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.
Were you able to get any original paperwork from the original owners? A window sticker and invoice would be invaluable in authenticating the car.
I suppose that you are interested in doing a correct restoration? If so, I would highly suggest that you carefully plan out what your intentions are before you take off the first screw. There are many choices to be made at the early going that have a big impact on the completed car. For instance, you say it needs a quarter panel. Does it really need a full quarter or can it be patched? Should you use OEM sheet metal or reproduction? Just one of many things you will be challenged with.
The good news is there's much information to be leveraged here on VMF and through other online forums and off-line organizations such as the Mustang Club of America that have many members more than happy to help you out.
You should also contact Tony Popish and the Special Order Paint Registry. He's got info on the Anniversary Gold stuff (limited). There's also a page about them in Jim Smart's In Search of Mustangs book volume 1...
I come from the vintage foreign car community and have owned several BMW 2002 and 2002tii models. Call me sentimental, but I really *love* cars and purchased this Mustang because it needed to be rescued from being "lost." In the late 1960s, I worked washing cars in a used car lot in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and drove many '65 and '66 Mustangs including a dark green fastback that was a ringer for the original Bullit Mustang.
So far, I've cleaned out some of the sand and dirt from the interior and "bagged and tagged" anything that appears to be a car part. I also sorted through a box of parts and found the original door mirror and a front fender emblem.
The RR quarter was dented from an altercation with a fencepost and filled with bondo. The damage is between the wheel arch and the "B" pillar. A decision to replace it will come after removal of the interior panel, and not before.
As much as I could pressure the owner for original documentation like window sticker and owners manual, they are lost as are the ingition and door keys. There is at least some comfort and confidence based on its single-family ownership since day one. The family patriarch, prize winner and original owner is retired and lives in Arizona. His son, daughter and son-in-law, who all drove the car extensively, are all concerned about preserving it, and are quite willing to offer any of their personal stories about its legacy and provenance.
More news as things develop. From my experience as a "car person," nobody holds on to a car for 40+ years without a reason or an emotional attachment.
My current (and simple) philosophy is this: If performing a proper restoration of this rare car is beyond my means and/or abilities, it will be sold to someone with greater resources and more skills.
From my experience as a "car person," nobody holds on to a car for 40+ years without a reason or an emotional attachment.
I can second that. It's often cheaper just to go buy another car, but the emotional attachment (a sign of mental sickness ??) just precludes selling the needy family heirloom that's so full of memories.
Good luck with your project. You're in the right place
67 Fastback GT -- original colour (Frost Turquoise), orig engine, .. . 1st pic is the car as it now is. Stock except for Opentracker roller perches and idler arm, roller bearing pedal cluster, Cibie lights, radials, that sort of thing..
2nd pic is of me and the same Mustang - May '67, with original F70-14 Wide Ovals.
I can add alot to this one since I am a '66 Sprint freak..
As far as I know, Besides the '66 6cyl Sprints, The High Country Specials (From Colorado), and a "Playboy Pink" edition, The Anniversary Gold edition stang run WAS rare.. Possibly only 100 made, but I am not so sure that all came from San Jose...You'll have to do more research on that one. What I do know is that they were created to celebrate the 1,000,000th Mustang built along the assembly line with the '66 Sprint Packages which were more plentiful. The Special "Anniversary Gold" color of the car was unique and the VIN Door Data plate on the Driver's side door should carry a special DSO order number(after the DSO) and special paint code. If you would like to e-mail and speak with someone knowledgable that has owned one, Send an E-mail to Mark Houlahan who is the Editor of "Mustangs and Fords" magazine. He owned one (until it got totalled!), and knows more about the "Anniversary Gold" Edition '66 Mustangs than most people. He loved the car so much, that he built a "tribute" identical car from another '66 Hardtop, and used parts from his original car.
Mark is a VMF member and frequents here once and awhile, but I'd try to reach him at the magazine first. He's love to hear from you..
1966 Sprint 200 Convertible
Melbourne, FL (Formerly from Long Island, NY!)
Does anyone know if these "Gold Aniversary" cars
were just built at the San Jose plant?
A local salvage yard I go to has a 66 coupe that
is a special paint car that looks to be a gold color.
The data plate info is:
The date on this one is later so it may just be
a special paint car.
What is the website for special paint cars?
According to KAR Auto Group "These anniversary Mustang hardtops were painted "Anniversary Gold" and one was given to each Ford Sales District. All Anniversary Mustangs were assembled in San Jose on March 29, 1966 with DSO 33111."
Tony Popish used to have a website about special Color Mustangs, but its gone now. He also used to publish a news letter about special color mustangs as well. I have copies at home and I'll try to look through them tonight. I swear I saw an article about them.
"If I can't fix it, I'll fix it so no one can !"
1969 Mustang LE600 Sportsroof - Groovy Green
1969 Mustang LE600 Coupe - Flower Power Red
1969 Mustang Sportsroof - Dark Jade
1969 Firebird 350 Conv - Mayfair Maze
1968 Cougar Hertz XR7-G (project)
1959 Oldsmobile Super 88
1963 Jaguar XKE Coupe (project)
Here is a list of articles where a Anniversary Gold Mustang is restored.
I've found an article in our Dutch club magazine about these Mustangs. According to the article less then 50 Anniversary Gold Mustangs were build in only one batch. They all have the 29C date code and a 331111 DSO. So far only 2 cars have been found 6R07C177412 and 6R07C177427. I'm not sure if this information is accurate......
Erwin, The Netherlands,
66 Red Convertible,289ci 4V /C4/PDB/PS/PT. Visit my HOMEPAGE for lots of pictures.
Man I wish my memory was a bit better.
I read an article on this car at some point and I just can't place where. I recall it being said that this particular car wound up on the front cover of the Seattle Yacht Club newsletter, due to the unusual circumstance of ownership. I also remember seeing a picture of the cover. It may have been an MM article or Mustang and Fast Fords, or possibly somewhere on the web. You may try contacting the Yacht Club to see if you can find anything through them.
Or I may just have this confused with another car/article
Sorry I canâ€™t be much more help than that. It sounds like a really neat find and I wish you luck with the restoration.
If it can't be fixed with a hammer, you have an electrical problem...(stolen from the H.A.M.B.)
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