Wayne Liebhard
March 24, 2014
Photos By: Kate Effertz

Editor's note: Wayne Liebhard's interest in '65-'66 Mustang dealer-installed options and accessories has resulted in one of the best collections in the world. We asked him to put his knowledge to work for this article.

As enthusiasts know, the Mustang was introduced at the New York World's Fair on April 13, 1964, and went on-sale a few days later on April 17. Its good looks alone were enough to captivate the American public. But without a doubt, the '65-'66 model's popularity soared even further with its low base price ("$2,368 F.O.B. Detroit," as Lee Iacocca liked to say), coupled with an ever-expanding array of options and accessories that allowed it to be personalized more than any other car Ford had ever offered. In fact, Ford advertised the Mustang as "The car designed to be designed by you."

Truthfully, the Mustang was also designed to sell a lot of options and accessories. By April 1965, options totaled over 70, up from 50 in 1964, covering virtually every mechanical and physical aspect of the car to allow the buyer, as one writer noted, to "turn this warmed-over compact into a competent grand tourer."

In the beginning, the standard '64½ Mustang coupe came with a three-speed manual floor shift, a 170-cid Falcon six-cylinder, wheel covers, padded dash, full carpeting, and bucket seats. But the buyer could also add a host of options like a Rally-Pac (tach and clock), power steering and brakes, automatic transmission or four-speed, Special Handling Package, air-conditioning, console, and "pushbutton" AM radio. Some options were also packaged, like the Interior Décor Group (deluxe interior trim) and GT Equipment Group (fog lights, disc brakes, stripes, etc.) when they were introduced on the Mustang's first birthday, April 17, 1965.

Most were quite affordable (Rally Pac at $71, handling package at just $31), with the most expensive being air conditioning at $283. The average price of the car often jumped another $1,000 with added options, settling in at around $2,900.

Options and accessories were available as factory only, dealer only, and "factory or dealer installed," as the Mustang Options and Accessories sheets from the salesman's Car Facts binders point out. Factory-only options primarily included engine, transmission, and performance equipment, as well as other items like tinted windshield that were obviously best installed during production. As time progressed, some options initially designated as "factory only" could be ordered by dealers, including pieces from package options like the fog lamps from the GT Equipment Group as part of a "Make your V8 Mustang a GT" promotion. The deluxe steering wheel, packaged with the Interior Décor Group, was also offered as a separate option, either factory or dealer installed. A limited slip differential was also initially listed as a factory installed item for '65 and became available from Ford dealers for '66.

Dealer-added options and accessories were a huge part of the attraction to, and the success of, the Mustang. Uniquely Mustang items carried a "ZZ" part number—an example being C5ZZ-1130-D for 14-inch "knock-off" wheel covers. The uniquely Mustang accessories (including FoMoCo and Rotunda) and options were available for dealer installation, as were many other Ford items. "RZ" parts were universal to all cars and "AZ" to most Fords.

Rotunda items were manufactured by a number of vendors and were sold by Ford dealers for use on Ford or non-Ford vehicles. Dealers also occasionally substituted a similar item for a Rotunda part. An example is the C3 tissue dispenser. The Auto-Serve Corporation made a number of different tissue dispensers, including ones occasionally used as a substitute for the Rotunda piece. The "non-Ford" dispenser is different from the Rotunda piece only in that it has a raised emblem on the front. Motorola also made the Studiosonic sound system for Ford. That piece, as well as the Motorola "Vibrasonic" unit (which had a different control switch), were both used (with cardboard tops used for the earliest reverb units). Other examples include the fire extinguisher made by General and the "Auto Vac" vacuum cleaner made by the Nerco Corporation. Some items, such as the Unity spotlight, were unchanged and simply placed in a Ford box.

The majority of dealer-added accessories came in "kit" form, meaning the pieces generally came in a FoMoCo or Rotunda box with installation instructions. Some kit items were also available separately. The TV kit consisted of the TV plus the battery pack, hanging bracket, and antenna. Like the early two-way radio, the TV could be purchased separately for home use or adapted for 12-volt car use. The AM radio, antenna, and speaker could be purchased separately or in kit form. The dealer-added air conditioner came as separate engine components (depending on the engine) and passenger compartment kits (the latter consisting primarily of the evaporator). Power steering, depending on application, also came as separate pump, linkage, and AC adaptor kits.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
Available dress-up accessories included an illuminated grille “medallion” and chrome license plate frames.

Early Mustang owners could also purchase individual safety and maintenance or protective/storage and personal items from the dealer, as well as various cleaners, polishes, and car care chemicals, some of these being older Ford items such as the B7A tool kit and the B6C reflector flare kit. Dealers were also steered by Ford to push various option/accessory items through publications such as the Master Parts Catalog, which contained an accessories section and was updated several times during the year. Parts and Services' Merchandising News publication came out monthly and, along with direct memos to dealers, provided the most specific information about option releases or, on occasion, parts that had been discontinued.

There were also a number of aftermarket items available for the Mustang that were manufactured and sold by various sources, including Ford. Perhaps the most famous was the "whinny" horn, but others included fender skirts (by Foxcraft), front and rear "bumperettes" (the front being much more rare), gas filler door guard, locking gas cap, floor console, wire mesh headlight covers, chrome headlight bucket trim, landau irons for the vinyl top, a couple of different versions of a hood mounted running horse emblem, and a lighted pony grill (there was also one made by Ford with a C6ZZ part number that replaced the horse completely).