Ford T-5

In 1964 Ford had created the pony car which would go on to win the heart of the world, the Mustang. When it came time to offer it abroad, one thing stood between the Mustang and universal sales, the name. The transition of the name of the car from Mustang to T-5 for the German market is something that has been well documented, and I do not want to take away from the writings of others. However, one thing that is not usually emphasized is how these cars were indeed special. After the initial road test of the early 1965 T-5’s, the German press tore the cars apart for their ability to handle, while lauding them for their power. To reinvigorate the image of the T-5 for the German market, the export division of FoMoCo made numerous and inconsistent upgrades to the vehicles. The handling was improved on many T-5’s through the use of the Export brace, cowl reinforcement bar, shock tower reinforcements, stiffer springs, heavier sway bars, and GT steering boxes. Essentially, some of the T-5’s exported to Germany had bodies that structurally emulated the Shelby GT-350’s while allowing for coupes, convertibles, and lower horse power cars to reap the benefits of a more rigid body. Before any T-5 was permitted to leave the plant, the export division employees pulled the car into a special export inspection area where each car was hand blue printed, ensuring that each car was built with a strict adherence to the engineering specifications. Cars which were built out of tolerance were usually rebuilt by hand to ensure the car was a top of the line vehicle.

If you are one of the people fortunate enough to have a T-5, you may have noticed your car is much more interested in corner carving and curve hugging than other Mustangs of the same vintage. If you’re looking for a Mustang, a T-5 is one of the best cars you can pursue. Since they were built from the best parts, to the highest standards of the time, you are at least sure you are rebuilding something that started out as a premium vehicle. Some of the T-5 specific items can be difficult to find, but believe me; the joys of ownership far outweigh any negative you can imagine.

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Additional Resources

Gary Hanson’s T-5 Registry

First Mustang Club of Germany

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