Jim Smart
May 1, 2001

We sampled a broad spectrum of Los Angeles-based Mustangs with Dearborn- and San Jose-build origins. Despite San Jose's reputation for sloppy exterior workmanship, we found some Dearborn cars with crooked letters on '65-'66 GT models. We're still looking for patterns among the assembly plants when it comes to emblem and letter positioning. And truthfully, we don't have a complete understanding of the entire picture yet.

When we measured our subject vehicles, we used a sewing tape measure that was proven accurate by extending it alongside two steel tape measures. We compared them because not all tape measures were created equally accurate. A sewing tape measure follows the lines and contours of a Mustang body more accurately than a steel tape measure or a ruler. When taped in place as shown in this article, the sewing tape measure is quite accurate. Determine your measurements, hold the emblem in place, gently press the pin against the finish to scribe marks, then drill your holes and mount the emblem. Next month we'll delve into the mysteries of the '67-'68 Mustang.

The Hole Truth
Letter and emblem placement is more than just proper positioning of pinholes. There's the peculiar nature of human sight called the optical illusion: Things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes letters look crooked when they're not. And sometimes they look off center when they're dead perfect. The longer you stare at them, the more crooked they appear. This is where we have to be careful during the measuring and drilling process. Accept no less than your measurements. And don't be afraid to measure the surface repeatedly until you're confident of the measurements.