Nearly all 1965-1968 Classic Mustangs and Cougars should have their cowl vent panel removed. This area harbors hidden rust, ugly scaly paint overspray, and water leaks. If not repaired properly, rust will continue to eat away at the cowl panel and then the firewall. You’re better off taking care of the cowl panel before this nightmare happens.
Upon removing the cowl panel, clean, repair, repaint and re-install it. Here are some tips for how to re-install the cowl panel.
Align the cowl panel. Make sure when re-installing, that the position of the cowl panel is correct. It should line up evenly with the rear edge of the hood. It should also line up evenly with the front fenders. Temporarily install the hood and fenders to get the positioning correct. Self-tapping screws work really well for temporarily installing body replacement panels. When the cowl position is correct, attach the cowl with a few self-tapping sheet metal screws. This will temporarily hold the cowl in proper position. Remove the hood and fenders so that you have access to the cowl.
Weld the cowl panel. Beginning from the center of the cowl panel and working outward, make a plug weld every 2-3 inches. A plug weld is a weld that fills a hole in the top piece and attaches to the bottom piece. This type of weld is about 1/4″ size. Complete the plug welds until you have welded the entire panel.
Grind the welds. Using an air or electric grinder, grind the excess welds so that they are flush with the cowl panel.
Seal and fill the welds. Using a quality seam sealer or body filler, fill any grinder marks or unwelded holes. Once the sealer or filler has cured, sand the area smooth.
You are now ready to paint the cowl area and permanently reattach the hood and fenders.
The 30th Annual National Mustang Convention was held in New Zealand during October 23-26, 2009. This event was hosted by the Taranaki Mustang Club and featured some great Mustangs from “down under”. Thanks to our Mustang friends in New Zealand who forwarded these links and YouTube video to us. Classic Mustangs are truly enjoyed worldwide!
In 1965, there were 2,111 Bench Seat Convertibles produced. All other convertibles came with either standard interior (“76A”) or Pony interior (“76B”) bucket seats. The Bench Seat Convertibles had a body code “76C” stamped on the left hand side, lower rocker panel. Bench Seat Coupes were stamped with body code “65C”.
A Fastback was stamped “63A” or “63B”. The code “A” was for standard interior and the code “B” was for Pony interior. There were not any 1965 Fastbacks that left the factory with a bench seat. I wonder why not? The Coupes and Convertibles had them and the bench seat would have certainly fit in a Fastback as well.
Another oddity was that many 1965 Fastbacks have the rocker panel body code “65”, which is a Coupe body code. The Fastback should have been given a “63” rocker panel body code. The rocker panels are the same part, but somehow they were stamped incorrectly before assembly at the factory.
1968 Mustang California Specials are rare and finding original parts can be difficult. Here are some options you might consider as you search for parts:
California Special Tail Light Sockets
If your GT/CS has a corroded tail light socket and you need to replace it, but are unable to find a replacement, you can use a 1956 era Ford Pickup Truck tail light socket. The same tail light sockets were also used on a 1965 Ford Thunderbird tail light. T-bird lights are still out there, but are also becoming increasingly hard to find.
Marchal Fog Lamps
Early models used the very rare Marchal 656/322 fog lamps. These are very scarce today. In the Fall of 1968, Marchal fog lamps were recalled because they were too bright. Ford has since phased them out and they were replaced with Lucas fog lights.
If you are looking for Marchal fog lamps, try sources in France, Germany or England and perhaps some early Ferrari restoration shops. These rare fog lights were used on other vehicles from 1962-1970.
You might also want to contact us about GT/CS parts availability. While we don’t have any more Marchal fog lamps, we do have a few GT/CS tail light parts and twist lock brackets.
One of the rarest, most unique parts on a Ford Mustang GT/CS is the tail light wiring loom harness. It has a purple tag near the passenger side (right hand side) tail light in the trunk. This tag has the FoMoCo label and the letters “SXR C8ZX-14405-A”. Here’s how this part number is decoded:
C8 = 1968
Z = Mustang
X = Ford special or experimental
14405 = Vehicle engineering number
A standard Mustang tail light wire bundle part number is C8ZZ-14405-E or C8ZB-14405-E. The GT/CS has the “ZX”, which is the code for the special edition Mustang.
