add
add
Menu

Ford Mustang California Special 1968

The now coveted California Special or Mustang GT/CS arrived at dealers in the middle of February 1968, and Ford assembled the last unit in early August of the same year. The original production order called for 5,000 units, but only 4,118 were actually produced, which included 251 that Ford rebadged as the “High Country Special ’68” and sold in Colorado.

Mustang California Special 1968 (2)

 Ford expected strong entries in the pony class for the ’68 model year, with formidable competition coming from the Camaro, Trans Am, Javelin, and the Mercury Cougar, even from Ford’s own Torino. In the continental United States, 20 percent of Mustang and Thunderbird sales, 1965 through ‘67, took place in California, which gave the dealers’ organization a lot of clout back in the head office. These retailers collectively tried a number of special or unique options in an attempt to create a California-exclusive Mustang.

Mustang California Special 1968 (3)

Ford’s Southern California district sales manager at the time was Lee Gray, and he was always looking for a way to increase Ford sales in his area. Gray and the dealerships agreed the California Special presented a possible solution for the dealers’ needs and would also help Ford meet the upcoming competition head on.

Mustang California Special 1968 (1)

The national catchphrase for marketing was “Only Mustang makes it happen.” but for the ’68 model year, it became “California made it happen” for the limited-edition Mustang GT/CS.

Mustang California Special 1968 (4)

In 1969, there was the Mustang GT package, but the California Special GT/CS was a model name; this car may or may not have had the GT package. The GT/CS option included fog lamps, DZUS hood pins, spring-loaded gas cap, side scoops, a rear deck lid-mounted spoiler with end caps, non-sequential Thunderbird taillights, side stripes with GT/CS inscribed, plus the lengthwise double stripe on the rear deck and on the hood. The GT/CS was available in any Mustang color, but the stripes were only in metallic medium blue, red, black, or white.

Mustang California Special 1968 (7)

 Any other non-conflicting Mustang package would complete the California Special trim option, including engine and powertrain combinations, but most CS units had a two-barrel carburetor on the 289-cubic-inch (4.74L) engine coupled to the C-4 automatic transmission; the 427/C6 combination wasn’t available for any Mustang in ’68. There were very few units assembled with a 390 and the 428 Cobra Jet engines under the hood, making them extremely rare today..

Mustang California Special 1968 (6)

Lee Gray was already forming a plan to help his dealers when he attended an auto show in August ’67 held at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The pre-release name for the soon-to-be Shelby GT-500 prototype was ‘Little Red” and got its power from a supercharged 428 bolted to the C-6 automatic transmission. This first Shelby-made vehicle was eventually destroyed. The vehicle was testing the waters for the release of an ultimate high-performance machine, but Gray saw many features he wanted to incorporate in his California market special-release vehicle. At a later meeting with Lee Iaccoca, they decided to have Dearborn fine-tune a limited-production Mustang called the GT/SC. But this later changed to GT/CS, with the CS standing for California Special.

The GT/CS was the first prototype Carroll Shelby engineered, but while Little Red was on display, he was at work on a second prototype, the EXP-500, later known as the Green Hornet, which still exists today. It’s anybody’s guess, but the original name for the California Special was GT/SC, which stood for “sport coupe,” but it also could have stood for Carroll Shelby. What did CS really stand for?

Mustang California Special 1968 (5)


One thought on “Ford Mustang California Special 1968”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Most Recent Facebook Posts


3 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

Muscle Car Fan
Like Muscle Cars? No politics. No negativity. Just car fun!
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

1928 Chevy 1 ton barn find sees the light of day ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Great discovery work.Now I wish to put it like original mode.

Very cool

1928?

Nice

you are funny

+ View more comments

7 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

GUESS WHAT ENGINE THIS IS FROM... ... See MoreSee Less

GUESS WHAT ENGINE THIS IS FROM...

 

Comment on Facebook

62/63 Galaxie 406 Tri power

FE Ford Engine 390, 406, or 427

Look like a old 390 Ford intake

Ford FE engine, 390, 427/8

440 six pack. 1970 Roadrunner. Mopar engine.

Definitely Ford from firing order.

Dodge or Plymouth 340 6 pack set up

390, 406, 427 FE Ford engines

406 Ford Hi-po FE engine.

It’s from a Ford engine the clue is it doesn’t run anymore 😂

Dodge or Plymouth six pack

Tri power ford 390 ,406 or 427

That's got to be out of a 1978 Chevrolet Chevette. The SS with the super double wing and sitten on 28s

2200 Chevy s10 engine

Had a ford firing order on the intake, but the valve cover seat on the intake is throwing me. Special intake for maybe a 351 clevor?

389 Pontiac 64 GTO

Definitely not Dodge it's from a Ford

Has to be Ford cylinder marks show 6-7-8 all on one side.

389 Pontiac tri-power 64-65 gto

Dodge - Plymouth - Chrysler 426 Hemi: the Elephant Engine

Firing order looks like Ford 390/427/428

this intake came off a 406 fe 1962 ford

Briggs and Stratton 5 hp mini bike engine.

Ford only !!!! 352,360,390, 406,403, and 428

Either 389 Pontiac Or Mopar

+ View more comments

1 week ago

Muscle Car Fan

Latest barn find . 1928 Chevy truck, motor turns over air in tires. Over 50 years in barns and storage, picking up Wednesday. ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Cant beat a Chevy

Love it, in high school I cruised around in a 1933 Chevy pickup my boyfriend had.

It's got radrod potential..

Awesome find!

Lucky

Great job.Now the reconstruction.

😍😍😍

Love it

Sweet find

Perfect

Awesome

+ View more comments

1 week ago

Muscle Car Fan

... See MoreSee Less

Load more