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

1965 Mustang Options

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