Here’s a Look at the Mustang GT Convertible
If you’re a car enthusiast, when you hear the name “Mustang,” you likely think of a sleek car with an edge. There’s no denying that the Ford Mustang is a hit with consumers.
Whether you like the older models or prefer the shiny, new ones rolling off the factory floor, you most definitely appreciate the fine quality and classic design of this car. The chances are quite good when you see one moving down the road, and it turns your head.
If you have a real love for the Mustang, you probably have your eye out for the 1966 Mustang GT Convertible, or perhaps you want to find a T-5. While the whole line has an impressive history, this specific model year has a unique story.
Ford Mustang Basics
The first generation of Ford Mustangs hit the market in March 1964 and continued in production until 1973. The classic look of these cars features a long hood and short deck. They were a compact car with a sporty presence.
The first Mustangs were rather simple on the inside. However, at that time, the interior seemed rather fancy. It had embossed ponies on the seats and an advanced instrument panel. In the Fastbacks, there was an even nicer interior option with fold-down back seats.
Interiors also included vinyl quarter trim panels, courtesy lights on the doors, trimmed pedals, wood grain accents, and pistol grip door handles. The cars also had kick panels with stainless trim.
The earlier interior options also included a wood grain steering wheel and under the dash air conditioner. However, these weren’t popular, so Ford phased them out. On the other hand, longer consoles were quite popular as an add-on item.
As Ford introduced revisions with various model years, the main change was an increase in power and the body’s size. It wasn’t until 1971 that Ford made a significant redesign. Sales were in decline, so the company felt it needed to do something to boost sales.
In 1974, Ford made additional changes, mostly due to the oil crisis. There was a demand for smaller-sized vehicles, and Ford introduced the Mustang II at this time, which was a departure from the growing sized Mustangs. Many consider the Mustang II a different car since it was such a departure from the original design.
A Pony Car
The Ford Mustang was the very first pony car and actually originated this class of car. A pony car is essentially a compact car that’s affordable and sporty with a performance edge. They are usually highly styled and come in a coupe or convertible.
A common misconception is that a pony car is the same thing as a muscle car. However, there are a couple of distinct differences. A muscle car is much bigger than a pony car. Muscles cars also always have a V8 engine and focus highly on power and performance. Pony cars don’t focus as much on which engine they have or the power they have.
The Ford Mustang was always a pretty big seller. Old Cars Weekly notes that it became the best-selling new car after it hit the market in 1964.
There was such demand for these cars that Ford had trouble keeping up production. It had assembly plants working overtime to try to fill orders.
The 1966 Mustang GT Convertible
There are many notable Mustangs, but the 1966 Mustang GT Convertible is arguably one of the best. Part of the lure of this ’66 Mustang is that it’s not the easiest to find.
National Muscle Cars explains that from 1963 to 1967, Ford didn’t produce many Convertibles. In fact, only about 1% of the car the company producing during this period were Convertibles.
Another reason why the ’66 Mustang Convertible stands out is that it was the best-selling Convertible of that year. It was only slightly different than the previous model year, but the changes seemed to do the job.
The 1966 Convertible received a new gas cap, grille, wheel covers, and side ornamentation. It also had the three-speed automatic transmission option, called the C4 Cruise-O-Matic.
This model year also saw some new exterior paint colors and new interior color options. It can, with an AM radio with 8-track player or the new AM/FM radio. The 289 K-Code engine was also available for this model year.
There were a couple of special editions in 1966 as well. The first was the High Country Special limited-edition model. The second was the introduction of a right-hand drive model in Australia. This model was known as the Ford Australia Delivered Mustang.
The Mustang in Germany
As Ford was introducing the Mustang around the world, it had a little trouble in Germany. The Mustang name was already in use by the Krupp Company for a truck it sold. Due to the copyright and the costs to use the name, Ford decided to sell all Mustangs in Germany until the expiration of the copyright in 1979 under the name T-5.
There are many of these T-5 Mustangs that made it back to the U.S. because Ford targeted soldiers stationed in Germany during the Cold War when selling it in that country. When they completed their tour of duty and came back to the U.S., they brought their cars with them because the government would ship the cars home for free.
These German models have some slight differences over the Mustangs sold in the U.S. They had steering wheel hub changes, clear parking lights, export-style hood brace, longer racing strips, kilometer speedometer, and heavy-duty suspension. Of course, Ford also removed any reference to the Mustang name and logo.
The Ford Mustang is still a popular car. It has a very strong showing in Ford’s lineup that hasn’t really faded away. While newer models certainly have their moment in the sun when they hit the market, it’s often the classic Mustangs that really draw people in.
There’s a collectible nature to these cars that makes them incredibly sought-after. Special versions, such as the T-5, or specially interesting model years, such as the 1966 Mustang GT Convertible, always seem to stand out, but any Mustang is a win for someone who appreciates a fine, classic vehicle.