1964 1/2 and 1965 Differences

The Differences between the 1964 1/2 and 1965 Ford Mustangs;

This is an overview to help  determine if your car is a 1964 1/2 or not.  The car may have all of the items listed, or just a few.  This can be due to variations in production lines and  parts supply  at that plant.  Some items can carry over into the 65 production line, as people on the line would use up what they had. There may be other detail items, such as casting numbers, that have been intentionally missed due to space.

Date codes used in this list are as Ford used in 1964 and 1965:

  Jan. 1965 = A
  Feb. 1965 = B
Mar. 1964 = C Mar. 1965 = Q
Apr. 1964 = D Apr. 1965 = R
May  1964 = E May  1965 = S
Jun. 1964 = F Jun. 1965 = T
Jul. 1964 = G Jul. 1965 = U
Aug. 1964 = H Aug. 1965 = V
Sep. 1964 = J  
Oct. 1964 = K  
Nov. 1964 = L  
Dec. 1964 = M  

1964 1/2 Timeline:

  • Production began March 9, 1964 and ended August 17,1964
  • Only Coupes and Convertibles were manufactured during this period
  • Only Generator equipped cars were produced during this period
  • Date codes are OCO through OHO, (found on the VIN Data plate)

1964 1/2 Engine Displacement & Code:

  • 170 cubic inch 6cyl 1bbl “V”
  • 260 cubic inch 8cyl 2bbl “F”
  • 289 cubic inch 8cyl 4bbl “D”
  • 289 cubic inch 8cyl 4bbl “K” (Available in June of 1964)

64.5 and 65 Engine Options:

64-65 engine options

1964 1/2 Engine Compartment:

  • Hood Bumpers have recessed Phillips screw to hold bumper to stud
  • Radiator Core support has air vents/louvers in front of battery for cooling
  • Larger horns than on later models, mounted low on the frame behind radiator
  • Generators are installed, have black metal/rubber shroud
  • Oil dipstick is on passenger side and very long
  • Oil filler tube is on front cover of engine, not valve covers
  • Small flip open oil cap on distributor base
  • Ignition coil is mounted flat on the intake manifold
  • Brake switch ( 2 wires) is mounted on the master cylinder
  • Engines have a road draft tube, with/without a PCV valve

1964 1/2 Exterior Appearance:

  •  ‘64-and-a-half Mustangs have what’s commonly referred to as a “stiffening skirt” or ‘flanges’ along the edges of their hoods. This gives it an edge that’s very different from the more rounded edges of the ‘65. This skirt necessitated a matching bevelling around the headlights as well. Many ‘64 1/2 Mustangs didn’t have the Ford hood mouldings that were given to rest of first-generation Mustangs, but some plants did add them. 
  • The ‘64.5 Mustang typically doesn’t have the hood mouldings that are seen in ‘65 Mustangs. Then again some plants produced ’65s without the mouldings too to confuse matters. 
  • The Gas Cap has no security cable.
  • The headlight extensions have corresponding bevels to the hood skirts
  • The Mustang word on front fenders is 4-3/8″, later lengthened to 5.0″
  • Windshield wiper shaft bases are chromed pot metal and have a threaded pivot

Seven paint colours were only available for the ‘64.5 Mustangs. These colours were Guardsman Blue, Skylight Blue, Cascade Green, Phoenician Yellow, Twilight Turquoise, Pagoda Green, Chantilly Beige and Pace Car White.

1964 Mustang Paint Colors

The ’65, colours options were replaced with Springtime Yellow, Champagne Beige, Silver Blue, Honey Gold, Tropical Turquoise, and Ivy Green.

