Typically, special Mustangs fall into the category of unique models, like a rare Boss 429 or a '67 convertible with every available option. But there are obviously other reasons for appreciating Mustangs. For Billy Biggs, the '66 GT fastback in his garage holds special meaning because it was once owned by his close friend and Mustang mentor, Albert Ellison.
"I walked past the '66 every time I went for a wrench or socket while working on my first Mustang in Albert's garage," Billy said. "It was under a cover, of course, but I always had to take a peek. I couldn't imagine owning a Mustang that nice."
Billy met Albert shortly after purchasing a '65 GT coupe while living in Greenville, South Carolina. While having the seats upholstered, Billy queried the shop owner about all things Mustangs. "I aggravated him until he finally gave me the name and number of a man who could answer any question I had about a '65 or '66 Mustang. He called him 'Mr. Mustang.'"
The person on the other end of the line was Albert Ellison, who told Billy to bring over his car for a look. "We started fixing things and ended up working on the Mustang for the better part of two years," Billy said. "I did not grow up around cars, so it was all a learning experience, and I loved it. I didn't know a coil from a fuel pump, but Albert did and he kept me from making mistakes. Our friendship grew stronger with every visit, even after I moved 90 miles away."
So, imagine Billy's surprise and elation when Albert called to see if he wanted to buy the '66 GT fastback, saying he wanted Billy to own it because he knew he would enjoy it, show it, and take care of it.
To Billy, the '66 is special because it was owned by Albert. But it's also special in other ways. Notably, it's a four-speed GT fastback in Candyapple Red with the rare Parchment Pony interior with black appointments (dashpad and carpet). It's also a low-mileage car, showing just 18,100 miles on the odometer. Originally purchased by a woman, the car was driven sparingly because she tired quickly of the manual transmission. In 1991, she traded it in at the Westminster, South Carolina, Ford dealership, whose owner had a friend who knew "Mr. Mustang" Albert Ellison. He called Albert to let him know about the low-mileage '66 on the dealer's used-car lot.
Although low-mileage, the 25-year-old Mustang was far from perfect, so Albert embarked on a 111/42-year, ground-up restoration, enlisting help from his son and a cousin who owns a body and paint shop. Upon completion in 1993, the GT immediately took Second Place in the Concours class at the Mustang Club of America's Grand Nationals. Since then, under both Albert's and Billy's ownerships, the Candyapple Red fastback has won numerous MCA Gold and local awards.
For Billy Biggs, who now calls Jacksonville, Florida, home, owning and showing the Mustang is his tribute to Albert Ellison, who passed away in 2002. Billy told us, "While the cars are what introduced us to each other, they became secondary to our friendship. What I learned about Mustangs can't compare to what I learned about the value of a true friend like Albert."