Wayne Cook
April 1, 1998

Did you ever wonder what near-perfection might look like? Look no further than Carl Platt's '66 Mustang convertible. This car combines some of the early Mustang's most desirable features, and it really knocks your socks off in the fit-and-finish department.

The car didn't always look so good, however. It had deteriorated to the point of being what Carl called a "total wreck." Carl latched on to the car 10 years ago and began the laborious process of restoration. It would have been hard to find a car more worthy for restoration. This one has several attributes that make it especially sought after. Of course, being a Mustang is reason enough, but who could pass up a Candyapple Red convertible?

Besides the terrific original color, the red ride was outfitted with an A-code four-barrel 289 V-8 for power. This represents a considerable upgrade in power over the C-code two-barrel or base six-cylinder engines. The engine in Carl's rig was freshened up for the refurbishment with a complete rebuild. It is backed by the venerable C-4 three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission.

Other interesting features found on the outside of the car include styled-steel wheels, a GT lightbar out front, and true dual exhaust with trumpets and bezels out back. These goodies were dealership-installed when the car was new. All this goes along nicely with the optional 289-4V engine and leads one to suspect that the original owner wanted true GT performance while preserving the smoother ride quality found on non-GT cars.

Although these enhancements conspire to make this a beautiful car on the outside, the interior appointments shine brightly as well. Just the red pony interior would be enough to spiff up the car's inner world, but this Mustang is embellished with other great interior appointments. You don't have to look hard to notice the Rally-Pac mounted on the steering column. The interior also includes a full factory console and a rare optional woodgrain steering wheel. A factory steering wheel of this type will set you back a bundle for an original if you can find one, and they are highly sought after by those of us stuck with the plain-Janes.

We can tell you that a complete restoration project can be a long and difficult undertaking, and we admire anyone who completes one as beautiful as this. Carl really enjoyed "breathing new life" into his sweet '66 convertible and plans to keep the car in excellent condition. In addition to top-down motoring anytime he likes, Carl enjoys showing the car and rubbing elbows with other Mustang enthusiasts. The first-generation Mustang, when in convertible form, may have been the most exciting car of the day and perhaps of all time. We just can't find anyone who wouldn't love to own one as well-restored as Carl's. He plans to give the car to his two sons someday. We guess they'll have to flip a coin for the keys.

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