1964 1/2 Interior Appointments:

  • Door Locks knobs are colour-keyed to interior, changed to chrome in 1965
  • Owners Manual states engine options as, 170 C.I. six cylinder, and the 260 low compression V8, and the Hi-Performance 289 V8
  • The fresh air vent knob on the drivers side is marked with a White “A”
  • Door handles and Window cranks are held by concealed spring clips
  • Instrument Cluster has Red “GEN” light (Generator), later 1965 models had Red “ALT” light (alternator)
  • Heater blower is two speed with the “OFF” position located in center now with a third position
  • Carpet had colour-keyed rubber heel pad, no toe pad, as in the later 65 models
  • Carpeting stops at rocker stiffener plate, colour-keyed vinyl under door sill plate
  • Front Seatbelts are secured with an eye bolt
  • Passenger seat was fixed into position with no fore/aft adjustment
  • Smaller “T” handle on automatic transmission equipped cars

1964 1/2 Trunk Compartment:

  • Mat is Grey burtex in hardtops, and speckled Grey rubber in convertibles
  • Spare tire hold down is slotted for carriage head bolt
  • Tail lights have 3 wire pigtail assembly
Sources: Shnack.com  19/3/2013 & Others for reference
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34 thoughts on “1964 1/2 and 1965 Differences

  1. You say 64 1/2 production ended on Aug. 17th. My convertible was built Aug.6th 64 at Dearborn, yet it’s a 289 C code w/alternator. Although it checks most of the boxes for a 64 1/2. I was always understanding that 65 production began on Mon. Aug 3rd.

  2. Overall a decent article although I’d like to point out a couple inaccuracies and one typo.

    The typo: “170 cubic inch 6cyl 1bbl “V””

    “Engines have a road draft tube, with/without a PCV valve”. No draft-tube equipped cars had PCV valves. No California DSO-d vehicles had draft tubes.. all had PCV valves.

    “Many ‘64 1/2 Mustangs didn’t have the Ford hood mouldings that were given to rest of first-generation Mustangs, but some plants did add them. ” The leading-edge hood moulding that became standard in ’66 was part of the “Exterior Decor Group” option in ’65.

    “Passenger seat was fixed into position with no fore/aft adjustment” Only through early-mid May.

    The easiest way to tell a ’64-1/2 Mustang from a ’65? The VIN. First, there were NO Metuchen-assembled ’64-1/2’s. Dearborn ’65 production began at sequential serial number 250001, and San Jose (Milpitas) began at 125,001. Anything lower is a ’64-1/2. 🙂

  3. I’ve always distinguished the 64 from the 65 by whether the car had backup lights under the rear bumper. I believe they were not added until 65. Is this not true? Thanks.

    1. No. Backup lights were optional in ’65 from the beginning of production.

  4. I have a 1965 convertible Mustang with a 260 engine in it, and all this time I thought I had a 289. Just found out .Does this make a difference as far of as the car is concern in value or anything else.? Thank you, P.J.

    1. Hi, I would say the car is worth more with the original 260 in it. Many were swapped out for the 289 for a bit more power. Stick with the 260 as that’s what the cars had then.

      1. My 65’ convertible, which my Dad bought new and produced in Feb. 65, is Twilight turquoise. It was available in 65’, but not 66’.

  5. For a 64.5 mustang. What is the paint for the wheel wells, interior, under the hood, bottom side of the floor boards?
    Under the hood is black with black hinges: Is this a matte finish; gloss; flatt?
    The area where the tire sets is black or body color; gloss?
    Interior – there is a crinkle finish I would like to know about but how about other place like behind the dash?

    Floor boards are body color or black?

    1. Hi,
      Most of the time the underside of the car was just Red Oxide. Under the hood was usually black with matt/satin finish also to the hinges.
      Crinkle finish on the gauges, and glove box for standard interior. The tops of the doors were usually car coloured.
      It’s quite possible different plants would finish in different colours. As no records are kept this is subjective to the rule of thumb.

      1. On 64.5 Dearborn cars the underside is actually a somewhat glossy black with quite a bit of body colour overspray. The red oxide bottoms didn’t start until after the other plants came on board and even at that Dearborn often used a mix of other old paint on the bottom.

