1965 Ford Mustang GT or NOT GT ?

Over the years, I’ve come across a few nice Mustang GT clones and some fake Mustang GTs . Some may ask what is the difference between a Fake GT and a GT Clone ? They’re both not real GTs. A fake GT is a Mustang that someone has passed off as a Real GT. I have seen customers mislead, and ripped off from buying a car that was not what it was advertised. A GT Clone is a Mustang that is restored and converted to a GT. If you can’t find a good GT, or can’t afford one, then there is nothing wrong with building your own. Just say it is a clone. There are some real nice GT and Shelby clones out there.

The problem is that it can be hard to distinguish a real GT from a copy.  There are 2 ways to determine it authenticity. One is do an in-depth visual inspection. The other is looking at the original vehicle build sheet. Unfortunately many Classic Mustangs no longer have their original build sheets, and the door VIN tag do not include GT information. However, the VIN tag does include the engine code which will help with your investigation. The most common 1965-1966 Mustang engine codes are T for 200 cid, C for 289 cid 2v, A for 289 cid 4v, and K for Hi-Po 289 cid 4v. Codes T and C were never offered in a Mustang GT. Codes A and K were offered as GTs as an option. Once you have verified the engine code, then you can further verify it visually.

If you’re looking at a 1965 GT, they will have a 1966 style five gauge instrument cluster. If you remove the cluster, you will notice a small radius opening at the bottom center of the dash mounting surface. That is done to clear the round center speedometer. If it is not there, it will be difficult to install or remove the cluster. The rest of the visual options are more obvious such as Fog Lights, GT Emblems, GT Dual Exhaust, Disc Brakes, Larger Sway Bar and Stiffer Springs, and Ralley Wheels. The last items to identify is the lack of Rocker Moldings and Rear Quarter Ornaments on Mustang GTs.  Take your time, and do your homework before making the investment into your new ride.  These pictures below are of a 1965 Ford Mustang that was sold as a real GT.

1965 Ford Mustang Quarter Panel Ornament Holes

Sold as a 1965 Mustang GT, but has Quarter Ornament holes.

1965 Ford Mustang Instrument Cluster Opening

This 1965 Mustang was sold as GT, but does not have correct Instrument Cluster opening for the speedometer. Notice the keys are hanging upside down. This was taken on a Rotisserie.

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