The Ford Mustang is an American muscle car icon. From Steve McQueen's Bullitt Mustang to the infamous Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds, the Ford Mustang is no stranger to power and popularity.
The first official Ford Mustang was a 1965 year model. Even though the Mustang has been in production since 1964, there is no 1964 Mustang.
But, there is 1964 1/2 Mustang.
No, that's not typo.
The Mustang was Ford's answer to the Chevrolet Corvette and its release was very highly anticipated by the public at that time. In fact, people were so excited to see the reveal that it was named the Indianapolis pace car of 1964. Ford rushed to get a prototype out to the general public in time for the race. To produce the car quickly Ford had to borrow parts some of the other vehicles in their lineup, particularly the Ford Falcon.
This rushed prototype became the 1964 1/2 Mustang and all Mustangs produced before August of 1964 are known as the 1964 1/2 Mustang.
The 1965 Mustangs were built after August 17th, 1964.
While the production numbers for the 1964 1/2 Mustang aren't clear, Ford ended up producing a total of 121,538 Mustangs in 1964 including the official 1965 Mustang. 22,000 of those were sold on the first day the Mustangs went on the market!
In 1964, you could pick up a brand new Mustang at the dealership for around $2,500 depending on what options the model had. That's about what the insurance and maintenance costs on a new Mustang today!
While it's hard to put a number on what something is worth to another person, Hemmings claims that the going rate today for 1964 1/2 Mustang is estimated to be an average price of $18,000.
We always say that when it comes to the classic car market, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Someone may find a classic car to be worth 5 times its market value due perhaps to some sentimental value that the car holds to them.
This is really up to you and what your desire is for the car as well as your budget. If you want a cool hot rod to cruise around in then we always say that it's absolutely worth restoring and making it a driver!
The memories you will make with your family and friends alone are worth the restoration. Not to mention the value it will hold in 30 years when you're ready to hand it down to the next generation.
The differences between the two models aren't as visually striking as you might think. And they are not all that consistent either. However, there are a few differences that you can spot on the exterior if you're really paying attention. The first difference that you can easily check for is the edge around the hood. The 1964 1/2 models have what is called a "stiffening skirt" and this feature makes the edges of the hood look very different from the 1965 model which features a more rounded edge around the hood.
The second difference is the gas cap. The 1964 1/2 mustangs did not come with a security cable on the gas cap while every model after did.
Additionally the fastback first became available for the 1965 Mustang so if you ever see a listing for a 1964 Mustang but it's a fastback, don't be fooled!
There are a few more exterior differences, but to be honest, Ford's production of the Mustang in 1964 was not as clear cut and precise being that it was the debut year and also rushed in the beginning.
The main difference between the 1964 1/2 and 1965 Mustang is the engine offerings. While both models offered one I6 and three V8 options, the horsepower output of each was slightly greater in the 1965. Ford honed in on the muscle car era of the 60's and was able to bump up the power output from their prototype.
The launch of the Ford Mustang in 1964 put Ford on the muscle car map. Today, the Ford Mustang remains one of the fastest-selling vehicles of all time.