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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

1965-66 Ford Mustang buyers guide | Hagerty Media

If one car embodies 1960s Americana, it's the 1965-66 Mustang. The compact dimensions, smart styling, affordable asking price, and plethora of options spread across three body styles means that there's an iteration of the original pony car to suit your fancy, no matter your budget or background.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/1965-66-ford-mustang-buyers-guide/
26 REPLIES 26
retro-tech
Pit Crew

All Mustang automatics used the C4. The Cruise-O-Matic was never used in the Mustang.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Actually in the early days of the C4 and C6, Ford did call them Cruise-o-Matics....I’ve even seen boxes containing rebuild parts stamped C4 Cruise-o-Matic.
hjoh3118
New Driver

I just walked out and looked at my 65 convertible, that was built in September of 1964, and found that the shifter in the car, the option list on the original sticker, and the owners manual all call the automatic transmission a Cruise-O-Matic. Could they All be wrong...
cdkrek
Intermediate Driver

I thought there were no Marti reports prior to 1967 due to Ford destroying build records.
DPayne
New Driver

You are correct. I hope they correct that glaring error. I am so tired of being told I need a Marti for my 65,
Sajeev
Community Manager

@cdkrek and @DPayne You are right and sorry about that, I have adjusted that part to route would be buyers to a concourse Mustang restoration forum if they find something truly unique that could use an expert's touch. 

DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

Owning a 1966 2+2 270 hp top loader 4 speed since 1975 and just completing a complete resto on it in 2019 I feel I know these as well as any car made. These cars are super simple, most car guys can work on them. They do have quirks....Mine is suffering from a tail light/turn signal issue that is hard to hunt down due to the wiring stuffed into the column and under dash.....hard for a 'older' guy to find and fix. The big issue with the 64-66 Mustang is there are so many of them. A good thing when it comes to parts....there are only 2 parts I know of that are not reproduced. But you do not really stand out at car shows!
https://media.fotki.com/2v2HeEMDPxJcANd.jpg
JeffH13
New Driver

My tail light issue was caused by the tabs in the light bucket resting on each other which meant I never got tail, only the brake light. Pried them apart and shaved a bit off of one and it's still working.

cdkrek
Intermediate Driver

My 66 had turn signal issues. Wiring and grounds were good. I just needed to clean the contacts at the flasher to get hyphen working again. Contacts can get a little crusty after more than 50years. Don’t know if it will work for you. It it worked for me.
Jc10651
New Driver

As I remember from the 60’s originally the gas cap didn’t have the metal cable which attaches the gas cap to the car. Was this change made with the “65” models or mid production of “64”? Anyone know?
SFM5
Pit Crew

I had a '66 GT Fastback that I restored and it had the original GT gas cap with cable. The car is long gone, but I still have the original GT gas cap in my garage. Not 100% sure exactly when the cable system was introduced though.
GeeKay
Pit Crew

Having owned a 65 Fastback and a 67 Fastback Mustang. I was conscious of rust.....being that I live in Michigan. I inspected both cars as thoroughly as possible and still found spots later when I was doing essentially a body on restoration. One spot that is hard to see sometimes especially on fast backs is under the rear window corners where water I suppose pools on the trim and can drain into trunk area. It can be hard to spot. Just one tidbit I thought I would pass along. And, as stated, plenty of repo parts available and pretty easy to work on.
MichiganAIS
New Driver

Checking cowl tanks and top hats for leaking and rust damage is a must on these early Mustangs as well. In addition to physically checking this area for rust, pour some water into the cowl vent and make sure the interior stays dry.
Sajeev
Community Manager

That's a good point, I will include cowl vent to the places to check, since that's something specific to look when inspection the cowl (and windshield)

BULLITT65
Pit Crew

its too bad Hagerty doesn't have a 65-66 Mustang enthusiast write these columns with the correct info. It seems to be bit of a dis-service to your clients not to present the info correctly. I appreciate the effort, but similar to your 1st gen Camaro buyers guide, Hagerty seems to use their in house crew to do these presentations, when there are knowledgable people available. Hagerty why don't you just pay a 65-66 Mustang expert to edit your stories? or fact check them. This would help potential buyers
Sajeev
Community Manager

@BULLITT65 thank you for your feedback. In the interest of improving this article, what factual issues can we address?  I enjoy taking people's feedback and updating the article and I will take your advice to heart and send this over to a couple of Mustang experts here at Hagerty. 

BULLITT65
Pit Crew

Well I could make a list I suppose, but what is the point since you already published the article. If there are "Mustang experts" at Hagerty, why aren't they editing the article prior to it going out?  The video was ok, doesn't really point out trouble spots to look for though, and value associated with originality, and previous improper restorations, or mods to the body.

