Promising Project: 1966 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Rusty 1st Generation Mustangs aren’t an unusual sight, but this 1966 GT Convertible might not be a bad one. Sure, it has some rust issues. However, these don’t look as severe as some of the Mustangs that we’ve seen here at Barn Finds, and it is certainly a restorable proposition. It is located in Toano, Virginia, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made its way to $6,610, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There is a BIN option available, and this has been set at $11,500.

Emberglow is an interesting color, and that is what this Mustang has worn since new. In fact, the owner believes that the vast majority of the paint on this car is original. From an external standpoint, visible rust doesn’t appear to be too bad. In fact, the worst of it would seem to be in the lower sections of both front fenders. The rockers and lower rear quarter panels don’t look bad, and any visible rust could conceivably be eliminated using patches, rather than entire panel replacement. Speaking of replacement panels, the driver’s door has been replaced, but it does wear a pretty obvious ding. There are a few similar ones in other areas of the car, but none of these are severe. Delving below the surface, there is rust present in the front floors, although, once again, it isn’t as bad as in some cars that we’ve seen. The rear floors look good, and while there is rust in the trunk pan, I believe that this doesn’t need much more than some patching. One rather pleasant surprise is the fact that the Mustang appears to have been fitted with a relatively new black soft-top. It looks to be close to faultless and represents a rather nice score in a project such as this.

The news with the Mustang might not be quite as good when we start considering things from a mechanical perspective. The car came off the production line fitted with an A-code 289ci V8, producing 225hp. These ponies were then sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. This is not a bad combination, and in this case, it is all original and numbers-matching. From here, things go downhill in a bit of a hurry. Judging by the appearance, I would say that it has been some considerable time since that 289 fired a shot in anger. The owner says that the engine doesn’t turn over, which I would take to mean that it is stuck. That isn’t great news, but it might not be a lost cause to get it up and running once again. There are plenty of specialist products available that are designed to address this sort of problem. However, I have seen people achieve some pretty surprising results by pulling the plugs and squirting substances like WD40 or diesel into the cylinders. Diesel makes a lot of sense because it does have an oily consistency, and its low viscosity enables it to penetrate into tight spaces where regular oil might struggle. Surprisingly, I’ve even seen one engine freed using brake fluid. The person who did this lived in a pretty isolated area, so he just used whatever came to hand. I have to admit that I was surprised by his success. If this engine can be freed, then there’s every chance that it could be returned to good health without too much trouble.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the interior of the Mustang is in need of a complete restoration. It was originally specified with the Pony Interior, but the majority of the trim has now deteriorated beyond the point of being a restorable proposition. The same would appear to be true of the dash pad and console, but at least the dash itself remains completely original. The condition of the interior isn’t the end of the world, because an entire Pony Interior trim kit can be found for around $1,000. Throw in around another $320 for a replacement steering wheel, another $500 for a console kit, and the interior would look as good as new.

There’s no doubt that we’ve all seen plenty of Mustangs in our travels that are better than this one, but it’s also a certainty that we’ve all seen examples that are considerably worse. This one certainly has some rust issues, but if the supplied photos are an accurate representation, then the vast majority of these could potentially be addressed with patches, rather than the wholesale replacement of panels. If this is true, then it does make it an attractive proposition as a restoration project.

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  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    Rusty old Mustangs are everywhere, but here is an example which just might be worth the effort. Convertible, V8, 4-speed, Emberglo (a very attractive color, my favorite on early Mustangs), two-tone Pony interior. This would be quite the looker when restored.

  2. local_sheriff

    Even the best part,the repop door, needs attention. Rust at the upper door hinge/pillar area could be worrisome. Cool options on this one, however when I see what projects like this are advertized for I’m happy I’ve made my pile already… would much rather take the xr-7 from a couple days back

  3. Classic Steel

    They didn’t nickname them rustangs for fun.

