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One of the Rarest 1966 Ford Mustangs Ever Built
K GT T5: Though just a bunch of letters and a number, it’s what best describes one of the rarest 1966 Mustangs ever built
Of all vintage Mustangs produced, a 1965 or 1966 convertible is certainly a quintessential variation. In fact, for most people who have a less than fervent interest in classic Mustangs, a 1965-1966 convertible is often the first type to come to mind when asked what sort of early Mustang he or she would like to own. But Chris Wold isn’t just an average Mustang fan, and one look at the car shown here along with its list of attributes makes it easy to see why this is possibly the most unique 1966 you will ever see.
A number of factors make this so and we’ll start with the most obvious of all that it’s a convertible and break it down from there. A beautifully restored 60,000-mile, Wimbledon White ragtop is a timeless piece in its own right. Add to that this car being a GT makes it even better. From there, factor in our favorite part of the car: it’s equipped with a Hi-Po 289 engine, a four-speed trans, and the requisite 3.50:1-geared 9-inch rearend—K-code 1965s and 1966s being the only Mustangs so-equipped from the factory.
So OK, this car is an original 1966 GT K-code convertible, which makes one of the ultimate vintage Mustangs, right? But wait, it’s not really identified as a Mustang. Say what? Yep, that’s right, this car is technically not a Mustang in terms of actual labeling, but rather a T5 instead, which makes Chris’ K-code convertible an extremely rare and unusual Mustang of any type—one of reportedly only two known to exist.
What on earth is a T5? The website www.fordt5.com has done all of the research for us, so we’ll just let them break it down here: “The long awaited new car from Ford, the Mustang was introduced with much fanfare to the public in April 1964. The car featured innovative styling and was offered with several choices of engines, transmissions, and options. The Mustang proved to be an instant success, selling over 400,000 units the first year. But early in the production cycle Ford encountered a problem while trying to export Mustangs to Germany in the usual manner used with export vehicles. Ford solved this marketing dilemma the easiest way possible, by simply changing the name of all Mustangs exported to Germany to the Ford T5.
“The European market for Americans cars in the ’50s and ’60s was steady, but relatively low in numbers. Few American cars were sold to Europeans due to the high cost of fuel and difficulty in getting parts. They were, however, considered by the European elite to be prestigious imported cars, and convertibles were especially popular due to their weatherproof tops, powerful engines, and high-output heaters. Most American cars in Europe were sold to American service personnel who were able to purchase new American cars via the military PX system and could buy fuel at greatly reduced cost at on-base stations. When the tour of duty was completed the cars were shipped home, compliments of Uncle Sam.
“Sometime in the early ’50s a German truck manufacturer, Krupp, introduced a large general purpose truck and named it the Mustang. They were issued German copyrights to the name Mustang and continued to build this truck for many years. This truck was built in several configurations, including a dump truck and a fire engine. This then was the situation with the name Mustang that Ford faced when they tried to sell its successful Pony Car in Germany. Rather than simply buying the name from Krupp for a reported $10,000, they chose instead to change the name of all Mustangs exported to Germany to Ford T5s. T5 has no specific meaning but it was an original project name for the Mustang in the early ’60s.
“In the early 1965-1966 models, several modifications were incorporated to change the car from a Mustang to a T5. The 1965s received modified hubcaps with a plain black center; both model years had the word Mustang removed from the horn ring and a few other minor changes. The Mustang Pony Interior package included a wood steering wheel. In most cases Ford T5s with Pony Interiors received the standard steering wheel with the word Mustang deleted. Ford did design new emblems for the front fender to designate the cars as T5s. These emblems (PN C5ZZ-6325622A) are about 3/4-inch high and 4 inches long. They were also fitted with the export brace later used in the G.T. 350s. The changes in later years were less, often only replacing the Mustang emblems with a newly designed T5 emblem (PN C7ZZ-16098C) that was similar to the early GT emblems with T5 centered vertically. These emblems were used on all T5s until December 1979.
“Some but not all 1967 models and all 1968 models received a special dash bezel above the glovebox with the T5 designation on it. In 1971 a new dash emblem (PN D1ZZ-6504460-A) was used in the center of the dash above the radio and heater controls. The Ford T5 IIs also received a special dash emblem (PN D4ZZ-6904460-A). All Ford T5 parts have been obsolete for many years and are not available from Ford. In most cases these changes were done with predictability and consistency. However, due to production oversights and perhaps lack of attention by selling dealers, variations have been noted. Mustangs or T5s were one of the most popular American cars with German nationals, although the exact numbers are not known, many were sold directly to Germans and remained in Germany. The Krupp copyrights to the name Mustang expired in December 1979 and all Mustangs exported to Germany after that date were called Mustangs.”
So there you have it. A T5 is German-export Mustang and as you can see in the accompanying sidebars, they are a scarce variation that isn’t seen very often. Factor in added features like convertible body styles and high-performance engines like K-code 289s or 428 Cobra Jets, and you can easily see how Chris’ car is likely the only one like it you will come across. We’ve certainly never seen one before and furthermore never knew one like it existed at all, until now.
Other Rare and Super Rare T5s
Chris Wold’s K-code T5 convertible is a rare car for sure. But we know of a couple of other T5s that are rare and super rare, such as the two shown on here.
The author owned the pictured 289-powered 1967 T5 fastback a few years ago and while it’s a fairly basic car, it is one of only 154 made as evident by the Marti Report (shown) and Ford T5 production numbers. It’s also a factory four-speed car.
Much more unusual—on par with Chris’ car—is the 1970 T5 depicted in a copy of its window sticker. Check this one out: It’s a bookend to our featured 1966 being it’s a white convertible. It’s also an R-code 428 Cobra Jet car and also had a four-speed. Which would you choose? 1966? 1970? That’s an easy choice—we’ll take both!
Ford T5 Production Numbers
Thanks to Marti Auto Works (www.martiauto.com) most any information can be gleaned on any Mustang produced from 1967-on. It’s a bummer none of this supercool info is available for 1965-1966s, but if you extrapolate from the 1967-1973 numbers provided on www.fordt5.com you can see that any vintage “Mustang” T5 is a rare car to be sure.