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    A ’66 fastback shines again after 4 decades of neglect


    Ferndale — For 42 years, a 1966 Ford Mustang two-door fastback sat in a barn, neglected except for the raccoon that found its way inside and chewed up the passenger sun visor.

    Now, under the care of John Cordier of Mogadore, Ohio, the gold metallic vehicle has found new life, which he showed off Saturday at Mustang Alley during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

    Cordier acquired the vintage car in 2018 from the estate sale of a friend who collected Fords: “You couldn’t see through the windows,” he said. “It was pretty bad.”

    A book with photos from before its restoration sits on the hood of John Cordier's 1966 Mustang.

    Since then, Cordier has polished up the exterior, cleaned the interior and fixed minor issues under the hood. He had to soak the motor for three days to get it unlocked.

    He’s also researched the car’s origins and gotten documentation that shows it was built in San Jose, Calif., in late 1965, was with one owner from 1970 to 1976, made its way across the country and eventually was parked in Springfield, Ohio, not to be touched for more than four decades starting in 1976.

    John Cordier cleaned up the interior of this 1966 Mustang fastback, which sat neglected in an Ohio barn for more than four decades.

    Documents from Ford researchers indicate that of the 607,568 1966 Mustangs that were built, nearly 36,000 were two-door fastbacks, but only 7,889 were the luxury model that Cordier now owns.

    Cordier is “dumbfounded,” he said, by all the attention the car gets. He’s now driven it some 2,200 miles with no issue, and said it took just a tank of gas to drive it 200 miles from the Akron, Ohio, area to Ferndale.

    Ford Mustangs line Nine Mile in Ferndale during the Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.

    Cordier’s lifelong love for Mustangs started with his father, who always owned Ford vehicles, and was cemented when he purchased his first Mustang — a 1970 Mach 1 — when he was 17 years old.

    “I’m just a Ford guy.”

    There are plenty of onlookers in the snake pit of Mustang Alley along Nine Mile for the Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.

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