As much as reproduction parts have improved over the years, many Mustang owners believe there's nothing like the original parts. Whether you're building a concours car with all N.O.S. and original/date coded parts, or you're just on a mac and cheese budget and want to keep as many original parts in your build as you can to save money, original parts are often the best choice. Not to mention there are still many items not reproduced and you'll have to use the original part (or find a good used replacement) for your restoration.
When it comes to the first generation of Mustangs, the '65-'68 models used metal grille assemblies. These grilles were made from aluminum and were bolted to the headlight buckets and lower grille support (or stone deflector on later cars) and the familiar horse and corral, and fog lamps if optioned, bolted to the grille itself. Over the years these metal grilles get beat up from road debris, service work in the engine bay, accidents, and more. Usually the damage isn't severe enough to warrant full replacement. With a little bench work, cleaning, and refinishing, you can make your'65-'68 Mustang grille look factory fresh. We're talking nothing more than some hammer and dolly work, a can of spray paint, and a few hours out of your Saturday.
We grabbed used '65, '66, and '68 Mustang grilles from our friends at Classic Creations of Central Florida (www.classiccreationsfl.com; 863/665-2322) and we're going to give them the once over here for our story to show you just how simple this work is and how rewarding the results are. With reproduction grilles often costing over $100, why not put that money where it will do your restoration some good and fix that grille up yourself. There's nothing like having an original part on your Mustang, as not everyone can say that they do, but you'll be able to with a smile on your face as you point to your restored grille on your Mustang!