THE LEGACY LIVES ON: The ’66 Mustang and its Descendants

Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

Written by Eric Becker



Few things represent the visual of the of the American motoring experience more than sitting at the helm of a Ford Mustang and powering up the Pacific Coast Highway. The Mustang is a definitive American machine, one that created a wholly new and iconic class of performance vehicle: the pony car. That legacy is 50 years and still growing – ever changing but paying homage to the earliest models. Remarkably, the visual the Mustang represented remains fresh and resonant to this day. Automotive pioneer Lee Iacocca, then the VP and General Manager of Ford, took note of America’s confidence, swagger and its burgeoning youth culture, and spoke to a broad demographic that can be seen, alive and well, in the 21st century.

Lee Iacocca introduces the new 1965 Ford Mustang to the media in the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. (Photo courtesy Ford Media)

Outpacing even the most optimistic expectations of the suits in Detroit, the Mustang outsold, outmaneuvered and outfoxed the competition. On the same day of the Mustang’s debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, customers across the nation flooded their local Ford dealers. In a single day, Ford sold 22,000 Mustangs. The Mustang’s launch was such a resounding success that it landed both Iacocca and the Mustang on the cover of Time magazine, the first consumer product to be so honored.

The first-generation’s appeal crossed traditional demographic niches, and the flagship 1966 model – the last of the original fastbacks – would be a special year for Ford. In that year, more than 607,000 units drove off dealership lots, and on March 1, 1966, the millionth Mustang would roll off the factory floor. The 1966 model became the best-selling Mustang of all time, a remarkable achievement that has forever cast the car as an American institution.

Today, the model is understood as the quintessential ‘60s American classic, a favorite of builders and customizers and a car whose lineage carries forward today, more than 50 years later. As unrepentant enthusiasts of the early Mustang, Barrett-Jackson is pleased to highlight some of its notable descendants ready for bidding during the Online Only July 2020 Auction (July 6-10) ‒ as well as some of the top ’66 Mustangs that graced the Barrett-Jackson the block over the years.


Lot #103 – 2009 Ford Mustang Iacocca 45th Anniversary Edition

Built to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Lee Iacocca’s iconic Mustang, this coach-built fastback is one of only 45 made and a true homage to the original fastback. This example is #5 and has received some additional enhancements. The 4.6-liter V8 is topped with a Ford Racing supercharger and sends power to the ground via a 5-speed manual transmission. Oozing style and panache, the Iacocca Mustang features a coach-built construction with the same sophisticated composite construction used in the aerospace industry and on amazing vehicles like the Ferrari Enzo, F40 and McLaren F1. This example features 1,527 actual miles and is ready to find a new home.


Lot #157 – 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Though a Mustang of a later breed, the 1970 Boss 429 is without question a muscle car icon. Finished in Grabber Blue, this example boasts an original KK 429 NASCAR 2153 engine. The engine was assembled in September 1969 in Dearborn, Michigan, and sends power to a Toploader 4-speed manual transmission. The gearbox spins a Drag Pack axle, which is finished with 3.91 gears and a Traction-Lok differential. The Boss 429 rides on competition suspension and connects to the road via set of Goodyear Polyglas GT tires.


Lot #124 – 2004 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Concept

The Mustang GT convertible concept car, which debuted at the North American Auto Show in January 2003, signaled a new direction for the next generation S197 Mustang. The “New Edge” styling was dropped, and a retro-modern interpretation of the original Mustang’s classic lines were interpreted for the new millennium. After its debut, this car travelled to more than 50 auto shows around the world. The Redline Red Metallic car features a distinct “showbar” with a rim of billet-aluminum trim picking up where the instrument panel and console trim leave off. Being a concept car, the underpinnings are from a highly reworked Ford Thunderbird. The rear-wheel concept borrows the Thunderbird’s 3.9-liter DOHC V8 and pairs it with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The concept features 20-inch wheels masking 13.8-inch vented and cross-drilled Brembo disc brakes for stopping power. A sharp accent line runs the length of the body just above the rocker panel and culminates in a “C-scoop” design behind the door cutline to create an intentional visual link with the C-pillar design. The interior is awash in supple red and charcoal leather, accented with billet-aluminum hardware. This is a rare chance to own a piece of Mustang design history.


