1966 Mustang

This 1966 Ford Mustand convertible belongs to a Clavey Auto Service customer. It is equipped with a 200 c.i.d. straight 6 cylinder engine with a one-barrel carburetor that develops 120 bhp and an automatic transmission. The car was built at the Dearborn Michigan assembly plant. There were 72,119 Mustang convertibles built for the 1966 model year.

The Mustang story begins in the spring of 1964. Intermediate sized muscle cars, with big block engines were gradually replacing the full-sized muscle car. Lee Iacocca, then Ford’s General Manager, had envisioned a small sports car to be the next hot item in the street wars. Ford decided that instead of improving their intermediate car, they would introduce a whole new breed of automobile, the “pony car.”

The Mustang was introduced as a 1964-1/2 model that was based on and shared parts the compact Falcon, to lower production costs. Originally named for the fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, many references to horsepower and pony cars led to the horse becoming the emblem for the Mustang. Buyers loved its low price, long hood/short trunk styling and the long list of available options.

The 1966 model year saw further refinement of the Mustang. The instrument panel was all new, replacing the Falcon gauges that were previously used. The 260 c.i.d. V-8 was replaced by a 289 c.i.d. engine and could be had with a 4 barrel carburetor. The easiest way to tell the 1966 Mustang from the 1965 model is the later car’s lack of horizontal or verticle bars in the grille – the running horse logo seems to float unsupported in the 66’s slatted grille. There were 607,568 Mustangs built for the 1966 model year. That is stillo the most Mustangs ever sold during a single model year.