Differences between First Generation Mustangs (’64 1/2 – ’68)

To an untrained eye, classic Ford Mustangs from the mid to late 1960s may not appear to have many differences distinguishing them from one another. Upon closer inspection, there are a few factors that make it easy to quickly identify the model year.

Ford Mustang History

The very fist production mustang was officially called a 1964 1/2, because it was produced halfway through the production year. You can tell a 1964 mustang from the 1965 mustang because of some small differences;

Differences between ’64 1/2 and ’65:

  1. The headlight extensions on a 1964 1/2 had a beveled edge, which was eliminated for the 1965 year.

  2. The lettering on the hood that says “MUSTANG” was a little shorter, 4 3/8″ instead of 5″ on the ’65’s.

The difference between a ’65 and a ’66 is a little easier to distinguish.

  1. The grille on a ’65 will have vertical bars, and the ’66 grille will not have them (except GTs).

  2. The side scoops on the ’65 have have a single scoop, while the ’66 has 3 horizontal trim pieces along the scoop.

  3. Stock hubcaps were also different for both years.

The ’66 and the ’67 is easier yet to tell apart.

  1. The body of the ’67 mustang is an inch and a half wider and two inched longer than the ’66. The hood, grille, bumpers, and taillights are all different on the ’67.

A ’67 and a ’68 have a lot in common, but you can tell the difference because of two very obvious difference. The ’67 has two plastic inserts in the side scoops, and the ’68 eliminated them both.

And, the ’68 mustang has rear and front fender reflectors that were a part of the body of the car.

These are the main differences between the early classic Mustangs. Do you know of any other differences?

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  • Steven Bartlett 5 years ago

    interior door handles on the 68 flop down/67’s had a long handle and the high low beam indicator(in 68) is an illuminated pony.the 68 had a full (large) corral in the grille around the pony and ring. the 67 was a straight bar thru the grille with a pony and ring / 67 had “FORD” on the front hood lip / 68 had nothing for letters on the front hood lip.

  • Chris Rackley 5 years ago

    This is a very slim and general list of the differences and is missing lots!

  • Chris Rackley 5 years ago

    641/2 also had 289 “D” code four barrel, plus K code 289 hipo.

  • Ron Taylor 5 years ago

    the other difference between the 64 and 1/2 is the engines in 641/2 were mostly 6 cyl option was a 260 or a 260 hi performance only the 65 had a new 289 as option with the others.

  • Michael Meckley 5 years ago

    I know that the 64 1/2 most had a” 200″ 6 cly and they had 4 lug wheels do to the low HP in “65” had 289 and 3 HP ranges the Shelby being the hi est and 5 lug an 411 pos rear-end the dash in the “65” an “64” was out of the fairlane the “64”s used the falcon floor an uni-frame in “65” they made them heavier to support the biger “289”s and they had the inner fender support bars form the firewall to behind the shock mount.

  • Stephen Richardson 5 years ago

    Original Mustangs had Generators not alternators.

  • David Gardner 5 years ago

    1969 Mustangs were the first and only dual headlight for almost a decade.

  • David Gardner 5 years ago

    Most 64 1/2 did not have trim on the quarter panel, Dash gauges were different between 65 and 66 , and 66 had option arm rest in the back with ash tray.and a Horsey Horn.

  • Eric Galceran 5 years ago

    There are plenty more differences than that

  • Skip Tilley 5 years ago

    I had a 65 2+2 and while it had the horizontal bars it did not have fog lites at the ends of them like a GT.

  • Brent Tyler 5 years ago

    68 had a terrible pad in the center of steering wheel for “safety”…most 68 ford’s had them, lasted just that year?

  • Joe Copenhaver 5 years ago

    yep, I have known this for many years, early generators, road tubes, 260s, seat belts.. I have a 70 Mach 1 I have owned since 1980.

  • Mike Zinneman 5 years ago

    also 64nhlf was wider n longer then 65.

  • Gena M Mortimer-Aderton 5 years ago

    64 1/2 passengers seat is not moveable, bolted to floor board.

  • Rich Whelan 5 years ago

    anothe difference from 64 1/2 to 65 is 13″ in 64 1/2 to 65. I restored one. yes I can.

  • Steve Amerson 5 years ago

    the 64 1/2 did not have backup lights.

  • El Mas Chingon Lxs 5 years ago

    67s had a body change (obviously), but all I know is that 68’s had the rear reflector on the rear fender panel whereas the 67s didn’t. 🙂

  • El Mas Chingon Lxs 5 years ago

    Ooooh yeah!!! 64 1/2 Mustangs had different window crank handles, 64-65s had a sweep dash whereas the 66s had the three “gauge pods”, 64/65 hubcaps were different (66 hubcaps had a “star” look to them), 64/65s’ side fender had a chrome strip in front of the rear tire whereas the 66s had two chrome “strips” that extended forward, 66s had reverse lights (I *think* it may have been an option for ’65, don’t remember), 64/65 front grill had the chrome slats/arms that extended outward from the corral and pony whereas the 66s had a “floating” corral and pony (exception to 66s were ones that had the “GT” upgrade option), 64/65s had a black shiny gas cap with a pony in the center whereas the 66s had a plain solid chrome gas cap! That’s about all that I can remember at the moment…..I know there’s more that I’m missing but can’t recall 🙁 Then again, it’s been a good 10 years or so that I haven’t been in the 64-66 Mustangs scene 🙁 I’m pretty sure there was a difference in the interiors as well! lol 😀

  • Keith Terry 5 years ago

    yeah i can tell the differences

  • Carter Custom Rides 5 years ago

    No doubt about it!!

  • Austin Cohen 5 years ago

    are there more articles like this about the first generation mustangs? possibly with more detail?

  • Jeff Davis 5 years ago

    260 v-8 and 170 6cyl. were only available before 1966.

  • Larry Lorenzo Alvarez 5 years ago

    Yup.

  • William Nagy 5 years ago

    Sure can…

  • Pat Prince 5 years ago

    pretty much i can

  • Tyler Bailey 5 years ago

    i can!

  • Classic Nation 5 years ago

    Can you tell the difference between early model Mustangs?