From Wilderness to Road: The 1966 Ford Mustang, Rescued After 30 Years, Takes Its First Drive ! -15

Leaving a first-gen Ford Mustang to rust in the woods is considered blasphemy nowadays, but it was common back in the day. These cars weren't very valuable a few decades ago, so their owners had no second thoughts about abandoning them in barns or fields when they broke down. Fortunately, many of these mistreated vehicles are getting second chances after sitting for decades. This 1966 Mustang is one of the lucky ones.

Left to rot in the woods sometime in the early 1990s, this old pony car has been sitting for almost 30 years. That's enough exposure to the elements to render its drivetrain useless and turn a once beautiful steel body into a rust-ridden shell. For some cars, it's too late. But others, including this 1966 Mustang, refuse to die and come back to life with a bit of work.

When it was found by the folks over at RevStoration, the 'Stang's six-cylinder engine was in pretty bad shape. Engines in this condition either need a serious overhaul or a long list of new parts to fire up again. In this case, it was the latter. With new wires, spark plugs, starter, and battery, this old and tired mill started pumping again.

Not only that, but it still packed enough grunt to get the 2,500-pound (1,134-kg) Mustang out of its resting place. Not surprisingly, the engine is a bit too loud and smokes a lot as it breathes for the first time in 30 years, but it gets sorted out with a bit of tuning. It actually runs pretty smooth toward the end of the video.

If you're wondering what six-cylinder this is, it's a 200-cubic-inch (3.3-liter) Thriftpower. It's one of two six-bangers Ford offered in the first-gen Mustang's early days, with the other one being the slightly smaller 170-cubic-inch (2.8-liter) version.

Introduced for the 1965 model year, the inline-six unit, also known as the T-code, was rated at 120 horsepower and 190 pound-feet (258 Nm) of torque back in the day. Even though Ford started adding more and more powerful V8s to the lineup, this Thriftpower soldiered on with the same specs until 1970.

Sure, this old 'Stang isn't as appealing as a V8-powered GT from the era, but it's still a cool find and a classic pony car that's worth saving. Whether it'll be restored to its original specification or fixed as a rat rod, it'll be great to see it back on public roads again. Meanwhile, watch it pull itself out of its grave in search of a better life.

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