Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1965 1966 Ford Mustang


1965 Mustang Options
"Rally Pack" gauges, a padded dash,  and sun visors were all extra-cost items,although Ford made the adjustable driver's seat standard.

Deciding on a powertrain was just the first step in personalizing a Mustang in its inaugural 1965 model year. Further down the long options list were power brakes ($42); power steering ($84); tinted windshield ($22); the same with tinted windows ($31); 14-inch whitewall or red-band tires (to replace 13-inch blackwalls); spinner wheel covers ($18 the set); and 14-inch wire-wheel covers ($46).

Minor items like backup lights and padded dash and sunvisors are common standard equipment now, but cost extra then. The priciest single option was air conditioning at $283 (but not available with the HP V-8). Also on the menu: a "Rally-Pac" tachometer and clock in a small pod atop the steering column ($69); deluxe steering wheel ($32); sports center console ($52); pushbutton AM radio with antenna ($59); rear-seat speaker ($12); a vinyl roof covering for the hardtop ($76); and power operation for the convertible top ($54).

Then there were option packages to grapple with: handling suspension (V-8s only, $31); Visibility Group (remote-control driver's-door mirror, day/night inside rearview mirror, two-speed electric wipers and windshield washers, $36); Accent Group (pin striping and rocker-panel moldings, $27); and Instrument Group (round speedometer and four smaller dials including oil-pressure gauge and ammeter, $109).

Added in September were Kelsey-Hayes front-disc brakes ($57 and well worth it), "Equa-Lock" limited-slip differential ($43), "spider-web" styled-steel wheels ($120), front bench seat ($24), and a $165 GT Group comprising the disc brakes, grille-mounted driving lights, special badges, and rocker-panel racing stripes like those on Ford's GT40 endurance racer. A bit later on came the Interior Décor Group, the so-called "pony interior" now highly coveted by collectors. This $107 package bundled the GT gauge cluster with woodgrain appliqués on dash and door panels, a simulated-wood-rim steering wheel, door courtesy lights, and -- the main attraction -- unique duo-tone vinyl upholstery with a herd of running horses embossed on the upper seatbacks.

For the "true" '65s, Ford added a standard adjustable front passenger seat, an alternator to replace the generator -- and the snazzy 2+2 coupe. Several names had been considered for the last, including GT Limited, Grand Sport, and even GTO. But 2+2 was apt, as the semi-fastback had even less rear passenger space than other Mustangs.

For the "true" '65s, Ford added a standard adjustable front passenger seat, an alternator to replace the generator -- and the snazzy 2+2 coupe. Several names had been considered for the last, including GT Limited, Grand Sport, and even GTO. But 2+2 was apt, as the semi-fastback had even less rear passenger space than other Mustangs.

The 2+2 semi-fastback coupe had single windows ahead of gill-like vents, a feature exclusie to that optional body style.

There was compensation, however, in greater utility via an optional rear seatback and trunk partition that could be dropped down to form a usefully long, flat load floor. The racy roofline incorporated gill-like air vents instead of windows in the rear quarters, part of a flow-through ventilation system. The 2+2 also stood apart by omitting the dummy-scoop rear fender trim, as did cars with pin striping and/or the GT package.

There was compensation, however, in greater utility via an optional rear seatback and trunk partition that could be dropped down to form a usefully long, flat load floor. The racy roofline incorporated gill-like air vents instead of windows in the rear quarters, part of a flow-through ventilation system. The 2+2 also stood apart by omitting the dummy-scoop rear fender trim, as did cars with pin striping and/or the GT package.

It all seemed a perfect match between car and customer. But as you'll see on the next page, the reviews were mixed from those paid to look beneath the shiny surface of a car.

For even more on the Ford Mustang of yesterday and today, check out the following articles:

  • Saddle up for the complete story of America's best-loved sporty car. How the Ford Mustang Works chronicles the legend from its inception in the early 1960s to today's all-new Mustang.
  • It was the right car at the right time, but the Mustang had to await the early 1960s, when a savvy Ford exec realized the Mustang's potential. Learn how Lee Iacocca brought his "better idea" to life in 1965 Ford Mustang Prototypes.
  • By 1967, the original ponycar was no longer the only one and had to fight for sales. 1967, 1968 Ford Mustang details the fresh "performance" look and go-power that made a million-seller even better.
  • The Ford Mustang is central to America's muscle car mania. Learn about some of the quickest Mustangs ever, along with profiles, photos, and specifications of more than 100 muscle cars

More to Explore