Jerry Heasley
April 6, 2005

It's not easy being green. It could be even tougher being BluebonnetBlue if you're an early Mustang collector and historian like Don Smith.By day, Don works at Ford Country, a new-car dealership in Lewisville,Texas, north of Ft. Worth. For much of the last year, he's beengathering information on Bluebonnet Special Mustangs.

The saga beganwhen Don went hunting for a car for his nephew. He ran into a historydig in the form of a '67 Mustang hardtop with a DSO of 61, followed bythe digits 5160. The coupe was a basket case. Don recalls, "Ray Colemanwas going to fix it up and paint it 'Resell Red.' "

Coleman restoresMustangs and figured, by the extended DSO, there was some history. Hesuggested Don might be interested. Coleman knew the project would take apurist like his friend Don. Thankfully, all the parts were there, andthe two negotiated a price. Don recalls, "I ran the VIN and startedgetting with my guys at Ford. I found out it was a special-editionMustang Ford called a Lone Star Limited. The more popular term for thiscar is Bluebonnet Special.

Luckily, the original data plate was intact.The paint code was blank, signifying a special-order color. Immediately,Don started searching for original paint, and he discovered a shade oforiginal light blue, a match for the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet.He had something special here, for sure.

The problem with resotring a Bluebonnet Special has been finding original fender badges. Five Star Ford's Vic Lea saved the day when he contacted Don about some original badges he had from when the cars first came out.

"Mustang sales were a littlesoft in the winter of 1966-1967 in this area, so Ford wanted to boostthem. And Texas Ford dealers were complaining because California got theCalifornia Special."

Actually, California had their California Specialstarting in 1966, as did Colorado with the High Country Special. Inresponse, the next year Ford produced a special Mustang for the Texasmarket. "Ford said, 'We'll give you a Lone Star Limited, painted aunique color with special badges on it. And we'll deliver them to theDepot, the actual Dallas hub.' "

Don got lucky in the restoration. Todate, the sticking point when restoring a Bluebonnet Special has beenobtaining the original fender badges. Out of the blue, Don got a callfrom Vic Lea, an employee of Five Star Ford in nearby Carrollton. Lea,who has been selling new Fords since 1962, attended the "drive-away" andbarbecue at the Depot on that spring day in 1967 when the BluebonnetSpecials were introduced. Incredibly, Lea had squirreled away fouroriginal badges.