Vintage Mustang Badge
Jim Smart
January 14, 2016

Few things crawl up our backs worse than badly installed body emblems or tasteless modifications of existing Mustang body emblems: GT stripes on a non-GT car; the pony and tri-bar located behind “MUSTANG” on the front fenders, typically by a body shop that didn’t know Mustangs; crooked and poorly installed letters installed in a deep state of intoxication. The list goes on.

When you have fresh sheet metal where emblems have never been installed or mounting holes were carelessly filled in by a body shop, you need a good reference panel with factory-drilled holes. But be careful. When you find a reference fender, hood, or deck lid on which to make your drilling template, make sure it’s a factory original piece and not a replacement panel that has been sloppily mis-drilled.

Another issue we have discovered through years of Mustang restoration is the way each assembly plant built Mustangs. Quality ranged from San Jose (Milpitas) being the overall best quality, Dearborn in second place, and Metuchen in a sad third place. The best sheet metal to make a template from is a Dearborn unit as their overall emblem fitment track record is excellent. We have seen untold dozens of San Jose fenders, hoods, and deck lids with crooked, uphill and downhill, and out of parallel emblems and letters, so don’t make the mistake of making your template from a San Jose-built Mustang unit. Regardless of where you make a template for your emblem and letter installation, be mindful of how straight and correct the sample piece is.

Is it my imagination or does your “MUSTANG” run downhill?