1966 "Anniversary Gold" Edition
Recently, I came upon an ad on craigslist for what was reported as a
rare, "one of fifty" "Anniversary Gold" Mustangs produced in 1966 to
commemmorate the million units built during the first year of production.
Now, I'm not a Mustang fanatic and though I was around for the release
of their introduction in 1964, I'd spent little time "following the
breed" through the past four decades. I referred to a book by Brad Bowling,
"Mustang Special Editions: Hot, Rare and Collectible" and thankfully,
it provided a bit of insight into these rare cars.
With my curiousity piqued regarding this possible "find," I contacted
the owner and spoke with him in hope of obtaining as least *some* information
about this mysterious Mustang. Meanwhile, I continued to research these cars
in hope of clarifyinging the sketchy profile of this particular
According to sources, the approximately 50 or so 1966 Anniversary
Gold Mustang coupes were built in San Jose on March 29, 1966. Each
had identical equipment: 289 V8, 2-barrel carburator, automatic, black
pony interior and special metallic gold paint. The chrome rally
wheels had typical 1966 chrome trim rings.
I met the owner and we had a nice chat. As the story goes, this
particular car was the first unit produced and had been on display
as a promotional gimmick at Metke Ford in Bellevue, Washington.
A number of "Treasure Chest" keys were mailed to area residents who were
encouraged to stop in and try their key in the lock. If your key
unlocked the Treasure Chest -- inside you would find the keys to the
Anniversary Gold Mustang. The owner's father dropped by in the Spring of
1966 with his key while his wife went shopping for a dress to wear for
the first day
of yachting season festivities at the Seattle Yacht Club. After
winning the car,
needless to say, the buzz at the banquet was more about cars than boats.
Somewhere, there is a newspaper clipping telling the tale from the Seattle Times/
The car has remained in the same family ever since. In the mid 1980s,
the car was pushed into a garage in Seattle where it remained for 18
years. Then, it was sent down to the San Francisco Bay Area where the
son-in-law of the original owner had high hopes of restoring it.
Unfortunately, like may well-intentioned projects, it just never
happened. Now, with an impending move by the family, the car projects
need to be sold. I purchased the car with cash.
When I delved deeper into my research of
these "special editions" there were a number of peculiarities between
the two documented survivors. VINs 6R08C177412 and 6R07C177427 are but
a few production numbers apart. One of the codes indicates a
convertible version. Since the true number produced is speculated to
be equal to the number the sales offices in 1966, only about fifty
would have been produced.
My particular car is as follows:
*6R07C178000* (The VIN is bracketed with two small stars)
Body Code 65B
Color Code -blank-
Date of production, 29C (March 29)
DSO 741111 (74 is Seattle)
Since the last known produced unit is 573 away from 178000, I
initially believed there may have been many of these cars produced.
However, further research says that production sequence numbers
were sometimes random -- Mustangs were built on the same assembly
line as other Fords like the Falcon and Fairlane. The triple-zeros only adds to
According to conversations with the original owner's family members --
the winners of this car back in 1966 -- it is #1 of the 50 produced, but it
seems doubtful. One might deduct that this is most likely the last
one -- further investigation is necessary.
The two stars that bracket the VIN indicate the lack of tampering with
the numbers by forgers.
The blank color code reinforces at least
*something* special about it. The date of production, March 29, is the same
as the other two registered examples. The 74 in the DSO indicates
Seattle and the "1111" suggests it's a
"special edition" and not your "run-of-the-mill" production car.
Overall, it's not in particularly good shape and though it's not
rusty, a new RR quarter is definitely in its future. In its favor, it
still sports the matching door and inner fender production
identification tag and stampings. The glass is all there and a new
windshield comes with the deal. The black pony interior, though worn,
is quite serviceable. The dash pad, console, T-shifter, radio and
steering wheel are the factory originals. The chrome rally wheels
and trim rings still reside on all four corners. The engine has been
upgraded to a HiPo 289 and C5 transmission. The fuel tank is
perforated on the top side. With a gascan and a rigged-up fuel line,
it runs, but the brakes are untested. I wouldn't say it's roadworthy
under any circumstances.
What I've found to be most encouraging, however, is despite a
hurry-up, non-matching paint job sometime in its life, the original
factory gold paint still clings to the underside of the decklid and on
the rear inner wheelhouses. It must have been dazzling when new.
I contacted Brad Bowling, author of the book on Mustang Special Editions.
He's very excited about the discovery of what appears to be the very
first (or perhaps very last) of the "Anniversary Gold" cars and the
progenator to an entire spectrum of
specialty Anniversary Mustangs and other limited editions like the
"200 Sprint," "California Special" and "High Country" models.
At the moment I'm already in way over my head regarding knowledge of
early Mustangs. If anyone here can add some information to my investigation,
I'd be very appreciative. This one is just so special I didn't want it to
fall into the wrong hands.