1966 Ford Mustang
By Vern Parker
About six months after Fred Anderson retired he decided that he would look good behind the steering wheel of a vintage Chevrolet Camaro.
So while he was searching for an old Camaro his wife, Catherine, contacted Richard Porter, a family friend, and told him, “I want a Mustang.” The two conspired and soon Porter located a 1966 Mustang convertible for sale about an hour away in Front Royal, Virginia.
Porter took Anderson out to see the car and it was in such remarkably good condition a deal was done that day. Anderson purchased the Mustang in March 1998.
Although the odometer on the Mustang was nearing 150,000 miles the car had been well cared for and was exactly what Anderson's wife wanted. Once the Mustang was at Anderson's Woodbridge, Virginia home he realized that he could easily transform the Mustang into a show car.
The 289-cubic-inch V-8 engine that was in the car when it left the factory on September 23, 1965 was equipped with a two-barrel carburetor that developed 210-horsepower. With the engine out of the car to be overhauled, a four barrel carburetor was installed along with a larger intake manifold in a package that was available in 1966 that delivered 225-horsepower, all the better to propel the relatively light 2,650-pound Mustang.
At the same time a “shift kit” was installed in the transmission which enables the Mustang to come close to the 140-mile-per-hour limit on the speedometer.
From front to rear the gear selector on the console is Park – Reverse – Neutral – Drive – Overdrive – Low.
Of the 607,568 Mustangs manufactured in the 1966 model year only 72,119 were convertibles.
Eventually the Mustang was stripped of all the trim pieces and repainted, Anderson says, in the original candy apple red. He says it had to be painted twice in order to meet his standards. Many of the chrome trim pieces were replaced but some, like the front bumper were replaced.
During the next five years the Mustang, which stretches a hair more than 15-feet between the bumpers underwent a complete restoration. The 108-inch wheelbase is supported on 205/74x14-inch radial white sidewall tires.
When new the Mustang convertible sold for a base price of $2,653 before the extra-cost options were added. They included an extra long console between the front bucket seats, styled polished steel wheels, fog lights, GT exhaust ports, AM/FM radio with a cassette player and a dress-up kit.
The car's performance was enhanced with the addition of power steering and power brakes. It also came equipped with an automatic transmission.
Three chrome spokes, each one perforated with four holes, support the simulated wood steering wheel. Each spoke has a horn button.
When the deluxe black convertible top is in the raised position visibility to the rear is enhanced by the pair of exterior mirrors. The rear window is plastic. A black boot covers the top when it is in the lowered position.
With the exception of the driver's seat and the black dash pad which have been replaced, the original interior remains in amazingly good original condition.
Upon completion of the rehabilitation of Anderson's Mustang 16 gallons of gasoline and five quarts of oil were poured into the car and a well-deserved cruise was taken. Afterward Anderson polished his Mustang in preparation for the Mustang Grand National event at Disney World in September 2013.
He transported his Mustang from Virginia to Florida via the Amtrak Autotrain. While at the event his Mustang was awarded “First in Class.”
“That's better than money in the bank,” Anderson says.
Anderson has now completely put aside any thoughts about acquiring a Camaro and his wife has yet to drive the Mustang, a car she thought was going to be hers.