    The pictures not shown-are the underneath torque boxes and front frame rails.

    Anyone interested in the Brooklyn Bridge that believes that engine will fire up. The bridge has great views of the water .🤣

    The engine been sitting quite sone time and one needs to pray the water was drained (freeze plugs punched out) as the rear block area loves to crack and drain itself for those abandoned in fields.

    If by luck no cracks set aside 4 grand to pro rebuild.

    So i know the fender has vin info but the door swapped out probably is missing tag details or has the wrong information attached. This is quite common issue with missing or swapped out doors.

    The places on a 1966 where the warranty number (or VIN) is stamped is on the Door, Left Fender and Right Fender Apron under the fender are other places …

    Its a mustang worth saving but I question the price for work needed and would buy one together even if not a GT as its 50/50 on this block working…

    My 67 convertible was a basket case with rust but the price was cheap enough to compensate.

  4. Stangalang

    Marvel mystery oil will usually free up a stuck engine or pb blaster works well looks to be in not too bad of shape considering some we’ve seen..maybe a good project

  5. TimM

    I’m surprised on the top!! It can’t be original!! The one good thing is that it seems like all the parts are there!! It hasn’t been scavenged!! Might not be a bad doner for another project!!!

  6. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Glad they invested in a new top to protect that interior, now how about a windshield? SMH

    No two toned pony interiors so why mention it now that the car sports two-tone bucket seats? On a positive note, I believe that dashpad could be brought back to life with a product called Colorbond. If you don’t believe me, go to their website and look for the squarebird interior they rescued with amazing results. I am not a paid spokesperson. LOL

    • Morgan Winter

      If you’re saying that the Pony interior wasn’t available in two-tone colors, I disagree.

      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Multiple tones from the factory like in the photo? Those look reupholstered to me. White inserts with deep red sides, brown strip of ponies. Either way, the gut in the cabin of this Mustang will need a total refresh.

      • Morgan Winter

        Little_Cars, I agree with you on that, those seats look like they were pieced together. Just an interesting detail, but they’re trashed anyway it this point.

  7. Gaspumpchas

    All good comments on this rustang. Missing the gt fog lights. First thing you want to do is see if the doors close ok. In fords infinite wisdom, they chose to run the top drains into the inner rockers, these give the car its longitudal strength. I did a 65 falcon and the inner rockers were shot, 1 year on rotisserie.. For further misery, check the cowl. Good luck, worse than this been brought back!


      The fog lights are laying on the passenger front seat.

      • Gaspumpchas

        ahhh gotcha cathouse, thanks. says it sold for 7100, reserve not met. to me still not worth 7100, but hopefully someone will bring it back.

  8. grant

    Good luck patching that “trunk pan.” It’s the top of the gas tank.


      The rust area shown is not the top of the gas tank, it is above the rear frame rail and is a common rust spot. Repair panels are made for this area.

  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Jan 08, 2020 , 9:22AM
    Current bid:US $7,010.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 52 bids ]
    Price:US $11,500.00

  10. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I don’t know whether to be happy it didn’t sell for the BIN, or be perplexed that it ever reached $7000 to begin with. Anyone know the answer to my question about the pony interiors in three hues? Did some come like this?

  11. Paolo

    Back in high school (1975) a friend had a nice 66 Emberglo GT 4speed fastback. It had the two-toned emberglo and parchment interior. He sold it to a guy he worked with and a few months later I was set to buy it from that guy but at the last minute he sold it to someone else and that was that. I never saw it again. Incidentally in my little town there were 3 emberglo fastbacks. 2 had the 2 toned interior and one had a black interior and they were all 4 speeds. Those were the ones I knew of, there might have been more. There were lots of Mustangs in my town

  12. Paul

    It has been my experience that you only buy a early mustang in this condition if you don’t mind spending more then the car will be worth and you enjoy the hands on aspect…you can always find a better mustang completed and running and save much time, money and possibly your marriage!

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