Lot #127 – 2017 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R

For three consecutive years, the original Mustang GT350 won the SCCA B-Series production championship. The GT350 name is hallowed in the world of Mustang, and fans held a bated breath when Ford announced its return in 2015, which ended up breaking all expectations. Using the exotic “Voodoo” engine, the GT350 debuted with a 526hp flat-plane crank 5.2-liter V8 mated to a 6-speed manual. In R guise the Shelby Mustang sported carbon-fiber wheels and was ready to devour any road course thrown at it. This 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R takes that track readiness one step further, opting for a few track-focused upgrades. With a Competition Motorsports roll cage, Schroth 4-point harness, Steeda camber arms and plates, this Shelby is once again ready to dominate any SCCA-sanctioned event. The Avalanche Gray finish is beautifully offset by an aggressive matte black racing stripe outlined in red pinstriping, and the Shelby features an all-black interior. This GT350R has 3,700 actual miles and is ready to thrill and delight its new owner.



1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype #001

While technically a Shelby, this is still a ’66 Mustang – and one significant Mustang it is. Chassis #SFM6S001, a historic pre-production prototype, is the very first 1966 Shelby GT350 built. It’s powered by a matching-numbers high-performance 289ci V8 engine and 4-speed T10 manual transmission. Conceived and built to homologate Ford’s wildly successful Mustang for SCCA competition, Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 exemplified Ford’s “total performance” mantra and conferred an unbeatable image on the trendsetting new Pony car. While all surviving GT350s are indeed special, SFM6S001 is particularly important as the pre-production prototype and very first Shelby GT350 built for 1966. It is the only Shelby GT350 to have been originally equipped with the upscale, factory-optional Pony upholstery available with regular Mustangs, and has a host of other special features. This historically significant Shelby sold at the 2018 Scottsdale Auction for $605,000.


1966 Ford Mustang Ringbrothers “Bailout” Fastback

An OPTIMA Street Challenge machine, this ’66 was built to carve corners, and is powered by a Keith Craft 427/602hp engine with 607 ft/lbs of torque mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. It features a carbon-fiber roof, trunk, hood, interior and exterior. Over 3,000 hours went into this collaborative build. This ’66 Mustang has the honor of being the most expensive sold at auction, bringing in a final price of $225,500 at the 2016 Northeast event.


1966 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback

A one-off creation with sublime beauty and great performance, this ’66 Mustang was featured in the February 2012 issue of Popular Hot Rodding, which summed it up perfectly saying, “the ’66 Mustang pays homage to the past, while breaking new design and technology barriers ‒ a 427cid ’66 Mustang fastback with Manners and Muscle.” We couldn’t agree more. The striking Mustang has over 5,000 man-hours invested in the body, and the 560hp 427ci V8 engine deploys power via a TKO 600 transmission and Ford 9-inch rear end. When this beauty crossed the block at the 2013 Scottsdale Auction, it met a final price of $143,000.


1966 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback “Toxic 66”

Striking to look at it, isn’t it? Known as “Toxic 66,” this Mustang is an entirely different type of street rod and truly shows the versatility of the Mustang platform. Sticking out of the hood is an 871 BDS supercharger bolted to a 408ci Windsor V8 engine. An automatic gearbox sends power to the real wheels – and if the styling wasn’t loud enough, the stainless-steel headers and 3-inch oval exhaust are sure to make your ears ring. The “Toxic 66” rides on a custom 2×3-inch boxed chassis and has an HQ Series Shockwave air-ride system. The truly sinister Mustang commanded its way across the block at the 2019 Scottsdale Auction, heading off to its new home for a final price of $165,000.


1966 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

A non-rodded entry on our list, this beautiful Candy Apple Red ’66 Mustang GT convertible crossed the black at the 2014 Scottsdale Auction. Selling for a final price of $84,700, this original K-Code Mustang sports the factory 4-speed transmission, dual exhaust and disc brakes.


For a look at all the vehicles on the docket for our Online Only July 2020 Auction, click HERE.