1965-1966 Mustang Options and Accessories - Made To Be Made By You
Options and accessories from the dealer added to the ’65-’66 Mustang’s appeal
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.
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).
The buyer of a new Mustang could have the dealer add any or all options or accessories available at the time of purchase, depending on availability. From April 1964 until the last '65 Mustangs were produced (mid-August 1965), several new "dealer-installed" items were added that weren't available in April 1964. Again, the customer's choices were based on when their car was produced and what options were available to their own dealers at the time.
The time from first production of options until public availability at dealerships appeared to be about a month and a half. Some examples are the Interior Décor Group (first produced in early March 1965 but not "announced" by Ford until April 17, 1965) and the dash clock, with a C6 part number, produced in early June 1965 and "announced" in the 8/65 accessories supplement. Some parts with a C5 part number (designed for the '65 model year) didn't appear until later accessory publications when their design and production was complete. An example is the 9-inch Philco TV, which first showed up in August 1966 in the 1967 accessory catalog, along with the C5 rear-seat courtesy light kit and the optional hood scoop.
As noted earlier, after accessorizing a car with factory installed options, dealers also offered safety, maintenance, protective, storage, and personal items, including a tool kit, reflector flares, seat cushion, tire sealant device, vacuum cleaner, tire chains, litter basket, clothes rod, two-way radio, door storage pocket, bug screen, locking gas cap, compass, fire extinguisher, luggage rack bag, license plate plaque, child's car seat, convertible tonneau cover, ski rack, cigarette lite-lighter, floor mats, door safety locks, heavy-duty battery, luggage rack/temporary mounting kit, and a TV kit, as well as various cleaners, polishes, and car care items. The C6 child's car seat was produced in very limited numbers and was apparently not legal for use in some states, such as California. Mounting it required drilling a hole in the rear floor pan. A much better (and legal) version was introduced in 1968 and available essentially unchanged through at least 1974.
Owners of '65 Mustangs benefited from the fact that the '66 model was relatively unchanged. A number of new dealer-added options arrived in the 3/65 spring supplement, including a 5-pound fire extinguisher, bug screen, wheel trim rings, Styled Steel wheels for V-8s, fender-mount turn signal indicators, racing stripe kit, and updated mirrors and two-way radios. The new '66 model year accessories catalog, produced in August 1965, included the new C5 part numbers already mentioned plus over 20 new items, including the AM/FM radio that was first offered as a service part in late July 1965. It briefly carried a C5ZZ number, then a C6ZZ number as a '66 regular production and dealer-added option with very limited production.
Other new C6 parts included a child safety seat, dash clock, and redesigned wheel covers. The Deluxe front and rear seat belts, previously dealer- or factory-installed, became a push-button design with a dash-mount seat belt warning light that was factory-installed, although dealers could order the bezel and light. Previously optional rear seat belts became standard equipment for '66.
A Mustang 8-track tape player was also available as an in-dash unit combined with an AM radio; it was generally factory-installed and required some dash modification to fit. The 8-track cartridge holder was dealer available and carried a C6 part number, first showing up in the 1968 accessory catalog, along with the C4 FoMoCo compass. It appeared that the C6 ski adapter kit was available for the first time. However, C5 version was offered in late 1964 but missed the 1965 accessories catalog, receiving an updated part number as a result. Mid- to late-year "1966 items" first noted in the 1967 accessories catalog included a rear-window defogger, engine gauge kit, lights-on warning system, utility light, Philco TV, lighted grill ornament, bucket seat headrests, child's safety vest (pictured but questionably produced), luggage rack cover (for rear deck), junior-size tissue dispenser, new sun visor-mount vanity mirror, engine block heater, trailer hitch, shoulder harness kit, auxiliary air springs, and the fog lamps and courtesy lights previously noted.
There were also changes or upgrades to existing items, such as the "low profile" Rally Pac. Both it and the door storage pocket were now offered in colors instead of just black. Also redesigned were the AC faceplate, the Styled Steel wheels, and the AC console end cap. Several items previously optional for '65 became standard for '66 Mustangs. Some (such as padded sun visors, emergency flashers, and the chrome hood lip) could be ordered in 1965 by dealers as service parts, with part numbers assigned to items that could be ordered by a dealer (as opposed to engineering or casting numbers).
As evidence of the continued interest in Mustang options/accessories to this day, current Mustang enthusiasts can "retrofit" their cars with a number of reproduced options, including some of the early aftermarket items like the rear bumperettes and headlight gills. For the most part, the majority of accessories must be acquired used or NOS through eBay, swap meets, collectors, or other sources.
Popular Dealer Accessories
Air conditioning (evaporator)
Air springs (auxiliary)
Bug screen (radiator)
Cartridge holder (8-track)
Child safety seat
Clock (dash mount)
Day/night mirror ('65/'66)
Defogger (rear window)
Door edge guards
Door safety locks
Door sill plates (accessory)
Door storage pocket
Emergency flashers (dealer)
Engine coolant heater
Engine dress-up kit (mostly V-8)
Turn signals, fender mounted
Fire extinguisher recharge
Floor mats (front/rear)
Fog lamp mounting bracket
Gas cap, locking
Gauge kit (engine)
Glove compartment/console lock
Hood scoop (Shelby/Ford)
Lamp, engine compartment/trunk
License plate frame
Light, rear seat courtesy
Lights-on warning system
Limited slip differential
Lighted grille ornament
Mirror, matching right-side
Mirror, remote control
Mirror, outside rearview
Parking brake warning light
Radio, AM (w/antenna and speaker)
Rally Pac (high profile)
Rally Pac (low profile)
Rear speaker kit
Remote trunk release
Rocker panel molding
Seat belts ('63)
Seat belts ('65)
Seat belts ('66)
Ski rack adaptors (trunk/roof)
C6ZZ-6555100-A/C32555100-E or D
Speaker kit (stereo, front)
Studiosonic sound system
Tape player, 8-track Stereosonic
Television (w/battery and antenna)
C5AZ-18804-A, 18800-B, 18888-A, or 18813-H
Tire sealer and inflator
Wheel covers, wire
Wheel trim rings
Windshield washer kit
Wood steering wheel (Deluxe)