65 fastback in orange with a white interior and a manual trans. Just such a nice simple car. She was going to give it to me at one point but the PA inspection said otherwise and they she traded it for a 79 hardtop. The fastback had enough frame rust to render it undriveble, although Aunt Dot drove it to the library for work every day.

    Anyway, good luck. It’s a sweet car. Does anyone here remember PJ O’Roarke’s article about rent a wreck? They were LA based and featured 60s mustangs. The article was in Car and Driver.

    Like 0
  10. DA

    The Horn spokes are from a ’65 Mustang. ’66 did not have a black center. No VIN was provided, but I’d be willing to guess that there will be more cobbled bits on this vehicle. I’ll also wager the car looks worse body-wise in person.

    I have no idea anyone would convert from a 4 speed to an automatic; the way things sit, this look to be originally automatic. The engine sounds like a thrashing machine, and by the presence of the jump pack, needs a battery.

    The appearance of lots of black tar undercoating is not reassuring. Another overpriced rust bucket.

    Like 1

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