In 1965 Sonny & Cher burst upon the music scene with their number one debut single, “I Got You Babe.” Their debut album, "Look at us", rode the Billboard chart at number two for eight weeks at the end of 1965. Their enthusiasm and vitality embodied the growing youth culture, a phenomenon which Ford captured with its Mustang in 1964.
Ford blended the two by pulling two 1966 Mustang Convertibles with nearly consecutive serial numbers from the San Jose assembly line for Sonny & Cher, giving them to George Barris, the legendary "King of the Kustomizers", to personalize reflecting the on-stage personas of Sonny and Cher.
According to Barris TV and Movie Cars by George Barris with David Featherstone both Mustangs were factory-equipped with powertrains consisting of the proven 289 cubic inch "small-block" V8 engine, as well as a C-4 automatic transmission. Externally, both cars received radiused and flared wheel wells, dual simulated hood scoops, as well as flush-mounted and repositioned door handles. In addition, frontal styling was highly modified with twin openings as well as rectangular headlights. This theme was duplicated at the rear, with a pair of wide Ford Thunderbird taillights, foreshadowing their ultimate use on the 1967-1968 Shelby Mustangs. Meanwhile, both cars were fitted with unique Rader custom wheels, with Sonny's car using a five-spoke design, while Cher's wheels displayed an intricate, multi-spoked pattern.
Both cars received 40 coats of lacquer paint for the exterior finish, a Barris trademark, with Sonny's car sporting Murano Gold Pearl adorned by dark brown side panels, as well as an orange and gold fade-away treatment over the wheel wells and grille openings. Cher's Mustang features a hot pink pearl finish, blended with candy red, deep red side panels, and a matching fade-away treatment. The grille of Sonny's car features "egg crate" inserts. Cher's Mustang displays a cross-pattern grille design.
The interiors are even more flamboyant. Sonny's Mustang is upholstered with Bobcat fur and antique buff leather trimmed with rustic suede. Cher's car features white Ermine fur and black antique Scottish leather upholstery, trimmed in hot pink suede. In addition, both cars are fitted with opulent three-inch long Mouton fur carpeting, with Sonny's in gold, Cher's in hot pink.
It is hard to imagine anything more emblematic of Sixties flair and flash than the Sonny & Cher Mustangs. Today these famous Mustangs display very low mileage and have recently received cosmetic restorations to return them to their distinctive original 1966 configuration. They have been inspected by George Barris and he has enthusiastically endorsed their presentation.
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