The 1966 Ford Mustang Sprint 200

Ford Gets Creative to Boost 6-Cylinder Sales

1966 Ford Mustang Sprint 200 Coupe
The Sprint 200 was available in three body styles: Coupe, Convertible, and Fastback. Photo Courtesy of Ford Motor Company (David Newhardt/ Mustang – Forty Years)

The year was 1966. Ford had no problem selling their 289 cid V8 Mustangs. In fact, the cars were so popular dealers couldn’t keep them on their lots. Of course, this resulted in more than a few disappointed customers. How to remedy the problem? Ford executives got creative. One car that was not selling that well was Ford’s 6-cylinder Mustang. The 200 cid powered inline-6 pony was in dire need of a kick start, and Ford had just the plan.

Enter the Sprint 200, a.k.a. the Springtime Sprint. This “limited-edition” 1966 Ford Mustang, which was introduced as part of a springtime sales promotion, consisted of an inline-6 cylinder Mustang equipped with a chrome air cleaner, special Sprint 200 air-cleaner decal, and painted side accent stripes. Ford’s demographic for the Sprint 200 was women. As such, the marketing tagline, “Six and the Single Girl”, was used to promote 6-cylinder Mustangs, including the special edition Sprint 200.

Two versions of the Sprint 200 were available; an “A” Package and a “B” Package. The “A” Package featured a manual transmission, where the “B” package featured an automatic. Both Sprint packages came with deluxe wire-style hubcap wheel covers, a side accent paint stripe (with quarter trim delete) which matched the car’s interior color, and a center console with courtesy lights. Of note, Sprint 200s did not feature 3-Prong Tri-bar side moldings, like those found on other 1966 Mustangs.

In all, the Sprint 200 was available in three body styles: Coupe, Convertible, and Fastback. The convertible option was the last to become available. It entered the market in March of 1966. That said, Fastback models are some of the rarest models. In addition, the majority of cars sold, which were coupes, featured the “B” Package with a C4 Cruise-O-Matic transmission.

As for interior options, buyers were able to choose from either Standard or Deluxe Pony Interiors, with Standard being the most popular option. The Sprint 200s were also equipped with Ford’s Safety Equipment group, something that was standard on most 1966 Mustangs. According to reports, all three Ford plants (Dearborn, Metuchen, and San Jose) produced Sprint 200 Mustangs.

Pricing of the 1966 Sprint 200 “A” package was set at $39.63 over the base 6-cylinder suggested retail price ($2,398.43 for coupe). The “B” Package with automatic transmission cost $163.40 more than the base vehicle.

Sprint Option Group

  • Body side accent stripes
  • Chrome air cleaner
  • Sprint 200 air-cleaner decal
  • Wire-style wheel covers
  • Center console

Safety Equipment Group

  • Padded instrument panel and sun visors
  • Four-place seatbelts
  • Emergency Flashers
  • Backup Lights
  • Windshield Washer
  • Outside Rearview Mirror

In the end, the Sprint 200 package was a lucrative deal for buyers looking to purchase a well equipped Ford Mustang at a price less than the more powerful eight cylinder powered model. It might not have been a V8, but the car was a sure deal for buyers. Even better, the car truly did become a special limited-edition Ford Mustang in time.

These days, Sprint 200 Mustangs are widely discussed by Ford Mustang enthusiasts and historians.