Jim Smart
October 1, 2002
Contributers: Jim Haskell

Likely, one of the best parts of "In Search of Mustangs" is the odd-ball finds. In our 23-year history, we've found a lot of them. Because most of us are die-hard Mustang enthusiasts, we're stunned whenever we find something out of the norm, like factory screw-ups. For some reason, we tend to think Mustangs were extraordinary, beyond the kind of assembly-line errors that plagued other carlines. But when you get right down to facts, Mustangs were rebodied Falcons. What's more, they were mass-produced, with 75 units an hour rolling off the line when demand was greatest in 1964. You can count on factory errors at a pace like that.

This month, we're going to focus on some factory screw-ups. Take 5F09C744671 for example. This '65 Mustang fastback's warranty plate was installed upside down. It was installed at the Dearborn, Michigan, assembly plant this way. How did this escape notice as the car made its way through quality control? This story goes hand-in-hand with the misstamped warranty plates and inner fenders discussed last month. Although 5F09C744671 is listed in the Mustang Production Guide, we have no idea who owns the car today.

Another interesting story involves 6T09K100002, a Nightmist Blue '66 K-GT fastback last seen in Billings, Montana, in 1986. When we inspected this fastback a long time ago, it was undergoing a full-scale restoration by Art Mulkey in Billings. What interested us most was the '65 vehicle identification number stamped in the inner fender. The number reads "5T09K100002," although it's very hard to make out. Looks like someone at the Metuchen, New Jersey, plant overlooked the model year change. If anyone knows where 6T09K100002 is, we'd like to hear from you.

Many years ago, we removed the vinyl top from a San Jose, California-built '67 Mustang hardtop. Beneath the worn vinyl was the name "Earl" spelled out in Vintage Burgundy over gray primer. Wonder where Earl is today.

Another tale concerns a Dearborn-built '68 Mustang fast-back-8F02C137421-that was stripped for parts in Western Oklahoma 22 years ago. We found a pile of sunvisor pins under the carpet. All were intact, rust-free, and useable. This explains the huge lump in the carpet for years.

We're interested in your Mustang oddities. Please drop us a line at In Search of Mustangs, c/o Mustang Monthly magazine, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619, or e-mail us at Jim.Smart@sorc.com.