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Identifying 1965 And 1966 Factory GTs  
Identifying 1965 And 1966 Factory GTs

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Ford celebrated the first anniversary of the Mustang by introducing the GT Equipment Group on April 17, 1965. The first documented GT was built on 2/20/65. GT stands for the European abbreviation of “Gran Turismo” or “Grand Touring.” The 1965 Mustang GT equipment is a combination of Performance/Appearance package, and could only be ordered on 8-cylinder Mustangs.

Identifying 1965 And 1966 Factory GTs

Ford celebrated the first anniversary of the Mustang by introducing the GT Equipment Group on April 17, 1965. The first documented GT was built on 2/20/65. GT stands for the European abbreviation of “Gran Turismo” or “Grand Touring.” The 1965 Mustang GT equipment is a combination of Performance/Appearance package, and could only be ordered on 8-cylinder Mustangs.
  • Required A or K code engine with dual exhaust
  • 5-gauge instrumentation
  • Dual Exhaust with trumpeted tailpipes exiting through rear valance
  • Front disk brakes (non-powered) and DISK BRAKE identified on pedal pad
  • Heavy duty suspension -22/1 steering ratio, 13/16" sway bar, H/D springs and shocks
  • Fog lights mounted as part of the grill ornament
  • GT ornamentation badge on front fenders
  • MUSTANG chrome letters inside of a triple stripe on front fenders
  • Stripes from front wheel well to rear wheel well
  • Quarter panel ornaments deleted (coupe and convertible; fastbacks were not offered with quarter panel ornaments)
  • Mustang emblem and running horse are deleted from front fenders
  • Rear bumper guards were deleted from the vehicle due to trumpeted exhaust
  • Rocker panel moldings were not available with the GT package.
Tip #1: Due to the dual exhaust, the rear frame rails have an additional bracket between the inside rails where the rear exhaust hanger bolts go through the frame. The bracket can be felt (not seen) by inserting your finger into the alignment hole (for the trunk floors) in the rear of the frame rail and bending it toward the rear of the vehicle. Also, the rear brake hose is located on the upper portion of the floor pan, about halfway between the frame rail and the driveshaft tunnel, instead of being located near the upper portion of the driveshaft tunnel. Not all cars equipped with dual exhaust were GT’s; however, all GT’s had dual exhaust pipes which exited through the rear valance with the chrome exhaust tips, and the rear valance did not have holes for the rear bumper guards.

Tip #2: The Interior Decor Group (Pony) was introduced at the same time as the GT Equipment Group and could be ordered as an option. This included luxury trim, woodgrain appliquй, ornamentation and deluxe steering wheel, 5-gauge instrument cluster, courtesy door lights, padded visors and chrome trim around the pedals. Not all GT equipped Mustangs had Pony interiors, nor were all Interior Decor Group vehicles GT’s.

Tip #3: Not all cars with the A or K code engines were GT’s. In fact, only about 4% were original factory GT’s.

Tip #4: The quicker ratio steering box that was used on GT’s will have a code of either “HCC AX” or “HCC AW”. The tag is easily visible bolted to the top of the steering gear box. These codes do not guarantee that the car is a factory GT because you could order the quicker ratio apart from the GT in the special handling package. However, a code of HCC AT for the slower gear ratio of 27:1 means that unless the box has been incorrectly changed out, the car could not have been an authentic factory GT.

Tip #5: All 1965 and 1966 GT’s were factory equipped with front disc brakes. The disc brake master cylinder will have a master cylinder cap that clips on, while drum brake master cylinders have a screw-on cap. Disc brake master cylinders are approximately twice the diameter of a drum brake master cylinder.

Tip #6: Only 1965 GT’s came factory equipped with a bright hood lip molding. All 1966 Mustangs were equipped with this molding.

Tip #7: All GT’s were equipped with fog lights. The factory switch to turn them on was located on the underside of the dash, just inside the driver’s side door. When the switch is flipped on, both the fog lights and the rear tail lights light up. Non-factory GT’s with the fog lights added typically are not wired for the tail lights to illuminate when the fog lights are turned on.

Tip #8: The earliest documented GT was built on 2/20/65. If a Mustang was built much before that date, it is unlikely to be a factory GT. Go to the Mustang’s door data tag and look at the build date. If you are unfamiliar with build date codes, check out the date code article on our website. If the door data tag is missing, write down the VIN number that is found on the left front fender apron. Jim Smart & Jim Haskell’s book, In Search of Mustangs provides build date data that will allow you to determine within a few days as to when the Mustang was produced. Certainly close enough to determine if the Mustang could have been a factory GT.

Tip #9: The glove box door on both 1965 and 1966 GT’s is flat and carries the mustache at this upper edges.

Tip #10: 1965 GT’s came with a standard gas cap while all 1966 GT’s came with a gas cap with the letters “GT” on them.

Tip #11: GT’s were not available with bright rocker panel moldings.

Tip #12: GT’s were not available with quarter panel ornaments, which on non-GT’s were located in the sculptured area behind the front doors and on the quarter panel.

Tip #13: On 1965 GT’s the back side of each fog light is secured by a nut. In 1966, lights were secured by a stud screwed into a housing, which is also how the reproduction lights are built today.

  1. Special Handling Package
    a. Increased rate front and rear springs
    b. Larger front and rear shock absorbers
    c. Quicker steering ratio of 22:1
    d. Larger diameter front stabilizer bar

  2. Front disc brakes

  3. Fog lamps and grill bar

  4. The quicker ratio steering box that was used on GT's will have a code of either HCC-AX or HCC-AW. (HCC-AW is a power steering box.)

  5. Five gauge instrument cluster in 1965; standard on all Mustangs in 1966

  6. Dual exhaust with chrome trumpets through the rear valance

  7. A must option of either the A-code (225 HP Challenger 289 4V) or the K-code (271 HP High Performance 289 4V) engine

  8. Standard gas cap in 1965 and GT gas cap in 1966
Ford dealers sold the fog lights, GT badges, deluxe steering wheels, letters and stripe kits as separate dealer installed options and these could be added to any Mustang.

The best way for a hobbyist to identify a “true” factory GT is to find the original Broadcast Sheet or Buck Tag and look for a P10 option (1965/66).

We at K.A.R. hope you find this information helpful when attempting to identify true 1965 and 1966 factory GT Mustangs. Remember, there is nothing wrong or dishonest about adding GT accessories to a Mustang if the owner likes the appearance. These accessories were readily available from Ford Motor Company in the 1960’s. In fact, Ford ran print ads showing the GT accessories, which stated “GT-ize your Mustang.” What is wrong and dishonest is to represent a 1965 or 1966 Mustang as a factory GT when it is not. There is a large value difference in the marketplace between a factory GT and a “want to be GT.” At K.A.R. we regularly sell factory GT Mustangs for $5,000 to $7,500 over the non-factory GT’s. Obviously, you do not want to pay this premium for a true factory GT and not receive what you paid for.

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