Jerry Heasley
May 25, 2011

“It probably had several years worth of moss and old green stuff growing on it. Unfortunately, I washed it off, not thinking, before I took any pictures.”

Anthony Rollins still has a good story. Meanwhile, we don’t have the juicy photos of the Mustang resting under the tree along a fencerow in rural North Carolina, near the cows, which is a good reminder for readers to always take pictures when they discover a rare find. That’s what everyone wants to see.

“I was shocked to find it,” Rollins said. Even though he likes “to ride the back roads and stop and ask about stuff,” Rollins actually discovered this K-GT ’66 Mustang through an ad on the Internet. The bad news was that the counter on the ad revealed 300 other viewers.

“I thought it must be a fake, otherwise it would have been gone.”

The ad stated that the K-code coupe was located in a remote area of North Carolina, near Pisgah National Forest. Rollins decided to drive the 200 miles from his home in Ellenworth after the seller on the end of the phone verified that the fifth digit in the serial number was indeed a K.

“They told me they had owned the Mustang since the early 1970s and had paid $500 for it,” Rollins said. “They just got tired of it sitting in the yard.”

One of Rollins’ concerns was the GT status. Was the coupe really a K-GT? In retrospect, he realizes that the GT option was merely icing on the cake. A K-code coupe is just as interesting, and perhaps even rarer than a car with the GT Equipment Group.

Nevertheless, he checked for original GT features, noting that the fog light wiring openings were in the right place in the radiator support, the disc brakes were stock, and the proportioning valve was down below the springs. He even found a body buck tag.

“Everything checked out,” Rollins said.

Next, he checked the engine to see if it was the original 289 Hi-Po. Apparently, the K-code 289 had survived—block, heads, even the carburetor. Those four-barrel Autolites are extremely difficult to locate, and expensive. Rollins suffered a small letdown when he noticed the missing dual-point distributor, which had been replaced with an electronic ignition, and a set of Tri-Y headers in place of the cast-iron Hi-Po exhaust manifolds. The aluminum high-rise intake wasn’t stock either.

Another great photo for treasure finders would have been the 289 Hi-Po. Rollins said, “The whole top of the engine was like somebody had poured out a gallon bucket of acorns and pine cones.”

The body was very solid. Rollins said, “The only rust is the quarterpanels down low and a little around the wheel openings. It’s going to need quarterpanels, but other than that it is in pretty good shape. It has solid floorpans, good framerails, and doesn’t look like it has ever been wrecked.”

Options are few. The interior looks stark without the Rally Pac, but it did come with a console and an aftermarket shifter for the four-speed Top Loader.

The price was a bargain at $3,000. Rollins didn’t have the cash when he first saw the car. He tried to leave a deposit, but the owners would not take a penny until Rollins could remove the car from their yard. He spent a couple of sleepless nights until he could return with the money.

He advises others not to use a tow dolly for the first time along mountain roads. The K-code coupe must have been a sight going down the Interstate. “Limbs, leaves, and debris were falling off the car,” Rollins said. “Drivers behind us were trying to get out of the way!”

Anthony Rollins now has his dream car, a real K-code early Mustang. He recalls the 30th anniversary of the Mustang in Charlotte, where he saw his first K-code Mustang. He’s been looking for one ever since. He finally bought into the dream and at this writing is working on finishing the car for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebration.