Lee Iacocca championed Project Mustang as Ford’s general manager from 1962-64. One result was the epitome of an easy cruising convertible that appealed to males and females. The soft top was part of 72,119 first-generation Mustangs built for 1966.
The car featured 225 horsepower with a 289-cubic-inch small block V-8 engine linked to a Cruise-O-Matic four-speed transmission. Power brakes and power steering were standard. A welcomed change saw the replacement of the Falcon’s instrument cluster with the now famous five circular gauges.
The Mustang’s styling, with its long hood and short deck, proved wildly popular and inspired a host of imitators in the automotive marketplace. The car ushered in the era of automobiles known as pony cars, and with each succeeding year, the Mustang saw an increase in overall dimension, power and sales. The onset of the oil crisis in 1973 forced revisions in the car, which was reintroduced in 1975 as the Mustang II, sharing no components with previous models.
Brad Bledsoe is the proud owner of the 1966 model seen on this page. He bought it in Crawfordsville, Ind., about some 11 years ago from the original owners. All chrome was restored to originality; the engine was rebuilt, and complete original interior upgrades were added. BF Goodrich 2 ply bias tires were standard with the original chrome wheels.
Bledsoe attends cruise-ins and car shows in central Indiana when the weather is nice.