December 1, 2023

1964 1/2 Mustang – seen one? Of course as a Mustang enthusiast you would say sure, of course I have. Check the title work or VIN number? The truth is there never was a 64 1/2 Mustang. Every single one was branded as a 1965 Mustang but made on the Ford production line in 1964. The true identity of these rare ponies was an early 1965 Mustang. But you’re thinking what about the differences? You are very correct about that, there were differences in the “early 65 Mustang and the late 65 Mustang. But for title and registration purposes it was an 18 month production year.

If you want to tell the difference here’s how, the best and most sure way is to look at the original data plate in the door jam. The cars produced between March 9, 1964 and August 17, 1964 will have a letter C-H stamped on the date code.

Of course you are thinking (as a great Mustang Enthusiast) what about the leading edge of the hood, the interior carpet up to the door sills or the car has a generator not an alternator. You are right, those three items changed along with many others from “early to late”. But keep in mind that not everything changed at once. It was a progression that varied by what was changed and what plant the car was built in.

If you are walking through a car show with your significant other and you want to show off your skills then those are three simple items you can use. But, if you’re investing your hard earned money in your dream car, use the data plate and every other method you can find. With most parts widely available it is better safe than sorry.

The actual production of the Mustang began March 9th 1964 in Dearborn, Michigan. Just over a month later the first models go on sale on April 17th 1964. During the first months of production there was no fastback model. So, there never was an early 65 Mustang Fastback even though the first fastback rolled off the assembly line during the second week of August 1964. That’s when the late 65 Mustang began production.

During the early run of the Mustang the 170 ci in line 6 cylinder was the standard engine and the 260 V-8 was the only other engine choice. It wasn’t until the late 65’s emerged that we saw the 6 cylinder go to the 200 ci and the V-8 go to the well known 289.

Just a few months later on January 27th 1965 the first Shelby Mustang was introduced.