What Is the High Country Ford Mustang?Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Andrew Boyle
One of the very first of what would turn out to be many special edition Mustangs, the High Country, was first produced in 1966 and available only, as the name would imply, from dealers in the Colorado area. While initially, the differences between the High Country and the stock Mustang were largely cosmetic, in 1968 — the High Country’s last year of production — it, like the California Special, could boast the addition of front fog lights, side scoops and a Shelby-inspired rear fascia.
High Country History
Little is known about the reasoning behind offering the High Country as a special-edition exclusive to Colorado dealers. It is true that after the enormous success the Mustang had in its first year the market in some parts of the country had begun to cool. It has been speculated that the High Country was introduced to re-excite interest in the brand in the Colorado region.
How to ID a High Country Mustang
For the first two years it was offered, there wasn’t a lot to differentiate the High Country Mustang from any other pony car. The package could be ordered on any Columbine Blue, Aspen Gold, or Timberline Green Mustang and included little more than a special badging with the running horse logo above a mountain skyline. 1966 and 1967 High Country Mustangs were produced only at Ford’s San Jose plant.
For 1968, production of the High Country Mustang became absorbed into the California Special program. Of the 4,118 California Special Mustangs produced, 251 were re-branded as “High Country Special ’68” models and sold exclusively in Colorado. As a result, instead of just the unique badging, the new High Country Special featured a number of exterior improvements and was available only as a hardtop.
333 High Country Mustangs were sold in 1966. The offer was a modest success, and Ford was encouraged to up production to 416 the following year. As mentioned above, 1968 saw a total of 251 High Country Mustangs roll off the assembly line. Today, the High Country Mustang is regarded as little more than a footnote in the car’s history, most remarkable for the argument it made for the viability of future limited editions, and the role it played in the history of the better-known California Special.
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