• this 1966 ford mustang high country special-edition coupe is up for sale on the bring a trailer auction site. it's one of 333 built from the model year to be exclusively sold by colorado-area dealers. with three days to go, bidding currently stands at $16,750.
• though the timberline green paint caught my eye, the iconic coupe body reminded me i started restoring one of these in 1998.
• yes, started restoring in 1998.
the internet is full of wormholes to waste endless hours. but for the automotive enthusiast, bring a trailer—which, like car and driver, is part of hearst autos—is a great place to tune out news or the grind of the daily life and search for the vehicle you’ve always wanted. or remind yourself of a project you started 24 years ago and have yet to complete. this 1966 ford mustang high country did exactly that for me.
during my high-school years, my father and i were looking for a restoration project. well before things like bat existed, we’d scour the weekly periodicals searching for the right candidate. my old man was a 20-year seasoned mechanic at the local ford dealer, so naturally a mustang felt right. we bought our 1966 coupe for a few thousand dollars and limped it home with the intention of having it done in two years in time for my senior prom. oh, the joys of wishful thinking.
just like this high country special—a trim reserved for colorado-area dealers that featured unique paint options and fender badges—our coupe was powered by a 210-hp 289-cubic-inch v-8 backed by a three-speed automatic transmission. "was" being the key word, because the following day ours was stripped nearly to its shell that, unlike this 74,000-mile example, featured a structure that was swiss-cheesed with midwest rot. the fred flintstone floorboards would need to be cut out, and the front subframe would require a weekend's worth of time and countless spot-weld drill bits to free it from its original mounting position.
over the next few years, the structure would regain a floor and a frame, and the underbody would be ground to bare metal to be primed and finished with a rubberized undercoating. its sheetmetal's 30 years of dings and dents were smoothed out with body filler and countless layers of buildable primer. the beauty of restoring an old mustang is that every single nut, bolt, and screw is available. heck, you can even order an entire body if you want to start fresh. with new suspension hung, the transmission rebuilt, a disc brake conversion mounted, and a limited-slip differential bolted into the rear-axle, it hasn't been touched in 22 years. i like to tell people we're letting the primer cure.
if you want a project, seek one out. but if you’re in the market for something turnkey like this somewhat rare 1966 ford mustang high country special, keep an eye on bring a trailer and do some digital tire-kicking like we do.