 I do consulting for 1st gen Camaros, and 64.5-66 Mustangs, among others. I do not know the credentials of who wrote the article or oversaw it. Most of the stuff I see Hagerty put out with its own owners, is stuff on the MG, the Corvair, or a 70/80's  BMW. I assume they cover these cars because they own, and know them.  It looks like there aren't any in house editors that currently own and know 1st gen mustangs, or 1st gen Camaros, based on the articles Hagerty has put out. Just because a guy owned one at point does not make him qualified to write about them IMO.  If I were to write an article it would be based on my knowledge of restoring and preserving them over the last 25 years. This most recent article looks like you read about mustangs off of a couple of different sites on the internet and then put an article together. I can write about pregnancy and having a baby from what I read on the internet, but it is going to come across different and be more factual if a mother wrote it. I look forward to hearing back on this. Thank you

Sajeev
Community Manager

@BULLITT65 To be perfectly honest, since this is my article: I am a Fox Mustang fan, so yes that implies I am a bit too young to know all the details of the original Mustangs first hand. I emailed some experts internally and they gave me some details that I will address in the next 2-3 hours. 

 

Some background info: Since these Buyer's Guides are a weekly affair (We have a new video every Sunday) it's impossible to get them vetted by multiple people in the company in a timely manner. This is why we have these conversations here: this isn't a print magazine, we publish a lot of articles and fix mistakes on the fly. I can, and have already, made edits to the article. (I have no input on the video.)

 

So if you make a list of flaws/issues, post them here, I will verify them: Either internally or via books like the Standard Catalog of American Cars. I'll try to squeeze any new info into our (approximate) word count limit.  
 

 

BULLITT65
Pit Crew

thank you for the response. I think you *may be more qualified to write about the Fox body Mustangs, and really do that topic justice. I am confused why Hagerty would not have their in house "experts" put together an article on the 64.5-66 Mustang. If the 65-66 Mustang are the 2 most popular cars in America based on your quotes, then wouldn't it seem to make sense for them to use their best resources when putting together such an article? I see you corrected about the transmissions and the Marti report, which is a good *start, but at this point we all giving you corrections to make to an article which Hagerty should have gotten right to begin with. I apologize if they dropped this task at your feet, and told you to run with it. Mustang and Camaro guys can be fanatics about correctness and facts. I would suggest reading about the engine codes for the 64.5 cars, you may realize the 4v "D" code is very similar to the 4v"A" code of 65 and not "new", in addition you may want to let readers know the early cars had generators, and when the codes changed the motors all had alternators. The comments about chrome trim for 66 has so many errors, I can not sum it up easily for you to make a quick correction. Good luck on future articles or buyers guides.
Sajeev
Community Manager

@retro-tech as @Geok86 also mentioned, Ford called them Cruise-O-Matic trans and here it is taken directly from the 1965 Mustang sales brochure. But I am gonna remove that whole C4/Cruise-O-Matic sentence as (in hindsight) it's misleading. 

Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 9.54.19 AM.png

retro-tech
Pit Crew

Probably best to remove the section. The Crusie-O-Matic was a follow on to the Ford-O-Matic in 1958 and as you point out the name got rehashed in Ford marketing. The point being regardless of Ford marketing names, the Mustangs came with C4 automatics, "C4" being the colloquial term for the small block automatic transmission designed in 1964 (Ford part number system "C" decade of 1960, "4" being the specific year)

Sajeev
Community Manager

Agreed, this was a "learn something new every day" moment for me and I am happier now that this line is gone. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Thank you for your feedback, I sincerely appreciate it.  

 

Regarding D vs A code, the newer A does have a little more compression (0.2) and 5 more ponies. I really think that's enough to refer to it as new. Unless the Standard Catalog of American Cars is flat out wrong in their specs, we are probably gonna have to agree to disagree on that.

 

Regarding generator/alternators, yeah, that's a great point that only takes a few words to add. So I just did.  Thank you for that. 

UnclePhil
New Driver

One very minor - but missing here - change in the '66 model year. '65 six cylinder models had four bolt 13 in. wheels. '66 six cylinder models had four bolt 14 in wheels. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Thanks for bringing that up!  I will add that to the 1966 section for six cylinder Mustangs (that the base wheel went from 13 to 14 inch).  

hjoh3118
New Driver

My 1965 convertible was made in October of 1964 and has the "A" code 4V carbera engine. Is it considered one of the 121,538 Mustangs that were made in 1964? I have the original window sticker with it and the sticker price on it was around $3317.00 (I don't have the window sticker in front of me now so I might be a few dollars off). It doesn't have AC, but is equipped with spinner hubcaps, power steering, an automatic transmission, 2 speed wipers, back up lights, etc, and has an older vintage burgundy paint job which is the color it was originally. I drive it a lot and have had the 289 bored .040 over and added dual exhaust. It sounds great, is a good 20 footer, and still turns heads. I just retired and plan to do a little more work on it now that I will have more time on my hands. I plan to continue driving it and enjoying it though. I have friends who have tied up so much money in the paint on their mustang that they are afraid to drive them. I don't want this for mine.