1966 FORD Mustang 289 Cubic Inch

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1966 FORD Mustang 289 Cubic Inch

Background

Did you ever overhear someone say ‘I could have done that,’ while looking at a painting? The point is, they didn’t do it, someone else did. With this in mind the Ford Mustang seems like an obvious car to build now, but back in 1964 no one else had thought of using a bread and butter car’s underpinnings, squeezing it all into a little black dress and marketing it as a sports car. It was developed in record time and on a shoe string budget.

Launched at America’s 1964 World’s Fair (only very slightly more international than US baseball’s World Series) the Mustang was an instant hit and orders flooded in. Ford planned to sell 100,000 cars in the first year of production but actually sold 22,000 on the day it went on sale. First year sales topped 680,000 of what by now was known as Ford’s pony car – seven times the expected sale – and within two years the millionth Mustang rolled off the line at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan plant.

The Mustang’s image was further helped by appearances in the James Bond Film, Goldfinger, and later (1968) the universally acclaimed Bullitt, with Steve McQueen doing his own stunt driving and outwitting his Dodge driving pursuers through the streets of San Francisco. (The Mustang’s first silver screen appearance was actually in a French comedy called Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez, which aired just over a week before Sean Connery’s rather better known film.)

The Mustang’s winning formula was, partly, a combination of a beautiful and understated bodyshell allied to commonplace mechanical components. The level of customisation was also a big selling factor for the Mustang. Numerous engines, interiors, trim levels, colours and mechanical options allowed the buyer to purchase their new Mustang to suit their needs.

But it was the sheer number of options that really caught the imagination. With five different engines, six different transmissions, three suspension packages, three braking systems and a whole host of performance, colour and cosmetic choices, there was a Mustang to suit everyone. Even more importantly, it was cheap.

The Mustang’s launch price of less than $2,500 enabled blue-collar workers across America to release their inner rebel. Bruce Springsteen may have made heroes of the men and women working in mines, mills and foundries, but it was Ford’s pony car that gave them the freedom and opportunity to hit Thunder Road and go Racing in the Streets.

The original engine line up consisted of a 170ci (2.8-litre) straight-six, 4.3-litre V-8, and the legendary 289ci (4.7-litre) V-8 with up to 271 horsepower. For late '65, the six was enlarged to 200ci (3.3 litre) and the 260 was replaced by a 289 with a two-barrel carburettor in place of the full fat version with four venturis.

The Vehicle

This 1966 matching numbers Mustang was imported from the USA and has been through a ground up restoration. The vendor says:

‘We took the car in part exchange from an older gentleman who has always wanted a Jensen Interceptor. I believe he used the Mustang for shows, but felt it was now a good time to part exchange it and scratch an itch'.

‘I would consider it to be in first class, with very little possible to improve it. I believe that everything is standard spec, apart from possibly the cassette player, which I’m told would have come out of a later car.

‘Just by seeing this car on the road, judging by people’s reactions, it makes people happy. It attracts a lot of attention anywhere you take it – people just want to talk about it. It’s condition makes it special.’

On the Outside

Nightmist Blue – it’s a great name and a lovely paint finish too. It’s not perfect, as there are areas of slight orange peel here and there, but a machine polish would irradicate these. Overall, the paint is in excellent shape, and to be honest, almost certainly better than it would have been from the Ford factory in 1966.

The panel gaps are very good for a Mustang, which were built on a production line and to a price – they may be extremely desirable today, but when new they were a cheap sports car. But then look at the price of Mk1 Escorts – they make this a bargain in anyone’s book.

The wheel trims are clearly new and look to be in tip top order, with no scratches or damage that we could see, and there’s a decent set of low mileage European spec tyres fitted too.

The paint is chipped on the trailing edge of the panel directly below the front grille. There’s also some slight overspray on the body mounted door latch, and some scruffy areas within the door shuts themselves, although these are obviously invisible with the doors shut.

On the Inside

Most of the interior trim is very nice. The blue vinyl seats are excellent, save for a small tear at the very the bottom of the vinyl on the passenger seat, where it meets the seat frame. You have to get down pretty low to spot it though.

The contrasting blue carpets are excellent, as are the door cards and dashboard. The Ford radio and cassette player could be from a slightly later model, according to the car’s owner, but it doesn’t look at all out of place and is a nice period accessory (we don’t know whether it works).

Less period correct are the lairy looking Pioneer speakers fitted into the footwell kick panels, although they no doubt perform a lot better than the Ford originals. Some plain covers for them would suit the car very well.

The headlining trim could do with some adjustment on the rear roof panels, as it doesn’t appear to fit quite as well as it should. The main roof headlining is also not as tight as it could be, so appears a little wavy.

The car is fitted with a very nice wood rimmed steering wheel.

Underneath

The Mustang’s under-bonnet area is very well presented indeed, with the customary satin black of the engine bay providing a nice frame for the Ford Blue small block V8 engine, here in its legendary 289ci guise – that’s 4.7-litres in Euro-speak.

A quick look on eBay will reveal there are probably more chrome bits available for these engines than Liberace had diamonds on his piano, and thankfully none of them are fitted to this car.

Instead it’s all been restored to standard spec, and it’s all the better for it too, with the large blue air cleaner assembly sporting an original spec sticker proclaiming the engine’s capacity.

There’s an alternator under here, a much better bet than a dynamo, and it looks new too, as does the large radiator. Some of the alloy parts have a little surface corrosion – the thermostat housing for instance – but generally the engine bay is in excellent order.

Underneath the car the chassis has been undersealed, although there are some small areas that could do with a touch up to keep things protected. New parts are in evidence – the top balljoints have obviously been replaced recently, and the front anti-roll bar has polyurethane bushes fitted to it.

There is evidence of welded repairs under the car, but we couldn’t see anything we’d worry about.

History Highlights

There is a selection of invoices from the car’s life in America, including the following:

2019. Power steering control valve rebuild kit – $29.

Spare tyre mounting kit, Fog lamp switch and relay – $91.

2020. New drum brakes – $96

2012. Fuel filter – $29.

There is also an invoice for an overhaul of the automatic gearbox carried out by STA in Aylesbury, UK, for £317.

The vendor says:

‘I’m not honestly sure of the car’s history. When it came over here, it had a major restoration to the condition that it’s in now – it really was the previous owner’s pride and joy.

‘While I’ve had it, I’ve just used it to do school runs and have afternoons out in the Cotswolds. It’s a very cool way to travel, and for a relatively low ticket vehicle, my daughters became the envy of their school friends.’

What We Think

A Mk1 Ford Escort with a 1600cc four cylinder engine in comparable condition would cost you considerably more than this Mustang is likely to sell for. That surely makes this car an absolute bargain in the classic world.

On top of that, thanks to the numbers Mustangs were built in, and a very healthy world-wide following, you can get every part you’d ever need for one of these to keep it running sweetly and looking perfect. We know which flavour of classic Ford we’d choose.

Our estimate for this car Is £20,000 - £30,000.

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’.

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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

mattstone01

  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Trade
  • Odometer Reading: 21431
  • Chassis Number: 6T07C124744
  • Engine: 4700
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Colour: Nighmist Blue
  • Interior: Blue Vinyl
  • Estimated Price: £20,000 - £30,000

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