The First Special Edition Mustang
I was cashing a check at the bank recently, and the friendly teller lady had a picture of her '66 Mustang right there. I knew we had cars in common and that car obviously meant a lot to her, so I asked her about it. She proudly told me it was a "High Country" Mustang; a car that I had never heard of.
There were people in line behind me, so I got all of the information from her that I could as quickly as I could. She motioned to the extra fender badge, and I smiled and acted like I knew what she was talking about.
But later I talked with a bud of mine who has owned several Mustangs and taken them down to their last lock washer. He hadn't heard of them either... so then I didn't feel so bad.
Sales were slow in late 1966, so to boost them locally, a special promotion vehicle for Colorado-area Ford dealers was made. The 1966 High Country Mustangs were special in that they had an extra badge on each front fender, a choice of three unique colors: Aspen Gold, Columbine Blue, or Timberline Green, and, well, that's about it. But all 1966 Mustang body styles, powertrain combinations, and all other options were available with the package.
There's no point in rehashing the history of the Mustang, other than to note that this was the first Special Edition Mustang of many to come. And if you want to verify one, they were only built in the San Jose plant, have a six-digit DSO code (51 02XX), and the date code is 15G (July 15).
Three-hundred and thirty-three High Country Mustangs were made in 1966; 400 in 1967; and 251 in 1968. So there never were many of them, and there are way fewer now. I'm sure the lady at the bank knows just how rare her car is too.
I think we all know my admiration for the Mustang, and how everybody can make a Mustang "their" car. So the fact that there weren't many of these made, plus the personalizations, have made them a truly collectable car.
And here they are. Please note the special fender badges:
I don't know why this Aspen Gold hardtop has a fire extinguisher there
Here's a High Country fastback in Columbine Blue
The Timberline Green Mustang would probably be my choice of the three
It should be mentioned that the High Country models continued until 1968, where they used the rear lamps from the Shelby Mustang/Mercury Cougar. And though the focus of this post is on the original High Country package, I just thought this was too cool to not present. Look close, and you can see the blue High Country Mustang badge on the air scoop.
So the next time you're looking at a vintage Mustang, maybe take a look at the front fender and see if a badge has been removed and the metal repaired. Then do some checking on the history of that vehicle. Who knows what you may find?
That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credits: The Mustang badge image is from CaliforniaSpecial.com. The High Country Special ad picture is from Californiaspecial.com. Our Aspen Gold Mustang and red fire extinguisher image is from HighCountryMustang.com. The Columbine Blue fastback photo is from MustangAttitude.com. The Timberline Green Mustang sedan image is from TheMustangSource. The red 1968 High Country picture came from MustangMonthly.com.