Hi, I'm turning 16 in March and will be getting my license. I would be happy and grateful to have any car, but I absolutely love classic Mustangs, especially the '65's, '66's and '68's. I really want one because I'll actually want to put the time and effort into it to maintain it, learn about it, and make it mine.
But, the only thing that's holding me back a little is the safety. I know that they're not the safest cars out there, and I realize that they lack many of the safety features that newer cars have. So I was wondering if anyone knew of any important safety features that would be possible to add to a '65 or a '66. Things like three point seat belts, headrests, etc. Any insight would be really helpful. Thanks!!
When I turned 16 my dad gave me the 65 stang that had been sitting in our driveway for almost 10 years. We had to put the 3-point seat belts and front disc brakes on before my mom would let me drive it. If it ends up being a 65, make sure you have backup lights. I learned the hard way that people only look for your backup lights in parking lots, not moving cars. It would also help to switch out your taillights with LEDs because they're much brighter. Tank armor is a great idea. It would also be a good idea to put a steel divider behind the back seat. Good luck!
65 C code with original Phoenician yellow paint
For a vintage Mustang that's driven a lot, bare minimum: Front disc brakes with dual masters.. power brakes not necessary if you get the right master cylinder (I have a sn197 Cobra unit), 3-pt belts, just make sure you have a 3rd point mounted adequately... personally I think you should get some high-back seats.. Tank armor.. not so much to keep gas contained, but for added structural rigidity.. the same for the steel seat divider. AND GOOD TIRES!!
That being said.. an old Mustang will never be as safe as ANY car built today.. just be careful.
1965 Mustang convertible
331 Stroker with EFI, 355rwhp - 358 ft/lbs
Street or Track coil-over suspension
agree on the dual bowl master cylinder and making sure everything is up to date but I'm going to go against the grain a little bit and say disc brakes don't have to be high on your list of upgrades, especially in a 6-cylinder if that's what you're looking at. A properly maintained and set-up drum brake system works very well. But if you have the extra money, it's definitely an upgrade to go that route.
I don't know how far off originality you're looking to go but I would update the front seats before I went disc brakes. If you're OK with not having original-style seats, I would replace them with one of the many options that are out there for locking seats with full-height backs and headrests. You can buy new ones straight up that are designed to go in the car, or you can get old seats from any number of later model Mustangs and reupholster them in a style designed to match the '65s. They're more comfortable and also safer in the event something does happen.
Another thing to consider is replacing the steering column with a '67-style collapsible column. I haven't done this yet but want to.
Also consider that along with safety comes reliability, in that you're not safe if you're stranded somewhere, so you may want to think about some of the upgrades available in that realm like electronic ignition, making sure your car's tuned up, etc.
A few suggestions/concerns:
o Brakes. Dual system master cylinder started on 67 model.
o 3 point safety belts optional on 68 model
o head rest optional on 68 model
o collapsible steering column 68 model
o bumpers are decorative 'til 73
o air bags started in the 90s
Biggest safety item is the nut behind the wheel (that's you).
Welcome to VMF, enjoy
your Mustang being super careful
P.S. Convertible and safety is mainly possible with a careful defensive the driver!
Somewhat safer than a go cart!
My '64 1/2 vert. Ordered May '64. D code 4 speed, handling package, caspian blue, accent group, Ford blue manual top.
'68 vert. driver. Owned since '77. C code AT, AC, PS, P disc B, PT lime gold, standard black interior and top. NOS RF fender and left quarter.New top and folding glass.
1) Disc brakes (front at the very least)
2) Dual bowl master cylinder, if you end up with a '65 or '66
3) 3-point seatbelts
4) Seats with locking backs and headrests (I've got '93 seats in mine and they're great)
5) Fine-tuned steering (slop in the steering box is a no-no) - I prefer power steering but you can do without
6) Brighter halogen headlights
7) LED taillights and backup lights
8) Collapsible steering column (if a '65 or '66)
9) Good tires
Tenth and absolutely MOST IMPORTANT is the driver! You need a lot of experience and need to really know your car and its limitations if you want to be a safe driver. You have really got to always be on alert when driving these cars because it takes a lot longer to stop and people these days will not give you much warning. And you can't just look in front, you've got to keep an eye out behind as well - I've almost been rear-ended by some guy who was looking at my car and didn't notice the light changing, so when I was coming to a stop I guess he assumed I was just slowing down for a right-hand turn. He ended up whipping his car around mine and almost hitting the car next to us but at least he didn't hit me! I tend to always have my foot on the gas ready to go if I see someone coming up too fast now though.
Good luck! This site is an amazing resource when it comes to vintage Mustangs and you will learn a lot here.
Calamity Jane aka "The Maybe-Not-So-Evil B$*&#"
289 v8, Powerjection III EFI, mild cam
4-speed, 3.25 9" rear
Power disc brakes, Unisteer power R&P
Pertronix ignition, RetroSound Model One radio, Classic Auto Air A/C, etc...
Three years of work for three days of perfection. This pony WILL get back out on the road and it WILL reliably take me where I want to go... and it will always, always keep me safe.
if you look at a ka-boom model mustang, it would be wise to add a 3rd brake light, gas tank armor, metal back seat filler panel, ----and radial tires, fresh complete brake job w dual bowl master cyl, inspected and aligned steering system, shoulder seat belt kits, l.e.d. tail lamps, h.i.d. headlamps, head rest kit, but the biggest safty item in the car is .......................you. Remember this, the cemetery is full of people who had the right-of-way, watch out turning left, danger danger danger, never let anyone "wave" you out, no texting/yacking on your cell, if the wipers are on, your lights should be as well, always expect the unexpected when driving, patience and courtesy at all times..just take it easy...no showing off...so, maybe a newer mustang first and then a classic?
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