Wait a minute, you may be thinking to yourself, what’s up with the title? That’s a Ford Mustang, anyone can see that, for crying out loud! Well, you are half right. I almost walked right past this car at the AACA show back in June of 2013, but then I noticed something interesting, and stopped for a closer look.
Well, you could forgive me for walking on by. I mean it’s a Mustang. Hey, I like Mustangs. But you certainly see a lot at car shows and cruise nights, to the point where they start disappearing from your vision. Your brain, overloaded on red Mustangs, Corvettes and Camaros, tells you “Just another damn Mustang, move along pal!” But this one was different. And something I’d never known about.
Simply put, this is a German-market Mustang. As I am certain all readers to RG know, the Mustang was a smash hit when it first came onto the automotive scene, and everyone and their brother wanted one. Heck, even my grandmother, who gravitated towards large open-top luxocruisers like Pontiac Catalinas and Thunderbirds, briefly had a ’65 Mustang brand-new from Bob Neal Ford. Wimbledon White with black top and interior, she enjoyed it for a time, but ultimately traded it in on a new ’65 Thunderbird convertible once the novelty wore off.
But I don’t need to get any further into Mustang history, now do I? So, why were new Mustangs sold in Germany as the T5? Simply put, it was because a commercial vehicle manufacturer, Krupp, sold a truck marketed as the Mustang.
For some reason, rather than writing the company a check for permission to use the name, FoMoCo simply changed for all German-bound Mustangs into T5s, with appropriate replacement badging. The rather plain “T5” moniker did have some connection to the Mustang, however, as it was one of the project names for the Mustang while it was still under development.
This 1968 convertible didn’t look any different to me from domestically sold Sixties Mustangs, other than the emblems of course. It was rather nice to see one with the standard steel wheels and hubcaps, as most Mustangs these days appear in Resale Red with a myriad of aftermarket wheels in evidence-usually Cragar, American Racing or Keystone wheels.
As this was an AACA event, this car was strictly stock, and even had the original bill of sale with it. This particular example was very lightly optioned, with the 200 CID inline six, three speed manual transmission and an AM radio. More Falcon than Mustang equipment-wise, though probably pretty common then, as 1967-68 GT production didn’t really start growing until the late ’70s, ha ha.
And in one final bit of family Mustang trivia, my mother had a Diamond Blue 1968 Mustang in the early ’70s. That’s probably why I noticed this car in the first place, since 1965-66s are all over the place, but you don’t see too many ’68s, unless it’s a fake Bullitt clone. She finally sold it in the late ’70s when the floor started rusting away. But it was a pretty good car for her!
As for the T5 name, it lasted through the late ’70s, when the copyright Krupp had for the Mustang nameplate finally expired. More info can be found on the Ford T5 website. So now if you’re ever on Jeopardy! and the answer is “This common American car was given a different name when sold in Germany”, you can press that buzzer and say, “What is the Ford T5?” You’re welcome!