Shelby Cox
June 1, 2002
Contributers: Shelby Cox

Think back to your first Mustang, and how great it was to own the car you'd been dreaming about since you were young. You sit in the drivers seat, start up the car, and listen to that AM radio station. There's something magical about the sounds, smells, and feel of any Mustang.

Brian Barton found the Ford of his dreams sitting behind a barn in Clayton, Washington. The neglected Mustang was rusted through, but that didn't matter to Brian. For $1,800 he drove the hardtop back to its new home in his garage in Spokane, Washington.

Brian began to restore the car in February of 2001 thinking it was a plain hardtop. Well, a hardtop it was-but a hardtop with a kick. Brian's dream car turned out to be a '66 GT that needed to be fully restored from the ground up. So Brian, with the help of his father, Barry Barton, and his brother-in-law Jeff Gibson, stripped the car to the frame and proceeded to reconstruct it in their shop at home. They replaced all the bad sheetmetal and sandblasted the engine compartment and interior. Brian had the doors, hood, trunk lid, and anything else that could be removed from the car dipped to get rid of rust. Once the shell was reconstructed, the interior was replaced with all-new vinyl, carpeting, and seats. While Brian and family were working on the body, he sent the engine block to Evergreen Engines of Spokane for a cleanup and rebuild. Once the engine was replaced, there was one last touch: the Nightmist Blue paint. With one month to spare before the Northwest Mustang Roundup in Bellevue, Washington, the car was complete. A full restoration on this '66 Nightmist Blue GT had been done in less than five months.

Nitemist (the family pet name for the GT) was stocked to the brim with GT style. Standard Black interior really sets this car off and the high-performance "A" code 289 4V has a little more class with the dealer dress-up kit. The GT hardtop really packs a punch with a factory C4 transmission pushing the power to those 14-inch radials with styled steel wheels. And the personalized "NITEMIST" license plate lets you know who beat you off the line.

When the time came to show off the beautiful Mustang, it was off to Bellevue, Washington, with a caravan of Mustangs from the Inland Empire Mustang Club of Spokane. Tucked away in the sea of Fords was Brian in his '66 Mustang GT, his father in his '66 Mustang convertible, and his brother-in-law Jeff in his '69 Mach 1. This is one of the largest Mustang gatherings in the world, and Brian, Barry, and Jeff each walked away with First Place trophies in their respective categories. Way to go, guys! You did a great job in a very short time; guess keeping it in the family really does pay off.