1965 Mustang

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible


The Ford Mustang debuted on April 16, 1964 as a 1965 model. These early Mustangs are sometimes referred to as 1964 ½ models, or early 1965 models.

Only the coupe and convertible models were initially available, with the fastback coming in September 1964. Also available in September 1964 was the GT version which included upgraded brakes and suspension, dual exhausts, and grill-mounted fog lamps.

Early 1965 Mustangs had a generator instead of an alternator. The warning light on the dash will be marked "GEN" or "ALT" respectively.

The Mustang originally came standard with a 170 cubic inch inline six rated at 105 horsepower, with a 260 cu in V-8 (164 hp), a 289 cu in V-8 (210 hp), and a "K-code" high performance 289 rated at 271 hp and 312 ft-lbs of torque as options. In September 1964, a 200 cid inline six with 120 hp replaced the smaller six, a two- barrel 289 (200 hp) replaced the 260, and the 289 four-barrel was improved to 225 hp and 305 ft-lbs of torque.

Over 680,000 1965 Mustangs were produced.

1965 Shelby Mustang

A streetable race version of the Mustang was produced by Carroll Shelby and called the GT-350. It included improved suspension, a fiberglass hood with functioning hood scoop, the removal of the rear seat, and a modified 289 hi-po engine rated at 306 horsepower.

All 1965 GT-350's were white with dual blue racing stripes running from the hood to the trunk. A full race version, the GT-350R, was also available.

The ‘65 GT-350 had louvers on the rear sail panel (C-pillar).

1965 Mustang Key Differences

The honeycomb grill was unique to '65 Mustangs. The rear quarter panel side trim was also unique for 1965. The horizontal chrome bars in the grill were not used in 1966, but did return in 1967 when the Mustang was redesigned.

Similar Years

The First Generation of Mustangs were produced from April 1964 to 1973, but only 1965 to 1966 Mustangs had the first version body style. Though 1967-68 Mustangs look somewhat similar, the bodies are completely different.

How to Identify a 1965 Mustang


  • First version of the First Generation Mustang (1965-1966)
  • Coupe body style shown
  • The 1965 Mustang was available in coupe, convertible, and fastback forms (1965 - 1973)
  • Coupe has a smaller, more vertical rear window, and no C-pillar louvers (1965 - 1973)

1965 Mustang Convertible

  • Convertible Mustangs came with a manual soft top with a plastic rear window (1965-66)

1965 Mustang Fastback

  • The large "fastback" rear window was more horizontal than that of the coupe (1965-73)
  • C-pillars (behind the door windows) had louvers (1965 - 1968)

1965 Mustang Grill

  • The grill had a chromed horizontal and vertical bars running through its center, with a large horse emblem in the middle (1965)

1965 Mustang Grill Horse Emblem

  • The now-famous running horse emblem made its debut on the first Mustang (1965)
  • The chromed horse emblem was surrounded by a rectangular "corral" (1965 - 1968)

1965 Mustang Grill Mesh

  • The grill on the '65 Mustang was a fine honeycomb mesh (1965)

1965 Mustang Side

  • Mustangs had a side panel indentation that ran from the front fenders to the rear fenders (1965-68)

1965 Mustang Side Panel Trim

  • The chromed trim was used at the rear end of the side panel indentation changed each year (1965)

1965 Mustang Gas Cap

  • The gas cap design was unique to this year (1965)

1965 Mustang Rear Louvers

  • On the fastback, non-functional louvers were set into the C-pillars (1965 - 1968)

1965 Mustang Hood

  • Along the forward edge of the hood, "FORD" is spelled out in separate chrome letters (1965-68)

1965 Mustang Fender Emblem

  • Mustang emblems were mounted on each front fender behind the wheels (1965-73)
  • This specific style of emblem lasted only two years (1965-66)

1965 Mustang 289 Emblem

  • Cars equipped with the regular 2-barrel or 4-barrel 289 cubic inch V-8 engine bore this emblem (1965-66)

1965 Mustang High Performance 289 Emblem

  • This emblem was used for the 271 horsepower HiPo 289 engine (1965 - 1966)

1965 Mustang Taillight

  • Each taillight had three vertical sections (1963 - 1967)

1965 Mustang Back Up Light

  • Round back-up lights were mounted under the bumper (1965 - 1970)
  • Back-up lights were optional for this year only, so not all '65 Mustangs will have them (1965)

1965 Mustang Headlight

  • Mustangs had a single headlight on each side, mounted outside of the grill (1965 - 1968)
  • GT Mustangs additionally had smaller driving lights set into the grill (1965 - 1968)

1965 Mustang Interior

  • The Mustang came standard with front bucket seats, but a bench seat was available (1965-69)
  • The standard dash was basically the same as the Ford Falcon (1965)

1965 Mustang Pony Interior

  • The optional "Interior Decor Group", or Pony Interior, had upgraded seat coverings and a five-gauge dash (1965-66)

1965 Mustang Wheel

  • Optional styled steel wheels were available for 1965 (1965-67)

More 1965 Mustang Pictures

For more photos of vintage 1965 Mustangs, visit the First Generation Mustang Gallery at the Muscle Car Jungle.

If you have any comments, or would like to report any errors or omissions, contact us at feedback@oldcarsguide.com

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