Sensible Starting Point for the Price: 1966 Mustang

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Sensible starting point, sensible price. That’s about what sums up this 1966 Mustang Coupe, available here on craigslist for an asking price of $6500. You can pick it up east of Nashville should you tender an offer acceptable to the grandchild of the man who owned it from 1974-2018.  But keep in your budget that might need to then perform a total restoration, according to the seller, because the car has been sitting for ages.

I doubt seriously that grandpa put those black wheels on there. As a “great project car,” the first thing this 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe needs is a set of steelies with hubcaps to wrench it out of some 1990s time warp. From there, it demands a total clean-up and mechanical refurbishment of the engine, fuel system, cooling, and brakes. What you don’t need to do right away, it does not seem, is strip the paint or remedy past bodywork foibles. Sure, the paint is hardly the Candy Apple Red that the dataplate says was original, but from 20 feet, well, just say it was a grandpa’s car, and people will let it pass.

And what’s this we spy under the hood? An AC compressor? There’s no mention made as to functionality, but having the goods there is a start. Looking inside tells us nothing, because, oddly enough, there’s no shot of the front seat area, where the factory underdash unit would be. What we do see inside is the claimed Pony Interior, which is also called out on the dataplate and is thus original. The engine, a factory C-code (289) if what’s shown is original to the car, is at least an upgrade on the base 6-cylinder motivator. But it could have been so much more—an A-code 289, or a K. I briefly held out hope when I saw that it had the Deluxe Interior, because why option that on a lesser-level car? But someone did, as so often happens with Mustangs. They were, after all, the car that was meant to be designed by you, in a rough approximation of the ad lingo of the day.

So far, all we see here is potential. The only concern is the seller’s statement that the car does have some rust underneath but is not completely rusted out. That sounds, actually, way worse than what the car looks like. It seems to have surface rust, but no floor damage. But as is so often the case, the most crucial parts—the integral frame rails in the trunk, are not pictured. Those, the rockers, the cowl, and another lesser spot or two are what really tells the story with this era of Mustangs. More information is in order to make the most basic decision: is this coupe worth driving and fixing up  as one goes, or is it a money pit that, due to the  fact that it was not born as a fastback or convertible, is not worth a total resto? Some poking around in the  trunk and some tapping on the  rockers and feeling of the inside of the fenders would settle this quickly. If things check out, $6500 is looking like a bit of a bargain.

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  1. Rustytech RustytechMember

    Some more pictures would help, but from what I visible it looks like a good start at a fair price.

    Like 7
  2. MarveH

    The slush box would have to be jettisoned in favor of a 4 or 5 speed. But it is a good place to start. I’d rebuild the 289 for more power and upgrade the brakes and suspension as invisibly as I could.

    Like 2
  3. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    My brother in Georgia has a 66 Mustang that he bought many years ago and had professionally reconditioned frame off. It has A/C but he tells me that when the car was being restored a complete investigation was done and revealed that A/c was not a factory option Mustangs from 64-66, they were dealer installed. The car was a Highschool graduation gift for his daughter, which she still owns but seldom drives because it has manual steering. This one being a nice car but needing unknown amounts of work could easily bring the cost after restoration to well over $30,000.00

    God Bless America

    Like 0
    • briankAuthor

      There were aftermarket and dealer installed underdash units, and the factory AC was also underdash, but there’s no question that there was a factory option for AC.

      Like 0
    • briankAuthor

      Exactly, which is why it’s always better to let the last guy restore the car, and you just get in and drive it.

      Like 1
  4. Dannys Mustangs

    at 6500 it still a coupe If i bought it would be a fixer upper as we go not a restoration the made to many good bones good driver. Dannys Mustangs.

    Like 0

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