1968 GT/CS & HCS
2007+ GT/CS
1966-1967 HCS

Introduction: 1968 California Special Mustang

GT/CS side scoop
"California Made it Happen!" - That was the slogan used by Ford to promote the limited edition California Special (GT/CS) Mustang in 1968. And in a nutshell it perfectly describes the beginnings of this special Mustang. It was the California Ford dealerships, with clout built on high sales volume, that got the ball rolling on the GT/California Special package. Design inspiration came from "Little Red"; a prototype built to study the possibility of creating a Shelby coupe (which never happened). So with a combination of Shelby parts and unique GT/CS parts, the California Special Mustang was born.

The GT/CS was unveiled to CA dealers on February 15, 1968 at the Century Plaza Hotel in LA, where it received a very enthusiastic reception. Shortly afterward the media campaign began in earnest including full page newspaper ads, TV commercials and billboards; all designed to get the public to visit their local Ford dealer to see the new Mustang made just for California. The reality though was that the GT/CS expanded beyond CA state lines and was also sold in other markets including Kansas City, Dallas, Salt Lake, Seattle, Phoenix and Canada.

High Country Special - Before California got the GT/CS, Colorado already had it's own special regional edition Mustang; the High Country Special. The 1966 & 1967 HCS package consisted of special paint and fender badges. So after the GT/CS was built it was decided that some of those should head to CO and continue the HCS name. A total of 251 of the GT/CS cars were pulled off the assembly line and sent to Denver to recieve their own special treatment. The "California Special" script was deleted from the rear quarter panels and the side scoops recieved their own special HCS decal, complete with a CO mountain background.

Following is an outline of the special features found on California Specials and High Country Specials. For a more detailed explanation please select the HOW TO IDENTIFY link from the list on the left.

SUMMARY: 1968 GT/CS & HCS Mustang

  • Fiberglass trunk lid and quarter extensions
  • 1965 Thunderbird tail lights (non-sequential)
  • Pop-off gas cap
  • Fiberglass side scoops (non-functional)
  • Chrome quarter panel script (GT/CS only)
  • Unique body striping
  • Blacked out front grille with no chrome surround or running horse emblem
  • Fog lights (Marchal or Lucas depending on production date)
  • Quarter turn hood locks
  • Only available on coupes. No convertibles or fastbacks
  • Any regular Mustang engine, option or color available (with exception of options that conflicted with GT/CS package)
  • Built only at San Jose plant (all VIN's start with 8R01)
  • 3867 GT/CS cars produced (The Marti report total of 4118 includes the 251 HCS cars. Confirmed by Paul Newitt through Kevin Marti using Ford records)
  • 251 '68 HCS cars produced (confirmed by Bob Teets through Kevin Marti using Ford records. Previous promo literature states 250)
For more detailed info see the HOW TO IDENTIFY section.


Web page composition & design copyright 2000-2011 by Jonathan Hanna.
Additional HCS material provided by HCS Registrar Bob Teets.
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