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1966 Mustang Gold Found in Ohio Garage
Mike Hollis had no idea he and his wife Kay were buying an extremely rare Anniversary Gold Millionth Mustang hardtop, a 1966 model, when they bought two early hardtops during the mid-1980s. Mike said, “I scrapped the 1965 and parked the 1966 model in the garage, Mike says. “I did a little bit to it, but basically, it sat for 30 years.”
Then in 2007, Hollis read an article on “Hidden Anniversary Gold” by Jim Smart right here on these pages of Mustang Monthly. He got a funny feeling that their car might be one of these special editions. His first aha moment came when he checked the data door tag and read off the unique special order digits of “1111” following the DSO code of “33” for Detroit—the same six digits that Jim Smart had listed in his article. Another telltale sign was the absence of a paint code on the door data plate. Every one of these Millionth Mustangs came with a special-order shade of gold paint, and thus, had a blank in the paint code slot. And right there before his stunned eyes Hollis saw a date code of “29C,” decoding as March 29th, the same one that Smart had listed in Mustang Monthly.
At the time, 2007, only two of these cars were known to exist. This figure was quoted by Smart and Jim Haskell on page 28 of their 1994 edition Mustang Production Guide, a highly regarded book that culminated from more than a decade of exhaustive research while compiling their In Search Of Mustangs Registry & Census. Smart attributed to legend that each Ford Division sales district received one of the One Millionth Anniversary Mustangs. Production in that case would have numbered fewer than 50 units. Smart believes each car was assembled in San Jose in one lot and distributed across North America to various sales districts.
All of a sudden, Hollis took extreme interest in the old Mustang parked in his garage. He discovered traces of the original gold paint under the hood and in the trunk, another sign that this might be a One Millionth Anniversary Mustang. Of course, the Hollis’ 1966 Mustang was a hardtop, as were all these specials. Hollis also checked off a C-code 289 two-barrel, black pony interior, and a console, exactly as Smart listed in his article and book. Hollis’ daughter emailed Smart and got back verification that they had one of those cars.
During early 2016, with the 50th anniversary coming up for this Anniversary Gold Mustang, Hollis searched out and actually found and talked to the original owner Jim Gloer.
“I bought the car at Hill Ford Sales in Fremont, Ohio,” Gloer said over the phone. The purchase date inside the original owner’s manual shows a date of 9-26-66—very late in the model year. During his mid-20s, Gloer worked as a mechanic at that Fremont dealership. There, the owner Marv Hill talked him into buying the special edition Mustang. Gloer said. “They had gotten one of the gold ones for selling so many cars in the district or area, as far as I understood it.”
Gloer recalls the paint was high metallic that was beautiful and which he has never seen on another Mustang. He got married in February of 1965, and he and his wife Rita took a belated honeymoon driving their new 1966 hardtop to the Smoky Mountains.
He remembers having trouble with high altitude and the carburetor cutting out. Finally, Gloer pulled off the top of the Autolite two-barrel. “Damned if I didn’t find a fly in the gasoline just sort of floating around,” he said.
According to Gloer, when he got back to Ohio, he ran the car through an automatic car wash. He doesn’t remember the date, but does remember that it was very cold. When he drove the car back home and got out his chamois, he said the paint had shattered during the car wash and was full of spider webs. The hardtop was still under warranty, but Ford could not match the special-order paint. Gloer remembers, “going round and round with Ford’s district man. They had it in a paint shop and it was partly stripped, and then they stopped. I told them I wouldn’t accept it unless there was a paint match.”
Finally, Gloer, who had already left his mechanic’s job at Hill Ford, got a call to come up to the Ford dealer in Maumee, Ohio, and pick out any car he wanted. He saw a brand-new 1968 LTD he liked on the lot, obviously more expensive than a 1966 Mustang hardtop t hat was now two model years old.
“He [the district man] said, ‘I’ll tell you what. You pay for the difference on the interior Brougham finish, and it was only a hundred and something bucks at that time, and they gave me the car!” Gloer traded his 10,000-mile, 2-year-old Mustang hardtop and a hundred and something bucks for a new 1968 Ford LTD. He lost track of the gold Mustang until early 2016 when Hollis phoned after finding Gloer’s name on the original owner’s manual. Gloer and his wife Rita were delighted to find out the car still existed since they had fond memories of driving this 1966 Mustang hardtop on their belated honeymoon to the Smoky Mountains.
Hollis plans to restore the 1966 to its original high-metallic-content gold paint. He has no plans to run the 1966 through an automatic car wash in cold weather.