- Frame off restoration
- Ford Racing 302ci/340hp V8
- Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual
- 8.8-inch limited slip / 3.73 gears
- Fully updated suspension
- Manual rack-and-pinion steering
- Power four-wheel disc brakes
- Air conditioning
When it comes to nearly universal appeal, few American cars bring it quite like the Ford Mustang. While a lot of its competitors placed an emphasis on speed, style, or some other singular piece of the puzzle, the Mustang did its best to be everything to everyone while providing a solid foundation to build upon. While almost all the dials have been turned up, this restored 1966 Mustang continues to be a car that virtually any enthusiast could hop behind the wheel of and have an absolute blast. From the stout 5.0L V8 and Tremec transmission to the upgraded suspension and killer custom interior, everyone who has a chance to eye the car in person will find something different to admire.
While there are some Shelby pieces in play, calling this car a GT350 tribute would be a disservice to what has been accomplished. The restoration started, like many others, with a primered shell and a vision. Judging by the restoration pictures, the body was mostly intact and in need of little more than a few floor patches. Once those were welded in, the shell was carefully massaged into a canvas capable of displaying any color with authority. While black may be the most honest paint color in existence, the dark blue gracing these first-generation lines isn't far off. The blue base coat is even, reflective, and presents well from any angle you can dream up. The dark hue is topped by a pair of silver stripes that recall some of the most feared muscle cars of the era. With that kind of work invested in the top coat, you can be sure items like panel fitment are issue-free.
Step in for a closer look and you'll find the details are every bit as well put together as the body itself. The show gets started with a fiberglass Shelby front bumper that offers a place for fog lights while giving the entire front end a new shape. The grille is lined in bright trim, framing the “floating pony” which acts as a the front end's centerpiece. Above, the Ford lettering has been removed for a cleaner look while a functional hood scoop pulls in cool air from its surroundings. The greenhouse is filled with fresh glass surrounded by clean stainless trim and malleable weather-stripping all around. The side view is especially clean thanks to a distinct lack of badges and extraneous trim. Little more than a silver Shelby-style GT350 stripe and chrome door handles break up the rich sea of blue paint. Even the side scoops have been left in their original shape – no giant vents or mesh anywhere. The rear view is every bit as subtle with classic tri-tails, a chrome bumper, a Mustang-badged gas cap, and reverse lights at either side.
Of course, no one in their right mind adds Shelby visuals and racing stripes to an underpowered car. To keep those numbers in check, this Mustang offers a stout 5.0L V8 that produces an estimated 340hp – over 30hp stronger than an original GT 350. The block is a 2007 vintage, dressed in black, and combined with hardware like a Ford Racing hydraulic roller cam, aluminum Ford Racing GT-40 heads, roller lifters, and roller rockers. The unit is topped by an Edelbrock intake which makes provisions for the Holley four-barrel above. The accessory drive spins an open-face alternator alongside a Vintage Air compressor while an aluminum radiator works in harmony with a single fan to keep the engine bay cool. Ignition is handled by an MSD ignition system which sends spark through bright blue Ford Racing wires. Exhaust gases are rushed out through ceramic coated JBA headers that open into a full aluminized dual exhaust system with Dynomax mufflers. The sound is quintessential 5.0L but the bay is a little more attractive than most. An adjustable strut tower brace spans the width of the bay while the air cleaner assembly and valve covers are dressed in matching black and silver Ford gear. From the coolant overflow tank to the bright yellow battery, every component here shows as new and adds up to one impressive finished product.
Shine a light underneath the car and you'll find even more high-end hardware supporting that warmed up small block. Behind the 302, a Tremec TK0600 offers the kind of quick shifts and a solid feel that only modern hardware can serve up. Out back, a Ford 8.8-inch rear puts power to the pavement through a limited slip and 3.73 gears. Horsepower is only fun if you can use it, so the suspension has been completely revised to handle the under-hood upgrades. Work started at the front end where factory components were swapped in favor of tubular upper control arms, TCP forged spindles, and adjustable coilovers. Sub-frame connectors strengthen the mid-section while leaf springs, lowering blocks, and adjustable shocks help keep the rear end planted. Steering is translated through a manual rack-and-pinion while power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes utilize both Wilwood and late-model Ford pieces for quick stops. Nearly every piece visible came from big names like Lokar, Chassisworks, and TCP, so you can rest assured everything was built to last. The floors are solid throughout and finished in a semi-gloss black that serves as a perfect backdrop for the new hardware. At the corners, a combination of 16x7 and 17x8 Torque Thrust II's wrapped in Falken Z-rated tires round out the chassis.
After all those updates, most builds would throw a reproduction pony interior between the doors and call it a day. This Mustang follows through to the very last detail with an all-new interior full of impressive additions. The seats come from Procar's Elite Series and manage to check off all the right boxes: they feel great, offer plenty of support, and look right at home in this vintage Ford cabin. In front of the driver, a JME cluster sports AutoMeter Phantom gauges that monitor fuel, water, speed, revs, oil pressure, and voltage while a polished Flaming River tilt column grants control over the front wheels through a Flaming River Evoluzione steering wheel. Further input is delivered through attractive Lokar pedals and a chrome shifter mounted within a custom center console. The double-hump dashboard is rounded out by accessory controls, HVAC controls, and a Kenwood head unit that sends signal to new speakers throughout the interior. The extremes are covered by a taut black headliner, OEM-style door panels with show-ready hardware, and black carpets protected by Ford-branded floor mats. The old and new styles work well with each other, creating a unified space to log the miles from.
With a car like this, documentation about what it was born as is irrelevant. What is on the car now? That question is answered in full thanks to a stack of receipts and component manuals included in the sale. There are also plenty of restoration pictures to lend further insight into the build process.
The only problem with this 1966 Mustang is that, if you're thinking about buying it, most everyone else will be too. With it's combination of tasteful styling, a perfectly updated interior, and a drivetrain that will keep a smile on your face for days, the appeal is unnaturally strong with this one - so give us a call today or spend the next few years trying to recreate this killer pony car for yourself. The choice is yours!
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RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.