Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 3, 2012

There might be signs the economy is improving, but for many of us, the last few years have been anything but fruitful. The one constant many of us have for comfort and enjoyment, however, is the four-wheeled horse we have in the garage or driveway. Whether it's a full restoration, a weekend toy/project, or even your daily driver, getting in and twisting that ignition key takes us to another place, a place where money and job woes, the economy, and all that bad news we see every night on the television disappear for a while. That "happy place" means an awful lot to us, and like you, we want to give our Mustangs a little love with some upgrades, repairs, and custom touches when we can. Thing is, money is tight and there's just nothing you can upgrade your car with on the cheap. Or is there?

We took to the task of finding some low-buck upgrades for both classic and late-model rides that wouldn't break the bank and allow us to make noticeable improvements to our Mustangs. From LED lights to bumper lettering and more, we looked for upgrades that could be easily tackled in your driveway with the most basic of hand tools and no prior or specific installation knowledge. All of these parts are easy to install and offer immediate gratification. Best of all, some can be had for less than $50! That's right, for fewer than $50 you can spend a little quality time with your steed and make that next visit to your happy place that much better. So take a look at what we found, some of which we even installed on our project cars in mini-tech stories, at three different price points--$50, $100, and $200 limits.

Parts Under $50

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
Vintage Mustangs were built before the age of the cup holder, but that doesn't mean you can't add one to your ride. National Parts Depot (NPD) offers this slick unit that slides into the ashtray opening of your '65-'66 for just $40.50. Color matched to your interior, be sure to order the right interior color!

Bumper/Ground Effect Decals

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
The finished bumper looks great and the job took about 20 minutes to complete. Best of all, these bumper letter sets from LRS cost only $29.99.

Shackle Kit

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Lighted Grille Corral

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
Reinstall the grille corral and attach the wiring to your power source of choice. You can attach the wires to your headlight or parking light circuits or through a manual switch you mount inside the car. We wired ours to the driver-side parking light (accessible with the grille removed) so the corral would be lit with the parking lights on but go off when the headlights are on.

LED Mini-bulbs

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Fender Gripper Trunk Mat

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Pedal Pad Upgrade

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

LED Turn-Signal Hood Upgrade

LED turn signals are all the rage, but did you know you can also update your '67-'68 turn signal hood or '69-'70 turn signal scoop with LED technology too? Yup, the folks at NPD have this nifty plug-n-play setup for just $49.95 ('67-'68 version).

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Completed, the LED turn signals work great on their own or complement other LED signals/bulbs already on your vintage Mustang.

Parts Under $100

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Billet Gas Caps

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

'99-'04 LED Third Brake Light

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Parts Under $200

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Sequential Taillights

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
The new sequential harnesses are clearly labeled and the included instructions explain where the bulb sockets go to get the sequential feature going in the right direction.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

The sequential feature automatically adjusts to your car's flasher circuit speed, so there's no adjustment to fiddle with. Simply snake the wiring harness back into the trunk and connect it to the OE wiring, then bolt the taillights back into place and you're done!