All GT/CS California Special Mustang VIN’s began with the vehicle identification number prefix “8R01”.
Here’s how the prefix is decoded:
8 = 1968
R = San Jose, California assembly plant
01 = Designates the Coupe ( hard top) body style.
The next digit in the VIN # is the engine code. All GT/CS cars could have been equipped with the following engine options:
T = 200 6 cylinder
C = 289 2V
J = 302 4V
X = 390 2V
S = 390 4V premium fuel
R = 428 4VCJ 4 bbl
GT/CS consecutive VIN numbers begin with unit #119,000 and ended with GT/CS and High Country Special (HCS) #172,000. Most GT/CS’s were produced randomly in the assembly line-up with other Mustangs and Cougars. The highest concentration of GT/CS production occurred between February 15-20, 1968. This was primarily due to a massive wholesale dealer event in Los Angeles, California. By July, 1968, all California Specials and High Country Special production had ended and was phased out.
The California Special was a limited production promotional Shelby-ized Mustang. Here are some of the production facts about this rare car:
The California Special was only available in the Coupe body style.
The base model was a 6 cylinder engine with a 3 speed manual transmission.
4,025 California Specials were built and 300 High Country Specials were built (4,325 total California and High Country Specials were built).
Production of 4,325 GT/CS occurred at random within an assembly line of 50,000 other Mustangs and Mercury Cougars in a 6 month period.
The production numbers began at 119,000 and ended at 172,000.
High Country Specials were similar to California Specials, but were made for Denver, Colorado and had different emblems and insignias.
The data plate on a High Country Special will read DSO51.
Shelby Automotive was contracted to build 6,180 parts sets for a projected 5,500 California Specials to be assembled. Since 5,500 California Specials were not produced, there were a lot of spare parts.
The part number for the Lucas fog lamp is C8WY-15L203-A. This is a Cougar part number.
The 1968 ½ Mercury Cougar had a special order cousin to the GT/CS which was the 1968 ½ Cougar XR-7G (“G” = Gurney in April, 1968).
Only early GT/CS used Marchal fog lamps.
In October, 1968, Marchal lamps were recalled with limited success.
The grille is unique only to GT/CS. There are no mounting areas for the corral or the grill surround and moulding. The trim is black, which limited fog lamp glare.
A GT/CS used the same hood twist lock and retaining bracket as the 1968 Shelby.
GT/CS shared the same lower side scoops and fiberglass tail light panels as the 1968 Shelby Mustangs.
The most unique part exclusive to the GT/CS is the tail light wiring with special plugs and purple part number tag PN XSR C8ZX-14405-A.
Question: Can you tell me the difference between a 1969 Mustang pedal housing for the Power Brake and a Manual Brake? What about MT vs AT housings? Is the ’69 housing specific to the ’69 Mustang?
Answer: The difference between a manual brake and power brake pedal housing is in the the mounting flange at the firewall.
Power brake boosters have threaded studs that protrude through the firewall and housing flange and are held on by 9/16″ nuts. Manual brake master cylinders use bolts that protrude through the firewall and screw into a threaded insert in the brake housing.
Housings that do not have the threaded inserts on the firewall flange are for power brakes. Housings that do have these threaded inserts are for manual brake applications.
As far as the MT vs AT, for a 1969 Mustang, there is usually not any difference between manual and automatic transmission housings. Sometimes there is a bolt-on clutch spring hook (depending on the Mustang year). The factory punched the same mounting holes in all of the Classic Mustang housings.
The longer power brake pedal does not swing from the same pivot point that a manual brake or clutch pedal swings from. The long power brake pedal swings from a bolt at the very top of the housing. All housings also have these holes.
We’ve created a Facebook Fan page! We’ll be adding various pictures of car shows and Mustang restorations, while also adding Mustang related tips and information. We encourage you to become a fan and add pictures of your Classic Mustang as well!