Produced from 1966 through 1968, the Colorado-area Mustang High Country Special is closely related to the California Special GT/CS. In 1968, Denver’s success with the High Country Specials inspired Ford to design and produce 4,118 copies of a limited edition coupe for its West Coast dealers. Based on Carroll Shelby’s “Little Red” ’67 show car hardtop, the California Special (GT/CS) was a combo of the Mustang GT and GT350/500 parts. Of the 4,118 units produced 251 were High Country Specials.
The 1968 Ford Mustang High Country Special limited edition package has really picked up in popularity amongst collectors in the last half-dozen years or so due to its rarity and the fact that its a solidly sporty first-gen pony car with cool factory Shelby touche.
The Shelby-like appearance of the ’68 High Country Special is no accident. The HCS was available only for three years, but this final year was the most unique. It was based on supercharged GT500 prototype coupe that didn’t see the light of day.
That didn’t stop western dealers for asking for a special package to heat up sales. Only 251 examples were produced, and so they are quite coveted today.
The High Country Special elements include blacked-out grille, Lucas fog lamps, hood locks, Shelby-style quarter panel scoops, pop off gas cap, and fiberglass tail with built-in spoiler and stripes that run down the flanks as well as the special HCS logo on the rear scoops. There were two stripes offered in 1968 (with the $147 GT package). The rocker panel stripe as before, or a “C’ Stripe which ran to the top of the rear fender sculpture, then curved under it and ran forward. Reflective stripes were optional.