California dreaming!

California dreaming!
Share this article :

You don’t see many Mustangs like this. It’s a California Special, a limited edition version for the western USA-market, that was built only in 1968. Oh, and Shelby had something to do with it.

Sure, in 1964 the Ford Mustang was unique, it was one-of-a-kind. It even created a class of its own: the pony-cars.
But four years later the competition was catching up. Cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, AMC Javelin and even the Mercury Capri were becoming serious contenders for the Mustang.

In California, Ford-dealers got worried about this competition. In the state of California, 20 percent of all Mustangs nationwide were sold. So Mustangs were a big market and the Ford-dealers there wanted to keep their market.


So a group of Californian dealers got to talk to Ford Motor Company and convinced them to produce a limited edition Mustang. This here is one of them.

The Ford Mustang California Special was based on the Mustang Coupe and was built only in 1968. It was based on a prototype of a Mustang Shelby GT-500 from 1967. By that time, Shelby Automotive was part of Ford Motor Company and got the task to develop the necessary conversions and parts for the special Mustang. This included several fibreglass body parts, like the rear decklid, the taillight panel, and sidescoops.

Other features of the California Special are fog lights, side scoops, and pop-open gas cap. The GT/CS was available in all standard Mustang colors for 1968, special striping was available in white, black, red and metallic blue. All standard engine/transmission combinations were available.

Apparently, most of these special Mustangs were equipped with the small block 289 two barrel carburettor with C4-autotrans.

Western states

The Ford Mustang GT/CS was sold exclusively in the western states of the USA.
Originally Ford had planned to build 5.000 of these cars in 1968, but in the end, only 4.188 were produced.

Foto’s Wheeler Auctions

It is believed that around 1,350 of them have survived.
This here is one of them. It has been restored and finished in classic Candy Apple Red with Black Interior and black vinyl top.
The engine is a Matching Numbers 289 ci and this Mustang comes with all the goodies of that era. Also, the original invoice is available and there is a Marti Report on the car.

The car is part of the auction by Wheeler on June 1-3 in Norman, Oklahoma.