    2. Everything from the firewall forward, including the engine compartment, is semi-gloss black. SPI & Eastwood (Kirker) Epoxy Primer Black are good substitutes for the original hue and gloss. The hinges were unpainted but phosphate & oil finish. The underside of the chassis is typically red-oxide and in some cases mixed with leftover paint so the hue may change depending on assembly plant (Dearborn of San Jose) and this includes the underside to the rear of the car. The interior floor pans and trunk are painted body color in the same finish as the exterior (sans polish and wax). There are areas where the factory put sound deadener (frequently confused for undercoating) to absorb road noise. There is no “crackle finish” on the interior. The metal areas with “texture” such as the inner door structure, hardtop quarter trim panels, etc., have that texture imprinted into the metal panel and the paint is applied over it. The area behind the dash and inside the cowl assembly was not painted and behind the dash was lucky to receive some overspray. The exterior roof panel on vinyl-top cars was primed only. No topcoat was applied.

        1. 50 years of tearing them apart and putting them back together. lol.

  6. My serial numbers on the aprons and door tag all indicate my 64.5 is silver smoke in color; however I have it apart and replacing rust right now and have found the Honey gold in places that could not easily be repainted aftermarket. Like the rear wheel wells in the front inside; the underside of the trunk rear corners and other places. It makes me think this car was factory Honey gold but why?
    5F08F159170 VIN

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment.
      All records for 64 – 66 Mustangs were lost many years ago.
      However, there are places out there that will supply a “replacement” door tag as you requested. So I suspect that the car was resprayed and a new tag added. Like you say I suspect that your car was in fact Honey Gold from new. I could of course be wrong, but I have seen a few instances of this happening.
      Hope that helps.

    2. The serial number (VIN) has no color-defining code. The paint code is shown on the Door Data (Warranty) Plate of which Marti Auto Works does a very nice reproduction.

  7. hi there. i have been trying to find out if there are any differences between the red interior colour `RED` for 1964 cars and 1965 cars? i have a 1964 260ci car with a red interior that has faded and needs replacing. i have contacted many suppliers in the USA but just cannot get a straight answer and was hoping you might be able to help me?
    all i have found out is that there is 1964/65 red,1965 red and brite red. does this mean 1964 and 1965 have the same shade of red interior and brite red is what says, a really brite red colour?
    thanks in advance.


    1. Hi,
      I have been looking about and from what I can work out is that the 64 and 65 had the same colour. 66 had a different shade. Your door tag number should tell you and can be looked up on vin decoders. I wonder if anybody else reading this could confirm or correct me. I’m not a world authority unfortunately.
      I hope that helps a bit.
      Good question too.

    2. What you will find regardless of any color interior are “shade” differences between painted areas, seat upholstery, dash pad and door panels as the materials all came from different suppliers and different dye lots. IIRC, all red dash pads were dark, almost maroon. The ’64-1/2 interior “red” should be Ditzler/PPG #71315 in a 20% gloss.

    1. Hi,
      Thank you Soooo much for the nomination of the award. It always means something special to me knowing somebody actually reads the blogs. 🙂
      Thanks again and I will follow the rules.

  8. I guess you confirm what my fried had told me about the Mustang fastback did not come out until 1965. I had put in a order for a mustang comfortable but it did not come in in time and I had to have a car, there was a metal-flake gray fastback setting on the show room flour so I got it. It was the first one in Amarillo Texas and being a young kid just figured that since it was 1964 when I bought it ment that it was a 64 1/2 but I guess it was a 65.

    I am kin to some Dawson in fact my mother was a Dawson. Have a Blessed day

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      What a fantastic story about your Mustang. What happened to it or do you wish you still kept it? I just love stories like yours. A small world for us Dawsons.
      All the best.

      1. No I do not have it but yes I wished I did. Being a dumb kid I traded it for a 1968 Pontiac La mans because the paint started peeling on the mustang. About a week after I traded it I saw it on the car lot with a brand new paint job, I wanted it back then but just did not have the money to get it back.

          1. I seem to remember that most all gray vehicles had problems with paint peeling. I know I also had a gray Chevy suburban in 1981 that the paint peeled.

    2. I’ve had a65fastback,289,4speed,&a64fastback,170automatic,4hole,,ragoored,other white,blueint, now I have a64coupe,170,3spd,poppyred&a68cp,green BLK int,v/8,4spd,can’tfindpppoppyred,matchedit with 64colipsolred

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