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Your handy 1965–73 Ford Mustang buyers guide

The first-generation Mustang’s popularity is proof that Lee Iacocca’s concept of a pony car had the staying power to influence other manufacturers and countless car enthusiasts to this day. When was the last time you went to a car show and didn’t see a first-gen Mustang? Or what about a late-model car meet with later Mustangs clearly influenced by the original’s iconic styling?


Let’s get a high level overview at every year of the first generation’s production, highlighting special editions so you’ll know which Mustangs are best for you!


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Replies (9)

Replies (9)

These cars were designed to last 5 years?  Never 50, find someone who knows about these cars before buying, rust is the Achilles heel of all the "pony cars".


The sixes are overlooked and underrated, great, bullet proof cars at great prices.  The perfect starter collector car.

New Driver

What very few people knew, was that Ford used a single lever tilt column, unlike the GM 2 levers. This made for a much cleaner looking interior, especially when these columns were used in  street rods!

Intermediate Driver

 Driving a Boss 302 1970 was the best driving and handling muscle car that I have driven on the road and on the track I only wish the days of real muscle cars were back .
The real power to the road with no computer to run it just real pure power to the road.


A correction on the 1964.5 Indy Pace Car

Ford pulled about 35 Wimbledon White Mustang convertibles off the line for Indianapolis 500 duties, regardless of interior color. The interiors were blue, red, and black. All had white tops. 

The actual pace cars were powered by the 289 c.i. D-Code V-8, and were subsequently massaged by Holman and Moody. They were Wimbledon White with white interiors, and blue carpets and dash, red seat belts. One is known to have survived. 

The pace car coupes are another story. 

As a sales reward for Ford dealers selling the most Mustangs at launch, Ford instituted the Green Flag and Checkered Flag Awards. The winning dealers either received a special pace car coupe (Checkered Flag) or an option to buy one (Green Flag) to resell. Each one of the approximately 190 pace car coupes were identical - a coupe painted a special color (Pace Car White), white interiors, blue carpet and dash (like the actual pace cars), with a 260 c.i. V-8 and automatic. None were delivered with exterior mirrors installed. 

Most of these coupes were built in early April 1964, prior to the Mustang’s public unveil at the New York World’s Fair.


These pace car coupes can be identified by special grease pencil notes written on the front/passenger side of the radiator support. 

They remain one of the rarest Mustang special editions. 

New Driver

67 Shelby inner lights are high beam, not driving lights.  Tail lights are borrowed from Cougars without the metal trim.

Pit Crew

Hey everyone!  If you think the article is missing something very important, please post it here.  The mission was to keep this as short as possible while being comprehensive, which is not easy to do. If something really should be in here, please tell me. 


And of course, if I got my facts wrong, I do want to address those too. 

Community Manager

How can I share this great article to my friend that is a Mustang Geek. Facebook would be nice.


For the 1966 model year, the 5-gauge GT dashboard became standard in all models. That was a stylish upgrade compared to the Falcon speedometer in the 65 non-GT models. (Although I doubt any 200-CID six was gonna make it to 140mph.)