One Owner: 1966 Ford Mustang “Sprint 200”

Sometimes a classic car will appear out of the ether, and it is hard to determine just what its greatest strength is. This 1966 Mustang Sprint 200 is just such a car. Is it the fact that it is a one-owner vehicle or the fact that it has a genuine 77,305 miles showing on its odometer? Of course, it could also be the fact that the Ford is in exceptional condition for its age, but you can be sure that the fact that it is being offered for sale in a No Reserve auction will have helped its cause enormously. The Mustang is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,100, and don’t forget those two magic words; “No Reserve.”

The presentation of the Candy Apple Red Mustang has to rate as very impressive. The seller is handling the sale of the vehicle to settle the estate of the car’s original owner. He does provide a lot of very useful information about the Ford, and this includes the fact that it did receive a repaint in its original color about 25-years-ago. The Mustang is said to be rust-free and has been garage-kept for its entire life by its single owner. It would seem that it has never had any accident damage or rust repairs, with the panels appearing to be arrow-straight and free from any obvious dings or blemishes. Being a Sprint 200, this brought a few distinctive exterior features to the table. This includes the wire hubcaps, the side accent striping, and the chrome rocker molding. All of these pieces would appear to be in very good condition, while the same seems to be true of the exterior trim, the chrome, and the glass.

As well as bringing a few exterior features, the Sprint 200 package, also known in some quarters as the Springtime Sprint, received a couple of nice interior upgrades. The most obvious of these was the console, along with what was referred to as the “Safety Equipment Group.” This impressive-sounding package brought a padded dash and sunvisors, along with an exterior mirror, back-up lights, seatbelts for four occupants, windshield washers, and emergency flashers. In reality, this part of the package was nowhere near as generous as it might appear to be on the surface. This was because the padded dash and visors, the seatbelts, an exterior mirror, and the back-up lights, were all federal requirements from 1966. Therefore, these were essentially standard features from that model year. When we look at the condition of this Mustang’s original interior, it is generally very impressive. What it needs more than anything else is someone to get stuck-in and give it a good clean. There is plenty of dust present, but if this was removed, it would just look that much better. I can’t tell whether there might be some damage to the rear trim on the driver’s side, but the seats and door trims appear to free from rips and tears. The carpet is showing some fading in spots, while the kick panels also have plenty of scuffing. However, the dash and the console are in extremely nice condition. Many Mustangs from this era were treated to interior “upgrades” by their owners. These ranged from new stereos through to additional gauges. This car has avoided that fate and is essentially as it would have been when it rolled off the production line in Dearborn, Michigan.

When Ford initially released the Mustang, they had vague hopes that they would be able to sell around 100,000 cars per year. Well, they got that more than slightly wrong, but unlike the Edsel only a few short years earlier, they got it wrong in a really good way. Instead of selling 100,000 cars, the total quickly rocketed to 600,000! I guess that if you are going to get any form of surprise, then a pleasant one would certainly beat the alternative. Their problem came from the fact that while so many people wanted a Mustang, a high percentage were drawn to the 289-equipped cars. The “six” was built in high volumes, but the battle was then to show potential buyers a V8, but to convince them to buy a car with a 200ci 6-cylinder engine under the hood. The Sprint 200 package offered buyers good value for money, and it became something of a sales success. That is what this car is, but as well as being fitted with the 200 engine, it also features the optional C4 automatic transmission. This engine presents beautifully, and while it also still features the chrome oil filler cap, the air cleaner has been changed at some point. The good news is the fact that the engine doesn’t just present well, but it has a matching level of performance. The seller says that the car runs and drives beautifully, with the brakes pulling the car up nice and straight, and the transmission shifts smoothly.

Ignoring the fact that Ford placed some emphasis on the value of the Sprint 200 package when many of the safety features had actually become standard requirements in 1966, it still represented outstanding value for money. You only have to look at the RPO list to realize this. The entire package cost a mere $39.63 for the manual version, or $163.40 if the owner chose the automatic transmission (which was a $176 option by itself). When you consider that the wire wheel covers were a $58 option if purchased separately, while the console was $50, and the accent stripes were $14, buyers really were getting pretty respectable value for money. It isn’t clear just how many examples of the Sprint 200 were eventually sold, but it would be pretty fair to say that they were not particularly rare in 1966. However, many Mustangs that rolled off the production line with a 6-cylinder engine under the hood eventually found themselves the recipient of a V8 transplant, and this would undoubtedly have included a reasonable percentage of Sprint 200s. Finding an original and unmolested example today is becoming relatively difficult, but that is what this car represents. It might not have a V8 under the hood, but this is still a car that is capable of garnering its share of attention wherever it goes. That has to make it a classic that is well worth a serious look.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    If you like early Mustangs, this looks to be a fine example. The folks who want a V8 or a convertible or a fastback won’t be interested, but for everyone else who wouldn’t be happy with a clean cruiser like this? Simple, easy to maintain, parts availability is great, lots of hobby support, yet attractive and popular and not very expensive.

