GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our 1966 Ford Mustang Film Shoot
This week we put the top back on Greg Stanley’s 1966 Mustang Convertible to indulge in the unrestricted sounds of its four-barrel carb while we adopt a simpler, more mechanical notion of the American muscle car. Indeed, many a minivan will out-accelerate it today, but the drama and involvement of the senses that comes with cars like the original Mustang are a timeless pleasure. Complete with the original window sticker and plenty of documentation, Greg’s example is a prime example of this motoring icon.
To him it represents a simpler time, “…and probably a more exciting time… The Mustang does everything with a lot more drama and style than today’s cars.” And beyond that, it was a car that pioneered a new generation of car ownership, a mode of transport that championed individuality; the Mustang was one of the first American cars to offer such a wide range of configurations that could turn the base car into any number of configurations. One could order a standard grocery-getter in the form of a six-cylinder hardtop coupe, a fully-loaded cruiser with all the options and a foldaway roof, a fastback HiPo with a raucous V8 shaking the hood, whatever suited your fancy.
The Mustang was a popular car in part for the adaptability of the chassis—the more people you can please, the more cars you’ll move off the lot—but it will always be remembered by the true enthusiasts as a staple of, no, the forebear to, the American muscle car. The model is synonymous with eight-cylinder thrust and for its successful racing career under the direction of another red, white, and blue-blooded icon: Carroll Shelby.
For good reason, the car created a wake of competitors from rival manufacturers, but after all the Camaros, all the ‘Cudas, the Firebirds and the Javelins, the Mustang has remained at the forefront of the Pony Car Wars. And together with those projects, the group would come to define the high-performance landscape of the country.
This particular car came into Greg’s ownership almost half a century after the first wave of Pony cars though, and the decision came as a result of a simple question: “Why don’t you have one of these?” After appraising a ’66 Convertible for a friend and taking it to visit his wife during the test drive, she also fell in love with the car and posed the question to which Greg had no good answer. He replied with a genuine “I don’t know” in the moment, but was soon scouring Craigslist and the like for another example of the early ‘vert.
Drawn to this car because of the “High Performance 289” badge on its front fenders along with the fact that it had a four-speed and no air-conditioning, it seemed like an example worth pursuing. He originally thought it could have been one of the rare K-Code convertibles, but it turned out to be a factory A-Code four-barrel four-speed in OK condition. The badges weren’t correct as a result, but they’ve been with the car for longer than they haven’t, so he’s kept them on.
The motor was rebuilt but original to the car, though the chassis was in a bit of need, so Greg replaced the floor pans, frame rails, and torque boxes. Though the body was in better shape than the underside and retained its original panels throughout, it was still stripped to the metal and cured of any rest, dents, and other accumulated blemishes over the last half century before being resprayed in its original color: Ivy Green.
Even though it’s been restored to become a very enjoyable and reliable car to drive, as Greg says, “It’s a never-ending process, so there’s always a list of things to work on.”
That’s Driving Tastefully®