Rising From the Ashes: 1966 Ford Mustang GT

The thought of seeing your beloved classic car disappear in a fire is one that is too horrible to contemplate. That was very nearly the fate of this 1966 Mustang GT, but it has survived its trial by fire with a decent dose of scorching. It will require a complete repaint, but the fire damage is surprisingly light. You will find the toasted ‘Stang located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Mustang has reached $28,000, but the reserve is yet to be reached.

Ouch! What you have seen in the first two photos is the worst of the damage that was inflicted upon the Mustang during the workshop fire. Apparently, the fire started about 10′ in front of the car, and then “ran” the ceiling above it. While the damage to the hood and the front sections of the car were inflicted by radiant heat, the damage to the top was from falling flaming pieces of light fittings. Apart from the obvious damage to the paint, the Mustang has a cracked headlight and foglight, and the windshield is also cracked. The owner has cleaned the worst of the debris off the car since these photos were taken, and he believes that the panels have escaped any potential warping. I get the impression that the fire ran pretty fast because while there is some cracked glass, the plastic Mustang emblem in the center of the grille hasn’t melted at all. What makes this a truly bitter pill to swallow is that the owner says that prior to the fire, the car was a real cream puff. It had undergone a meticulous restoration in the 1980s, and as you will see from the photos at the bottom of the article, it was a really nice looking car.

It’s amazing to consider that this engine photo was taken after the fire. The owner also supplies this YouTube video, and the engine starts and runs nicely. What is under the hood is an A-Code 289ci V8, which is hooked to a 4-speed manual transmission. As you can see, the engine has received plenty of pretty additions, and it presents really nicely. There is no information on what internal modifications have been made (if any), but I guess that we all need to be grateful that it has managed to survive in good health.

While this photo of the interior was taken prior to the fire, the YouTube clip that I referred to previously shows that the interior trim has survived untouched. The all-black interior looks to be in fantastic condition, and the Rally Pac gauges are a great touch. There is a cover over the dash pad, but if the rest of the interior trim is any indication, then the pad should hopefully look okay. The Mustang is fitted with air conditioning, and amazingly, it still blows nice and cold.

The phoenix was a mythical bird that rose renewed from the ashes of a funeral pyre. This Mustang has experienced its own funeral pyre, and like the phoenix, now is the time for it to rise from the ashes. The fact that it survived at all is fairly miraculous, and I see no reason why it couldn’t be returned to its former glory. Are you going to be the person to take this one on?


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  1. ken tilly Member

    Condolences to the owner as I nearly lost my 1982 Alfa Romeo Alfetta by having an old rubber fuel pipe crack just above the distributor. Luckily the guy following me had a fire extinguisher in his trunk so the damage was limited to new fuel pipes, distributor cap and rotor. Fortunately this Muzzy will be back on the road fairly soon I’m sure.

    Like 4
    • CapNemo CapNemo

      A rubber fuel pipe.

      Like 5
  2. Gaspumpchas

    sad to see in this condition, somebody will make this pony beautiful. All the nice hard to get goodies seem to be ok. Wonder about the shoebox ford behind it??
    Good luck to the new owner..whats worse- rust or fire damage? Choose your poison and good luck!!

    Like 1
  3. Hank

    Sad story, hopefully insurance covered it, probably just moving on to another car. GLWS.

  4. Fran

    Sad to see this, the car does not look bad, this seller should get ready for eBay member’s stupidest questions, insults, and non payers!

    Like 3
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    It can be brought back. How quick depends on how extensive the damage is.
    Almost lost a Spitfire due to a fuel line coming off a carb, but it was an easy fix as soon as I started smelling it.

    Like 1
  6. slimwhitman

    I get posting a few photos of the car covered in ash, but jeez!….clean it up and let bidders see what they are getting! He will get fewer bidders unless he provides clean photos….unless he it keeping it dirty to hide damage that he fears will scare them off.

    Like 4
  7. JOHN Member

    The condition to me isn’t frightening at all, I really like this car. What is scary is what this will go for once the auction is done!

