The Mustang debuted in 1964 and made minor body adjustments in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1967 that the Mustang underwent its first major body update. While the differences between the 1965 and 1966 Mustangs were slight, the differences between 1966 and 1967 Mustangs should be readily apparent to anyone.
In addition to the obvious shifts though, there are some smaller updates that were made along the way, either to increase safety, performance, or appeal.
1966 and 1967 Mustang Differences: Exterior
The exterior styling differences between the 1966 and 1967 Mustang are numerous.
Quarter Panel Ornamentation
In 1966, Ford replaced the Mustang’s single deep side scoop with a side ornamentation that was trimmed in chrome and had three horizontal sweeps.
1966 Mustang: Quarter Panel Ornamentation
In 1967, Ford redesigned the quarter panel ornamentation yet again, removing the three sweeps and replacing them with a twin air scoop. For the first time, this side ornamentation was painted to the same color as the exterior of the car, giving it the look of a functional side scoop (though it still wasn’t). This was the only year in the first generation of Mustangs that had a twin air scoop.
1967 Mustang: Twin Air Scoop
The 1966 Mustang’s grille was a wall of horizontal bars behind a corralled Mustang logo. In 1967, Ford returned to a look more reminiscent of the 1965 Mustang.
The grille on the 1967 Mustang featured vertical and horizontal bars on the corral surrounding the pony. Instead of the horizontal bars, a black honeycomb grille was behind the pony. The GT’s grill stayed the same, with fog lights mounted into the grille.
1967 Mustang: Grille
Perhaps one of the most immediately recognizable changes, in 1967, the rear panel of the Mustang changed from its former convex design to a concave one. The back looks almost like the tail of a duck, and even the taillights follow the concave lines. Additionally, the taillights are ringed in chrome.
1966 Mustang: Taillights
The gas cap on the 1967 Mustang is restyled, something Ford used to do nearly every year. The 1965 Mustang had a three-notched gas cap design, and the 1966 had small ridges around the exterior. The 1967 gas cap combines these, creating three blades almost surrounded by a ring of ridging.
1967 Mustang: Gas Cap and Taillights
In 1967, for the first time an “Exterior Decor Group” was made available. This offered hood louvers, and a gas cap that popped open at the touch of a button.
Both the 1966 and 1967 Mustang were available in convertible, hardtop, and fastback stylings. You could also opt for a Shelby or GT option either year. No matter which of these you picked though, the 1967 Mustang was larger in every direction.
1966 Mustang vs 1967 Mustang: Exterior
1966 and 1967 Mustang Differences: Interior
The base features of the 1966 and 1967 Mustang were very similar. Both offered foam-padded front bucket seats. Both offered front and rear seatbelts. Perhaps the most surprising similarity though is the interior space. Even though the Mustang grew in every direction between ’66 and ’67, none of those additional inches were given to the passengers. Headroom and legroom remained the same.
The major update was to the instrument cluster. The five-gauge instrument panel was larger and easier to read.
1966 Mustang: Deluxe Interior
1967 Mustang: Interior
Many comfort features were added to the 1967 Mustang. Most of these features seem commonplace now, but for the time they were exciting and unexpected.
Comfort Features Added in 1967
- Cruise Control (called Fingertip Speed Control)
- A Tachometer
- A Trip Odometer
- Tilt-Away Steering Column
- A Convenience Panel (lights for door ajar, parking brake, low fuel, and seatbelt alerts)
Interior Decor Group (Pony Option)
In 1966, if you purchased the deluxe interior, it included a unique embossed galloping Mustang on the seats. This was why it became known as the “Pony Package.” Purchasing the pony option meant that in addition to the seat embossment you would also get molded door trim panels, improved armrests, and wood grain appliques on the instrument cluster and glove box door. You’d also get a simulated wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Fake wood was kind of a big deal in the ‘60s, for unknown reasons.
1967’s Mustang kept the Pony package but lost the seat embossment. Instead, purchasing the pony option gave you additional interior color options. You also could opt-out of the wood appliques and get brushed aluminum ones instead.
1966 Mustang vs 1967 Mustang: Interior
|Pony Option Available
||9.0 Cubic Feet
||9.2 Cubic Feet
1966 and 1967 Mustang Differences: Mechanical
In 1966, the transmissions available were a three-speed manual that came standard and an optional upgrade to a four-speed manual or the Cruise-O-Matic. These were the options for all engine choices except the Hi-Performance V8. There were eleven total transmission and engine combinations.
These options mostly stayed the same through 1967. The only major difference was that the four-speed manual was no longer available with the base Inline-6 engine. This made for twelve total transmission and engine combinations.
For the most part, engine options remained the same. The only exception is a big block V8 engine that was added as an option for the ’67 year.
The high-performance V8 that was available in 1966 and 1967 was available either with or without the GT package upgrade. It came equipped with a special driveline as well as improved suspension components. The tires were upgraded and equipped with six-inch rims.
But the big block V8 was first available in 1967 and was definitely worth writing home about. Sometimes called the Thunderbird Special, it was capable of going from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds.
Mustang Engines Available in 1966 and 1967
|| Year Available
1966 and 1967’s GT Options
Both 1966 and 1967 Mustangs were available with GT options.
Upgrading to a GT package was only offered if customers also opted for the upgraded V8. The base I6 and the first V8 weren’t eligible for the performance package upgrade, though they could get most of the features of the GT a la carte through Ford’s generous options menu.
In 1966, purchasing the GT upgrade meant you would get a dual exhaust system with chrome trumpet tips as well as improved suspension components, front-wheel disc brakes, and racing stripes. They’d also replace the Mustang on your gas cap with the letters “GT.”
GTs all came with fog lamps which were punched into the grille.
1966 GT: Gas Cap
In 1967, if you selected the GT package you got all of the above, but if you also got either of the top two V8s available they would include chrome plated quad exhaust extensions.
1967 GT: Exhaust
Vehicle Identification Number
If you’re ever concerned about whether or not you’ve correctly identified the year of a classic Mustang, you can always check the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN.
Though VINs weren’t standardized until the ‘80s, most manufacturers developed a system for communicating essential information about their vehicles, and Ford is no exception.
When checking the VIN, be sure to check it in at least two places since replacement parts will come with a different VIN. The first number on a Mustang’s VIN will tell you the year it was made. A “6” means 1966 and a “7” means 1967.
You can also find out what engine was originally equipped based on the VIN. The VIN’s fifth character will be a letter that corresponds to the engine code above. Remember, GTs will only be available with an “A” or “K” in 1966 Mustangs, but in 1967 a GT package could be added onto any V8 engine.
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Sources: 1966 Mustang Brochure, One Man and His Mustang | 1967 Mustang Brochure, Old Car Brochures | Mustang and Shelby Engine Specifications, Classic Pony Cars | 1965,1966 Mustangs, How Stuff Works | Image Credit: Mustangs and Fords | Hemmings | Classic Car Auctions | Autotrader
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