Red
Black
289 V8
4 Speed Manual

With early Mustangs, the fastbacks and convertibles get all the love. But how about a GT-spec coupe featuring a K-code Hi-Po 289, a 4-speed, and Signalflare Red paint that gives it a classic look? Ford didn’t keep very good records of how many of each body style were built, but of the 25,517 GTs built in 1966, how many were coupes? And how many have survived? If you go to a Ford show, you’ll discover that GT coupes are rare finds indeed, which makes this bright red K-code GT that much more special.

First off, yes, it appears that this is indeed a real K-code GT, with a clearly visible K stamped into the inner fender. The door tag decodes accurately and confirms it:

6 1966 model yearR San Jose production07 CoupeK 289 cubic inch, 271 horsepower Hi-Po V8136697 Consecutive build number

65B Body code (coupe, luxury interior)5 Color (Signalflare Red)66 Trim (black luxury)27L Production date (November 27, 1965)71 DSO (Los Angeles)5 Axle (3.50 ratio)5 Transmission (4-speed manual)

It’s hard not to love the Mustang’s clean, crisp lines, and although many consider the coupes to be the “standard” Mustang, they are lighter and stiffer than the fastback and convertible models, making them the ideal foundation for performance. The body on this K-code coupe has been expertly refinished in two-stage urethane that accurately replicates the original color. It’s a deep, rich red, not too orange like Poppy Red, and not quite as dark as Candyapple. The bodywork underneath is good, with fresh quarter panels out back and original steel everywhere else. Panel alignment is very good, with decent gaps all around, and the hood fits nicely. A correct white GT stripe has been affixed to the rocker panel on both sides, and it neatly frames the Mustang block letters. The coupes feature a minimum of detailing, and it’s easy to respect their honest good looks.

The single most important piece of trim on this car is the unique K-code engine badge on the front fender, which offers the words “High Performance” above the stylized 289. The bumpers have been upgraded recently with excellent replacement parts, and the polished stainless at the leading edge of the hood, which was exclusive to GTs in 1965, became standard equipment on all Mustangs in 1966 and is in excellent shape. This car also features fog lamps and dual chrome trumpets for the exhaust system out back. Glass is good, and the well-known Mustang tail lamps are in excellent condition.

Just because it displaces only 289 cubic inches, don’t make the mistake of dismissing the potent V8 under the hood. Shelby used this engine in the early GT350s and dominated on the racetracks, and the 271 horsepower K-code 289 is only a step below the 306 horsepower race Shelbys. The engine in this GT is a replacement 289—date code correct, of course—and has been fully rebuilt to K-code specs with a few upgrades. There’s a Holley 4-barrel carburetor atop an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, as well as a Mallory ignition system to light the fires. Traditional “Tri-Y” headers take care of exhaust duties, and chrome dress up items such as the valve covers and air cleaner are 100% appropriate on this car. The block is dressed in traditional Ford Blue paint, which looks awesome against the satin black inner fenders. As I mentioned before, the all-important K is clearly visible stamped into the inner fender, and there’s a reproduction Autolite battery in the tray. It fires up with a snarl, and with a solid lifter cam, makes the most wonderful mechanical sounds as you rip it through the gears.

Ripping through the gears is easy, thanks to a bulletproof Toploader 4-speed, which was original equipment in this GT. Out back, there’s a Ford 9-inch full of 3.50 gears. New shocks have been installed, and the car just received $1500 worth of ministrations from the pros at the RK Motors shop. The chassis is solid with no serious rust or rot issues, and a fresh coat of sound deadener keeps it comfortable and quiet inside the passenger compartment. A recent dual exhaust system featuring Flowmaster mufflers has been installed, and it sounds awesome blowing through the original trumpets in the rear valence panel. Gorgeous, recently restored styled steel wheels carry modern 195/75/14 BFGoodrich T/A radials for modern ride and handling characteristics.

Rounding out this car’s long list of desirable features is the black Pony interior and a ton of options. Completely restored to new condition, it’s comfortable and stylish, even today, more than 40 years later. New seat covers, door panels, carpets and headliner really dress up this little pony, and the wood grain wheel gives it a sporty feel that matches the machinery underneath. This car also has a Rally Pac, which includes a tachometer and ticking clock mounted in a unique housing atop the steering column. The sleek center console is another value-adding option, and houses the shifter for the Toploader underneath. In the trunk, you’ll find a correct trunk mat and a full-size spare on a matching styled steel wheel.

With Shelbys being deep into the six-figures, Mach 1s and Boss 302s trading for nearly $100,000, what is the next hot Mustang? Smart money would be the K-code GTs, which, for the moment, offer a ton of performance for a reasonable price. This GT coupe is a rarity; whether that’s due to low production numbers or high attrition for the “base” coupe model, I can’t say. But I do know that when I go to a Mustang show, there are an awful lot of GT convertibles and fastbacks. If you enjoy the unusual and like to perhaps stay a little ahead of the curve, take another look at this Signalflare red coupe. The day is coming when these will be the next big thing. Call now!

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