Parked For a Decade: 1968 Ford Mustang GT/CS

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Some enthusiasts fear the day will come when the supply of desirable barn find classics will dry up, but I firmly believe it won’t. There are millions of untapped barns and sheds that house cars like this 1968 Ford Mustang GT California Special. It has sat gathering dust for over a decade, but the seller is ready to part with it. The GT/CS was a limited production run, and this one is a rock-solid survivor. It is listed here on eBay in Fillmore, California. The seller set their auction to open at $25,000 but has received no bids. A big thank you goes out to our own jonny c for spotting this beauty.

Manufacturers have a history of producing special edition vehicles, and Ford was no exception with its First Generation Mustang. It released the GT/California Special (GT/CS) specifically for its largest market, and the name means there are no prizes for guessing which one that was! It brought the usual GT appointments plus cosmetic updates usually reserved for Shelby derivatives. These included the fiberglass side scoops, rear spoiler, taillights, and unique foglights. This car has spent its life in its current location, although it is unclear whether it is entirely original. No restoration work is mentioned, so we must take its condition at face value. The Gulfstream Aqua paint wears a consistent coating of dust, so determining its state is challenging. There is slight damage between the driver’s side headlamp and the grille, but the underside shot confirms it is rust-free. The stripes show signs of deterioration, although the trim and badged should respond to some work with a polishing cloth. The original owner ordered this Mustang with tinted glass that looks in good condition.

The seller’s interior shots are poor, making it difficult to make a definitive call on specific details. However, the overall impression is positive. I can’t spot any rips or tears in the Black vinyl upholstered surfaces, and what we can see of the dash and pad are pretty positive. The faux chrome on the gauge bezel exhibits the usual deterioration, but high-quality reproductions retail for under $100. The wheel rim is cracked, adding another $300 to the total. I’m unsure whether other items require attention, but the photo quality would motivate me to negotiate an in-person inspection. It looks like the GT retains its original AM radio, and the new owner will undoubtedly welcome the air conditioning.

Lifting this Mustang’s hood reveals a C-code 289ci V8, with the original owner specifying a three-speed automatic transmission and power steering. The 1968 model year brought some minor specification changes to the C-Code. Power dropped from the previous year’s 200hp to 195hp, although torque rose slightly, from 282 ft/lbs to 288 ft/lbs. The performance difference was almost immeasurable, and most people wouldn’t have felt it under their right foot. This Mustang has been off the road for over a decade, and whether it runs or drives is unclear. Revival may not be complicated or expensive if it was healthy when parked. The winning bidder should budget for some mechanical refurbishment to items like the brakes and perishable components, but ready parts availability means it may not cause too many headaches.

I initially wondered why this 1968 Mustang GT/CS had received no bids when I glanced at the listing, but a more careful look revealed the possible reason. The low-quality photos and lack of information in the text leave potential buyers begging for more. The seller has done themselves and the car a disservice with their approach, particularly considering it is 1-of-4,118 examples of the GT/CS produced in 1968. Do you agree?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Good job Adam. Regarding your comment about the supply of barn find classics drying up, an article I read a while back:

    Hagerty Insurance insures many classic cars in the US, so they have tons of data to work with. They had analyzed the data and had come to the conclusion that a large percentage of first gen Mustangs still exist. “Still exists” would run the gamut from restored examples to ones sitting in barns or even junkyards. The number I seem to remember is 30%. Seems high, but if there was any car which fits this scenario, it would be first gen Mustangs. Common yet desirable, it would have been the logical car to have found a home out in the barn instead of heading to the crusher.

    We see lots of barn find Mustangs here at Barn Finds, indeed suggesting lots of them are out there. And I agree, still a large number of all kinds of old cars to be discovered.

    This could be a solid car, but from the poor pics and the meager verbiage it’s hard to tell.

    Like 12
  2. Barzini BarziniMember

    Yes, I agree that the probability of selling this car would vastly improve with more information and better pictures. It looks so promising, but leaving out basic information – like does it run? – leaves me wondering why.

    As an aside, when the seller includes the original owner’s name I often look it up to see if they are still around. In this case, sadly no, it appears he passed away in 2001at age 74. (Admittedly, this is not a great use of my time.)

    Like 12
  3. JE Vizzusi

    Anybody that buys a classic car based on low resolution digital picture and through questionable websites is asking for major trouble. From the looks of this engine bay, no way this is a runner and if so, more likely to have white smoke pouring out its exhaust. Ask the seller for a physical address if you live in the same state. Make sure you inspect with a mechanic in a shop before making a purchase. Reminds me of a tragic story of a guy whom purchased a shiny resto-mod 69′ Camero from a TV Auction and a huge gasoline leak was found with a coffee can chicken wired underneath the gas tank. Auction house said.. “Dont bring it back here!
    jv – smash palace

    Like 5
  4. dsMember

    Agree with the previous quote – the photos are horrible, bad light, flare, and low res. By now everyone should have access to a decent mobile phone camera – if not own one. If you really want to sell a car – you need to figure out how to take photos that are in decent light, and showcase the car. Looks to me like they don’t really want to sell this car, but maybe their significant other is pushing them too.

    Like 5
  5. bill tebbutt

    I am always filled with confidence when I see random hand tools on the floor of a car for sale…….


    Like 4
  6. Bill Hall

    There is a GTCS floating around somewhere I want to dig up. We had a customer whose father was a FORD DEALER at our SERVICE STATION who lived around the corner and had what was totally special order for one feature, it had a four speed and 289.

    Like 2
    • RetiredstigMember

      Nothing “special order” about a GT/CS with a four speed and a 289. You could order one with any drive train, and most any colour combination available in ‘68 except the 428, for obvious reasons. It is claimed that there were two High Country Specials delivered with the 428, but no California Specials.

      Like 0
  7. John EderMember

    Being a “California Special” merely means that the turn signals have been permanently disabled…

    Like 6
  8. Philip


    Like 0

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