Be There Then and Buy A ‘New’ 1966 Mustang

1966 Ford Mustang 289 GT in studio, 2000. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
1966 Ford Mustang 289 GT in studio, 2000. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images) /

Growing up my Dad had a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang. The previous owner dropped a 302ci V8 engine in it, were not sure what the original power plant was, but for the most part it was fairly original.

When we got the Mustang it was in good shape mechanically, we had the C4 Cruise-O-Matic rebuilt and its housing bead blasted, but the engine was stout and the Autolite two-barrel carburetor was smooth.

When we got it the exterior was a lovely shade of gray primer and the little bit of Bondo needed to be sanded and smoothed. The interior was “Skylight Blue” and we had the exterior painted to match.

In time I became familiar with a Haynes repair manual and I learned some rudimentary car repairs. Due to its tendency to overheat easily, we lived in Northern California and that’s largely a tepid climate but it still ran hot, my Dad had me install a four-row radiator and we upgraded the fan.

When you consider that I almost lost a thumb at Rincon Valley Junior High woodshop class two-years before, installing an updated cooling system showed that I could occasionally work with my hands without possible disfigurement and nerve damage.

Mechanically the car was simple. This car was purchased by my family in the early 1990s and relative to the current cars of that era it was a dinosaur. Everything was mechanical and pretty simple.

With leaf springs out back and drum brakes it was a handful to drive. Even with a front sway bar cornering was tough and the steering was kind of accurate. It didn’t have rear seat belts and up front were lap belts, so it wasn’t overly safe.

A friend of mine in high school spent all his free time and money on a 1967 Mustang. Lowered, rear air shocks, low profile tires, headers, and in hindsight the loudest Flowmaster exhaust available in the mid 90’s. This combination led to a bumpy ride and the inability to hold a conversation when traveling more than 40mph.

The fire extinguisher strapped to the console came in handy when the engine caught fire. Many of us surmised that the fire was caused by a poorly installed carburetor. Undaunted, it was back on the road within a few days. This was due to him pulling some all nighters and likely skipping out on his homework.

Despite all those faults classic pony cars and muscle cars are awesome to ride in, sound great and look cool.

Early Mustangs were my introduction to cars being something beyond just transportation and that they could be interesting, cool and lacking modern amenities. Like a lot of folks I want a piece of my youth. Nostalgia is a powerful antidote when you’re stressed beyond belief with the trappings of adulthood.

I’m a former Blockbuster employee, I did five-years there in two different states, and to remind me of my youth I still hit up our local video to buy DVDs and Blu Rays. I could stream most movie titles, but I like walking the aisles of a video store and the tangibility of a DVD. For the 15-minutes or so that I’m in a video store I get to escape student loan payments, bifocals, and back spasms.

Our author has lost three copies of "Be Here Now" and now uses Spotify to avoid retro tech.
LONDON – OCTOBER 10: Noel Gallagher poses in the awards room after Oasis win the Peoples Choice and Best Album award for “Don’t Believe The Truth” at The Q Awards, the annual magazine?s music awards, at Grosvenor House on October 10, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images) /

A facet of me wants my youth back but I’m realistic in that I love modern amenities. Digging through the crates at Amoeba Records is cool, and I dug it when I was younger, but I love Spotify. It’s convenient and I don’t have to worry about replacing Oasis’ “Be Here Now” for the third time because of scratches or misplacing it.

I love classic cars but daily usage is an issue and I need effective air conditioning to combat the heat here in Arizona. They break down and to a certain degree they end up being a trophy to be admired but rarely taken off the shelf.

Revology has an alternative for those of us that love muscle cars, want the je ne sais quoi of classic car flavor, but loathe their brutish nature, constant repairs and lack of modern amenities.

Revology was founded by Tom Scarpello, he ran the Ford Special Vehicle Team from 1998 to 2004, after numerous inquiries of, “Why doesn’t Ford bring back the original Mustang?”.

He didn’t want to build a restomod. He wanted something properly engineered with classic style and modern technology. All parts are modern, it’s refined and is licensed by Ford and Shelby. Effectively, it’s not a knock-off or a kit car. It is registered as a replica but an original Mustang can be rebuilt to Revology specs.

To date, 1966-1968 Mustangs and Shelby Mustangs are available and they are powered by a  factory-rated 460hp Ford 5.0-liter V8 “Coyote” engine. Transmission options are the T-56XL six-speed manual transmission or a 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission.

The interior options reflect the classic Mustang but with modern updates.

Good craftsmanship and the opportunity to own a modernized classic does not come cheap.  The build to order 1966 Mustang starts at $188,875.00 and if you have aspirations to be Steve McQueen a 1968 Fastback GT R-Spec will set you back $235,500 plus options.

If I was in a different tax bracket a Revology Mustang would be an option that I would like to consider. It has the best of both worlds; classic Mustang flavor and modern amenities to use it daily.

For some of us in a midlife crisis a trip with nostalgia is always welcome but we also need creature comfort for our inevitable back issues.