Perfect holes often become imperfect letters and emblems because letters and emblems aren't always perfect. Letters and emblems are typically made of die-cast metal (pot metal), and they're not always perfect. In fact, they're more irregular than regular. The pins (legs) that go into the sheetmetal are sometimes flawed and at odd angles. This makes the letter sit crooked on the fender, the hood, or the decklid. Sometimes installing the letter or the emblem can be a bear because the pins are not properly aligned.
If you have letters or emblems that won't line up, try several until the proper fit is achieved. Sometimes it takes numerous tries before you find that perfect fit. If you run into the same problem with reproduction letters and emblems, try a different brand or opt for good used pieces to achieve a perfect fit.
During the first two model years, Mustangs rolled off the assembly line in two ways: standard and GT. We see a lot of restored Mustang GT models with crooked letters in the middle of the GT stripe. We'll show you measurements from politically correct examples, but let's look at standard '64 1/2 and '65-'66 examples first.
There are subtle differences between the early '65 ('64 1/2) and later years.
The '65-'66 standard Mustang emblems are similar to the '64 1/2 with the exception of the emblem size.
This one tends to stump us because we see a lot of variations in those seven little letters on the front fenders. GT badge positioning is quite consistent. It should line up with the M on the left side and the G on the right side. The great challenge for restorers is positioning the MUSTANG letters correctly within the GT stripes. This takes an exceptional eye for detail and asymmetry.
MUSTANG lettering on the right-hand...
MUSTANG lettering on the right-hand side should be 1331/48 inches from the upper-beltline radius to the top of each letter.
On the left side, the G is...
On the left side, the G is exactly 3 inches from the fender's trailing edge, the N is 431/44 inches, the A is 611/44 inches, the T is 8 inches, the S is 931/44 inches, the U is 1111/44 inches, and the M is 1271/48 inches. Each letter is measured at the right side of the letter.
The MUSTANG lettering is 1351/48...
The MUSTANG lettering is 1351/48 inches from the upper beltline radius on the left side.
On the left side, the GT badge...
On the left side, the GT badge is exactly 8 inches from the upper beltline radius.
The GT badge is 1251/48 inches...
The GT badge is 1251/48 inches from the fender's trailing edge to the right side of the badge. If you're starting cold with a clean fender, we suggest exactly 13 inches.
Letter-Perfect John's Mustangs...
John's Mustangs & Classics in San Diego is a great source for classic Mustang trim. Emblems and letters can be purchased from Scott Drake Reproductions. We like these simple, convenient emblem and letter kits because they make restoration detailing a snap. When we asked John Da Luz of John's Mustangs & Classics for all the goodies necessary to trim out a '67 Mustang, he handed us these convenient kits. Now our job is finished.
Not So Perfect Part of the...
Not So Perfect
Part of the crooked letter/emblem issue is the imperfections of die-cast items. This is true today and it was true back when our Mustangs were new. Because die-casting isn't always an exact science, you will find occasional original and reproduction letters and emblems with flaws. Pins that are out of true will make the letter sit crooked when installed. Sometimes it's impossible to install them. Resist the temptation to redrill holes and try several letters before giving up.