Perhaps one of the most celebrated classics of all time is the first-generation Mustang GT. While there are still plenty of these stunning vehicles cruising on the road and in used car markets, there are also many clones and fakes floating around.
If you’re in the market for a classic Mustang, such as the ‘66 Mustang GT, the last thing you want to do is invest in a replica. Fortunately, there are ways you can tell the difference between a genuine Mustang and a mere duplicate.
Here’s how you can tell the difference between a genuine first-generation GT Mustang and a counterfeit. We’ll also discuss the major differences between the 1965 and 1966 Ford Mustang GTs.
How Can I Tell If It’s a Real GT Mustang From the Exterior?
Even a convincing GT Mustang counterfeit will likely lack some of the distinct external nuances of the ‘65 or ‘66 Mustang GT. One of the most notable ways you can tell is its rear panel. The GT’s panel boasts two dual exhaust cutouts for its iconic trumpet tips. If you notice a supposed first-generation GT Mustang for sale that lacks this detail, it’s definitely not authentic.
Another critical indicator of a genuine Mustang GT is its GT rocker-panel stripes and GT badge. Further, you should note whether the car features the correct “MUSTANG” lettering just below the vehicle’s badge. Additionally, the car’s front fender will NOT have the standard Mustang emblems.
The car should also come with GT fog lights with horizontal bars. Underneath the hood, the GT should feature fog light wiring holes to power the grill-mounted lamps.
If you’re in the market for a ‘66 Mustang GT, you should expect this pony car to sport a GT gas cap. This subtle feature is on the 1966 Mustang but not the 1965.
Ford Mustang GT Mechanical Components and Undercarriage
While the car’s exterior can certainly give you clues on whether or not it’s authentic, you’ll want to check the GT’s mechanical components and undercarriage just to be sure.
If the vehicle features its original engine, it will most likely be a 289 cu in (4.7 L) small block V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, as this was the standard option for the GT equipment package.
Perhaps one of the best ways to ensure the car’s authenticity is its A code or K code within its VIN. The A or K code should be the 5th digit within the VIN.
Further, the car’s undercarriage will feature a dual exhaust hanger bracket and reinforcement to accommodate the exhaust components.
The classic GT should also feature a sway bar with a 13/16” diameter. The suspension includes heavy-duty shock absorbers as well as rigid front coils and rear springs. Its stopping power will be disc brakes with the brake line residing left of the exhaust bracket, and it will feature a large single master cylinder.
Ford Mustang GT Cabin and Trunk
Last but certainly not least is the GT’s notable interior and trunk. The cabin should feature a fog light switch, a disc brake pedal pad, and a GT exhaust hanger bolt mount. This mount will include a reinforcement plate just underneath the car’s rear seat, and the plate will feature one screw and two studs.
The GT’s trunk will feature a subtle but essential clue about whether or not the vehicle is authentic: It should feature a rear frame rail that serves to reinforce the car’s dual exhaust. It’s difficult for counterfeiters to emulate this detail, so this could be your ticket to spotting a fake.
1965 vs 1966 Mustang
If you’re in the market for a first-generation Mustang GT, you may wonder about the differences between the 1965 and the 1966. Let’s break down the dissimilarities:
- Color Differences: While the ‘65 and ‘66 Mustang GTs shared some colors (Arcadian Blue, Candy Apple Red, Ivy Green, etc.), each boasted their own unique factory colors. The 1965’s distinct colors included Caspian Blue, Champagne Beige, Dynasty Green, Honey Gold, Phoenician Yellow, Poppy Red, Prairie Bronze, Rangoon Red, Tropical Turquoise, and Twilight Turquoise. The 1966 had Antique Bronze, Emberglo, Nightmist Blue, Sahara Beige, Sauterne Gold, Signal Flare Red, and Tahoe Turquoise.
- Ornament: While the 1965 Mustang GT came with a single thick ornamental scoop, the 1966 featured a quarter ornament with three thin horizontal sweeps.
- Grille Changes: The 1965 and 1966 iterations feature slight grille differences. The 1965 featured a corral emblem and honeycomb grille with vertical and horizontal bars. The 1966 featured a horizontal grille bar rather than the honeycomb and dropped the vertical bars.
- Instrument Cluster: The 1965 Mustang utilized a rectangle instrument cluster derived from the Ford Falcon. The ‘66 Mustang GT featured a circular instrument cluster.
Get Classic Mustang Insurance Today
Whether you’re in the market for a 1965 Mustang GT Fastback, a 1966 Mustang GT Convertible, or another classic Mustang, the first step you should take after driving away with your beauty is to obtain classic Mustang insurance.
Here at Classic Auto Insurance, we create custom policies to suit the needs of our clients and their classic rides. We provide agreed-upon value coverage rather than stated value, meaning we’ll work with you to determine your Mustang’s worth. If you total the car, you’ll get the full mutually accepted amount after your deductible.
Our one-of-a-kind policies also include exceptional benefits for keeping your beauty on the road for as long as possible, like inflation guard, rollover miles, and nationwide roadside assistance with flatbed towing.
Learn more about how you can get optimal protection for your classic Mustang GT by calling our insurance experts at 888-901-1338 or contacting us for a free quote.