Glen Taylor’s 1966 Mustang E2 convertible is a world away from stock. Yet, aside from obvious changes like the grille, and sidescoops and sequential taillights, enthusiasts have to look pretty close to single out the exterior changes.
Of course, there are many reasons to modify. One is strictly for personalization and to send a message. More concrete reasons are to improve the performance. That’s why the wheelwells, on closer examination, are slightly larger. Now, they’ll hold bigger tires and wheels.
Despite the multitude of modifications, Glen hasn’t really messed with the integrity of this classic. The basic structure from 1966 is still there. The car is a keeper. Glen has actually owned this Mustang since he was eight years old.
How does an eight year old get a Mustang classic? Glen gave us the Cliff Notes version of the story.
“My brother and I were raised by my father. And to keep us out of trouble, back when I was 8 years old, he bought that car for me for $50.”
“What year was that?” I had to know.
His father was a highway patrolman in Las Vegas, Nevada. One day, he stopped to help a lady who had pulled off the side of I-15 en route to California. She had been towing a 1966 Mustang convertible. Apparently, during the tow, the Mustang got loose and bumped and dented her station wagon.
“My dad pulled up behind her to see if she was okay. She asked if there was a place she could get rid of this car. It had a blown engine.”
Glen’s Dad bought and fixed up older cars in his spare time.
Glen said, “He saw it had an eight-track. He asked, ‘Does the eight-track work?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Well how much do you want for it?’ She said, ‘You know what, I just want to get rid of it. Give me 25 bucks.’ And he said, ‘If it works, I’ll give you $50.’”
Maybe the engine was locked down, but the radio worked. He gave her the $50 and took the problem off her hands. Glen still has the receipts and the paperwork on the Mustang. The woman bought the car from Frank Taylor Ford, a dealership near downtown Los Angeles. He recalls the Mustang was “root beer brown with flower stickers all over it.”
The father also bought Glen’s younger brother a 1963 Falcon convertible. His intent was for the kids to “stay busy.”
Glen wasn’t exactly a mechanic at eight. The car sat in the front yard for about a year. Then, his father hauled the non-running ’66 convertible to Utah where two of his buddies built an engine and made the car roadworthy. He brought it back to Vegas in the early ’70s and drove it around.
When Glen turned 16, he started putting money into the car. He drove the Mustang to high school when his father would let him. In the last three to four years, he really started “putting the money into it with the rack and pinion steering and the engine and transmission and everything else.”
Basically, Glen built the ’66 to his heart’s content. In the 21st century, vendors have simplified the modifications. There are so many parts available.
Glen said, “They make everything you can imagine for these older Mustangs.”
“Mustang Depot” in Las Vegas was a huge help. Owner Jay Jacquemoud had a vision to offer a second generation, evolution of Eleanor in a kit. His kit would transform the coupe and convertible, not just the fastback, into his own creative “E2.”
Jay’s E2 kit consists of a choice of six different hoods, headlight buckets (or use stock), one-piece upper and lower nose, front fender flares, side exhaust skirts, rear fender flares, lower sidescoops, and a spoiler trunk with end caps.
Although Glen bought an E2 kit for his ’66 convertible, he modified the components and installation to give his Mustang a look of his own. Glen requested the body shop mold the fiberglass pieces, which are bolt-on, into one piece. He felt this bodywork gave his Mustang a little cleaner appearance. Also, instead of using flares on the stock front fenders, he replaced the stock fenders with Maier Racing fenders, already flared for bigger tires and wheels.
For power, Glen says he was “looking at doing a different small block.” His last engine dated back to a 1986 build. “This time I figured everybody is going with a stroker. I looked around and checked on prices and what I had to do to modify my car. The 351W didn’t take a whole lot of modification in the engine compartment or anywhere else.”
So, Glen went with the 351W stroked to 427 cubes, the same size as the classic big block. The 427 spins a heavy-duty Ford AOD connected to a set of 3.89:1 gears in a Traction-Lok nine-inch rear end.
With 520 horses to the flywheel, the suspension could use a few upgrades to stock. The rear suspension features 4½ leaf, leaf springs modified with KYB shocks. The front end features Total Control Products’ adjustable coilover suspension.
“The coilovers have little knobs to adjust up or down from a soft and smooth ride to stiff. If you want to drop the suspension down a little, you can.”
Glen swapped the original front buckets for 1998 Mustang GT seats covered in custom cloth. Temperatures rise above 100 degrees regularly in the desert of Las Vegas, enough to heat the original black vinyl seats to scorch bare skin.
All these changes, coupled with the classic lines of the original ’66 Mustang add up to a great looking modified. The lines of the original 1965-1966 Mustang are classic, so why fool with them?
1966 Mustang Convertible
by Glen Taylor of Las Vegas
351 Windsor-based 427 stroker
Cast iron block
Trick Flow TFS aluminum heads
9.6:1 compression ratio
Roller cam/roller lifters
Chrome 8-quart oil pan
Weiand Stealth aluminum intake manifold
Barry Grant 750cfm Speed Demon carburetor
Reproduction Cobra air cleaner
Holley electric fuel pump
March serpentine drivebelts
Sanden A/C compressor
Tuff Stuff 200-amp alternator
24-inch polished aluminum crossflow radiator
MSD 6AL ignition system
Total Control Products Shock Tower Brace Kit
Heavy-duty AOD transmission with electronic valve body built by Dudley’s Transmission
2,500 rpm stall converter
Lincoln Versailles 9-inch axle
Richmond 3.89 gears
Limited Slip clutch differential
Hedman 1 5/8 inch Shorty headers
Custom 2½- inch exhausts
Front: Total Control Products front coilover conversion kit
Randall’s rack and pinion steering system
Rear: Ford Mustang 4½ leaf springs
KYB gas shocks
Total Control Products subframe connector kit
Repro Shelby under ride traction bars
Trans Am Racing power brake booster
Front: Granada disc brakes
Rear: Lincoln Versailles disc brakes
Front: American Racing Torque Thrust II 17x8
Rear: American Racing Torque Thrust II 17x9½
Front: Nitto NT-01 drag radials 225/45ZR17
Rear: Nitto NT-01 drag radials 275/40ZR17
1998 GT Mustang bucket seats covered w/cloth
JME gauge cluster With Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges
Moto-lita Mark 3 Supreme 14-inch steering wheel with real mahogany wood
Modified B&M Quicksilver shifter
Custom built center console
Autoworks International door lock system
OEM Ford A/C evaporator case
Eonon DVD/CD/TV/radio with kick panel speakers
1966 Pony deluxe door panels
1965-1966 bolt-on E2 body kit from Mustang Depot molded to body
Billet aluminum upper and lower grill
Billet aluminum sidescoops
Maier Racing front fiberglass fenders
2007 Mustang aluminum hood pins
1964 Thunderbird taillights
1971 Mach 1 gas cap
Reproduction Shelby bullet mirrors
Poppy red paint with pearl clearcoat painted by Rick at Pro Customs of Las Vegas
Body work by Mario Hernandez at Proficiency Auto Body
White vinyl convertible top with custom tinted back vinyl window