    Like 28
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    The only thing I’d do to this car other than drive it would be to put a dual exhaust system on it. Heard one run at a car show a couple years ago and the subtle rumble was pure music.

    Like 9
    • walt

      I got a 69 fastback w/a 200 six, Ca car 2nd owner [very rare], put on headers & 1 flow master muffler, no 1 can believe it’s a six, ran exhausts 2 back & put a fake tip on other side, painted the inside pipes blk, changed everything 2 disc brakes, 4spd, 5 lug wheels, tight motor, black on black, everything set up 4 small block install! point is that six runs great & fast on freeway & over Donner pass 2 Reno, [6500′]don’t burn oil, decent mileage, I’m not going 2 yank it, works great on open road. A sweet daily driver & head turner

      Like 2
  3. CCFisher

    I’m always curious, when I see a preserved Mustang like this, about the state of the cowl. The inner surfaces of the cowl were bare metal, so even Mustangs that are rust-free underneath often have rusted inner cowl panels that leak water into the interior.

    To me, the story of the Mustang’s success is a testament to Lee Iacocca’s amazing instincts. In spite of the stated goal of 100,000 units, he believed Ford was on to something very big, and ordered three plants to be tooled up before the first Mustang was sold. It was a tremendous risk, both for Ford and for Iacocca’s career, but it proved to be one of the best moves Ford has ever made. Automotive executives just don’t have that kind of courage anymore.

    Like 17
    • Joseph

      Lee Iacocca was a genius and stuck his neck out to get the Mustang in production because Henry Ford II was still licking his wounds over the Edsel failure and didn’t want to take any risks.

      Like 5
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Yea Bobhess last time I heard one of these with duals it sounded like a Corvair. Sure presents nice- good inspection need underneath as it is an Ohio Rustang. If that looks good its a sweetie. That six with the c4 is a nice combo, peppy enough and that’s all you would need. Good luck and stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 6
  5. Guy

    Are we sure it’s a Sprint 200? Doesn’t have the chrome air cleaner that was part of the Spring 200 package.

    Like 2
  6. Maestro1 Member

    I agree with CCFisher. No courage, no design sense, obsessed with technology which is destroying humanity’s ability to interact, rude, crude, and stupid is the industry today.

    Like 3
  7. Johnny Cuda

    I like it. My sister had a 67 Mustang with the Sprint 200 engine and a 3 speed manual when I was in high school here in the Boston area. The floorboards were rusted, but that Sprint 200 had some pep!

    Like 2
    • MOPAR Joe

      My sister had one of those too!! It was a real flintstone machine until I pop riveted a floor into it.

      • Johnny Cuda

        What a small world! My brother had to replace the floors on my sister’s Mustang.

        Like 1
  8. 200mph

    Biggest drawback the 200″ 6 engine:
    The manifold is cast as part of the cylinder head! Makes it hard to upgrade without major surgery and/or expense.

    Like 1
  9. gerardfrederick

    What´s not to like? It brings back memories of my youth as a salesman at Jackson-Goldie Ford in Oakland. We couldnt keep enough of these beauties in stock. Of all the great american cars of that era, this is one of the top three, the other ones being the Buick Riviera and the Studebaker Avanti, well in my book at least.

    Like 3
  10. Boney pandapoo

    I couldnt believe that reverse was not an option on this car. I need a reverse. No reverse?

    Like 1
    • carbuzzard Member

      How do you figure there is no reverse? Of course there is a reverse. There was a reverse on all cars even if the didn’t have back-up lights, which were an option on the Mustang for something like $7. The base cars literally had a three-on-the-floor, with no console or carpet. The base Mustang had rubber floor mats. It’s what you do to get the base price down as low as possible for advertising. I seem to remember $2,375.

      • CCFisher

        Color-keyed carpeting was standard on all early Mustangs. The base price was $2368 at introduction.

        Like 1
  11. John Oliveri

    Probably referring to no reverse lights

    Like 1
  12. Al

    It has back-up lights and of course, reverse. Boney is confusing “reserve” with “reverse”. Heaven help us !

    Like 4
    • Mountainwoodie

      LOL! I reverse my right to agree with you!

      Like 2
  13. TimM

    I had a 65 in high school with the 200 and a three speed manual transmission!! It was a great car and the girls loved it too!!! Most fun you could have with your pants on!!! This car is well cared for and looks to be in great shape!!

    Like 1
  14. Dan Bowles

    Didn’t take it long to bump the price. It’s picked up another 6k and will go higher, I’m sure!

    Like 1
  15. Jay Morgan

    Looks like it sold for $15k. I had a 1966 Mustang and it could have been the worst snow car ever, had to pile cinder blocks in the trunk to put any kind of weight on the rear axles for traction. It was a cool looking car to be driving around in, but not really a good car. Got rid of it for a 1965 Impala SuperSport, one of the best I had back then.

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