    Like 1
  8. Kenneth Karlsson

    Seller should drive it out and wash it..
    In everyones interest….?
    Kenneth/- Sweden

    Like 4
  9. Brent

    Fire is worse than flood or rust. If the paint blisters 99.9% certain the panel warps. Big bucks to get a top like that to look right. Set it in the sun on a hot day at the car show and the top looks as wavy as the ocean. Gee how would I know? Sad to see it happen to such a beautiful car. Luck to the next owner.

    Like 5
    • Bill McCoskey

      As someone who restored cars for 30+ years as a profession, and who has been thru 2 lightning-induced catastrophic shop and barn fires, I can assure you that a steel panel in 18 to 22 gauge steel, does not warp or change it’s surface curvature because the paint blisters.

      That said, a few more minutes of unchecked fire would probably result in all the paint being burned away. Then the panel problems start. An interesting note is that the paint, as it bubbles and begins to destruct, actually protects the metal beneath. However once the paint is burned away, there is nothing to insulate the metal, and it can begin changing it’s surface characteristics.

      Until the area on the back side of the panel heats up sufficiently to begin warping, the backside will continue to suck heat away from the metal surface. The few seconds or a minute or 2 before the fire was brought under control, made a crucial difference to the car.

  10. Miguel

    I looked at the Ebay listing and did not see pictures of the undersides of the panels affected by the fire nor was there one of the headliner after the fire.

    Those would be the most important pictures to see on this car.

    Like 7
  11. TimM

    A small block V-8 four speed car I’m really glad its salvageable!! So many cars have been destroyed in the California wild fires it’s just destruction of our heritage!!! Along with cars being shipped overseas it just makes less for us here!! I read an article the other day on the classics in Cuba!! The climate has preserved cars there and the owners have had to be really creative to keep them running due to the lack of American parts!! From the words of John,”God bless America!!

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Nobody would want any of those Cuban cars.

      A 1958 Oldsmobile with a Russian diesel engine doesn’t do it for me.

      To add insult to injury, they are all on an island and I bet the rust is out of control.

      Like 3
  12. Bakyrdhero

    I’m not suggesting anything, but I wonder why he is so quick to list it for sale? At time of listing they hadn’t even finished investigating the fire, which is why he could not open the hood to take a current engine pic. I’m just curious what the rush is.

    Like 3
  13. OhU8one2

    Beyond the destruction of the fire, it is actually the smoke which does most of the damage. Try as you may, nobody will ever remove 100% of the smell. It leaches into fabric,foam and even some types of rubber. Now parts can be scrubbed and restored, but over time, the smell will eventually return. So no matter how good a fire restoration is carried out, complete replacement is the only way to effectively remove the smell once and for all.

    Like 3
  14. wanderinjon

    I’m a little worried about the ability to tell if it is a true GT. In ’66, all GTs came with Pony interior. It should also have woodgrain dash and glovebox which (hard to see) but does not look like it here. Only about 1% of the production was GT with Pony interior, and less were true GTs. The A code is helpful, although initially he said HiPo which of course would be K code. Minor details which would make me cautious about this one.

  15. KeithK

    Every car has a story. Some better than others. Surviving a fire witth wavy panels and smoke inhalation is interestly intriguing to me. Selling price and collector value aside ,I’d like to own this.

  16. Jamie

    I can relate, but I was far worse off in the end.
    Lost 4 cars in a garage fire 20 years ago.
    1973 Nova SS that was to be painted the following day,
    1974 Nova SS that was on a rotisserie (for restoring it, not to help BBQ it in the fire😳) numbers matching 350, 4 speed car
    1969 Impala Convertible SS 427 390 HP 4 speed car, was gorgeous
    1967 Chevelle SS clone, 396-350 HP 4 speed show car
    All burnt to a crisp. Absolutely nothing was salvageable. Fire department used foam to knock down the fire and that stuff got down into every possible nook and cranny, engine, etc, and practically rusted everything instantly. We took motors, transmissions, and rear ends out of them all to check them but not a single one survived. It was so hot on one side of the garage that the rear ends in the impala and Chevelle had warped axle tubes. Sad day

    Like 1

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