1966 FORD Mustang 289 Convertible

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1966 FORD Mustang 289 Convertible

Background

The Mustang’s secret might seem obvious now but the combination of a beautiful, sporting bodyshell - originally available in 1964 as a notchback coupe or a convertible with the achingly pretty Fastback 2+2 arriving a year later - allied to commonplace mechanical components was something of a revelation at the time.

And, with a choice of five different engine options (ranging from 101bhp through to the full-fat 390bhp), six different transmissions, three suspension packages, three braking systems and a whole host of performance, colour and cosmetic choices, there was a Mustang for everyone.

Just as importantly, it was cheap. The Mustang’s launch price of under $2,500 enabled blue-collar workers across America to indulge themselves in something other than the workaday drudge; if Bruce Springsteen made heroes of the working-class man, Ford lent him wings.

This means the Mustang was a stunning vindication of Lee Iacocca’s vision; while the original projection was that Ford might sell 100,000 in the first full year of production, it actually went on to shift that many in just three months – and sales went on to top a million cars in just eighteen.

The Vehicle

This delightful Ford Mustang 289 Convertible is finished in red-over-red and comes with one of the very best MoT histories we’ve ever seen courtesy of careful curation and a 30-year-old restoration that’s holding up amazingly well.

Imported in around 1990 from the Lebanon, the vendor ran it as his first classic as a youngster. Recalling it was “full of sand” when it arrived, he eventually sold it on, something he always regretted.

He spotted it at the side of the A303 one day and stopped to chat to the owner, which started a decade-long pursuit to persuade her to sell it back to him, something she eventually did.

One of the original, first-generation cars, it’s fitted with the 4.7-litre/289 cu in V8 and a manual gearbox, just as the good lord intended. In need of nothing other than continued TLC, this is one of the most charming examples we’ve seen.

On the Outside

The Mustang’s overall condition is excellent, and while it is obviously a 30-year-old restoration, it’s held up amazingly well.

Sure, there is some very small micro-blistering, but everything else is still wonderful and a credit to Fenny Bridges Garage, who restored it 30 years ago

Take a look at the door alignment, for example, as well as that of the bonnet, boot lid, and trim; all are spot-on and it’s clear that Alan and his team spent an awful lot of time to get them this good – and just feast your eyes on that chrome, too. Isn’t it terrific?

Both the power hood and the cover, which hides it away neatly when it’s furled, are in fine shape and we love the fact that it’s white and contrasts so well with the coachwork.

The 14-inch wheels are finished in chrome and are absolutely lovely. One of the photos in the history file show it wearing cross-spoke wheels, but the chap who owned it between 1992 and 2009 fitted the correct style. (He also fitted a new hood as his surfboard had worn through the original, a problem we’ve all had, eh?)

The tyres could do with replacing as they’re around 12 years old, but they’ve only done about 5,000 miles in that time there’s plenty of meat left on them if you want to show it rather than drive it.

If you are looking for a job then the paint does have some swirl marks from enthusiastic polishing, so you could buff them out if you wanted to kill a day. Other than that, we’d leave it exactly as it is.

Other jobs are equally minor and include replacing a few missing press studs (i.e. #86) and maybe sorting out a small hole in the roof (#230).

On the Inside

The interior is gently rumpled and all the better for being so; we’re all romantics at heart, aren’t we, and a cockpit like this brings to mind long road trips, hot summer evenings at the coast, and cuddling up on the backseat at the drive-in (and yes, we do have them here, although they might take some finding…).

Not that we’re using crumpled as a euphemism for tatty because nothing could be further from the truth; the two-tone seats, red leatherette for the outer sections and a basket-weave tan for the middle, are still comfortable and supportive and their cosmetic condition is good. They’re to the original trim specification too, which is yet another sign that Fenny Bridges Garage were the real deal.

The carpets are good, and they’re protected by a set of Mustang rubber mats.

The dashboard is free of cracks and other damage, and the door shuts are still as sharp as ever. It’s got an 8-track player too, as well as a separate radio. It’s the little things, isn’t it?

The boot is beautifully trimmed and that trim includes a natty cover for the full-size spare wheel. The boot liner could do with a wash but removing it to wash it would allow you to admire the solid metal floor that sits below it, so #swingsandroundabouts, eh?

The deep-dish, wood-rimmed steering wheel isn’t the original as that became brittle with age but the one that’s fitted looks appropriate and only the fussiest of owners would feel the need to change it. (The original centre comes with the Mustang, as does a period radio and gear knob.)

NB: The power hood sometimes needs coaxing if the car’s been standing for a while. Written instructions come with it on how to get it operating under these circumstances.

Underneath

Originally a three-speed car, it’s been converted to a four-speed, a useful modification that, along with the power-steering conversion, helps usability in modern traffic.

As you can see, it fires into life with enthusiasm and ticks over nicely. It really comes to life when you rev it, converting petrol into noise better than almost anything else; you can say what you like about the benefits of fuel injection but you can’t beat the noise of a greedy V8 sucking air through a pancake filter, can you?

And as for the exhaust note, it really is a thing of joy, isn’t it?

As is the engine bay, which is so nicely presented you’re not going to feel even the slightest twinge of shame when someone asks you to pop the bonnet so they can see what’s under there.

The underside is, of course, as well finished and neatly presented as everything else.

History Highlights

Imported by the vendor in 1990, he later sold it to Alan of Fenny Bridges Garage, who wasted no time in stripping it down and completely restoring it, refinishing it in the trim and colour combination it had left the factory with in 1966.

He sold the finished car to an actor (name unknown, but heh, let’s play “what if?”, shall we?) in 1992, who kept it until about 2009.

He then sold it to Margaret and Steve, who kept it until early 2022. Steve was an engineer, so was entrusted with maintaining and servicing his loved one’s pride and joy, something he did to great effect. In fact, the handwritten history says it had a full engine rebuild, and he is also thought to have been the one to replace the factory three-speed gearbox with this four-speed unit.

After a chance sighting and a long pursuit, the vendor managed to buy it back about six months ago. But, like so many of our first loves, he’s decided to leave his memories as they are and just isn’t using it as much as he thought he would.

The Mustang’s MoT certificate is valid until July 2023 and was gained, like every single one in the past decade, without drawing a single adverse comment from the MoT tester – and what few it gathered before that were trivial; nowhere does it mention rust. Not once. That’s remarkable.

The recent Vehicle History Check is clean and the Mustang also comes with a current V5 registration document and a vast number of old invoices and bills.

The history file also includes a few letters and photos from the current and previous owners that demonstrate just how well-loved this car has been over the years.

What We Think

The Ford Mustang is a genuine icon. Name-checked in more songs than any other and featured more often on the silver screen than any of its contemporaries, it’s one of those cars you just know is going to live up to every single one of your expectations.

As long as you buy the right one, obviously.

One like this. Restored by a master of his craft 30 years ago, the quality of his work shines through, even now. It’s a lovely old thing to look at and to drive, and would be a credit to any collection.

As to value, we think the dust will settle somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000, which is solid value in anyone’s books.

So, why not make an appointment and pop along to see it in person? We promise, it’ll be worth it.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

auto gb ltd

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 9681 km
  • Chassis Number: GT-082-153771
  • Engine: 5000
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Red
  • Interior: Red
  • Estimated Price: £25,000 - £30,000

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