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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if any cars were left partially completed on the assembly line during the August 1964 shutdown where they switched from 1964 1/2 to 1965 details? Or maybe some were left in the storage area awaiting parts that ran out? I have been disassembling a 64 1/2 convertible that I have had stored away for a number of years. The car is a true 64 1/2, with al the typical details, generator and a D-code engine, it is near the end of the serial numbers for a 64 1/2 and it looks like it's scheduled build date was July 29, 1964. The odd thing is that on the inside of the LH door panel it has a quality control stamp from September 1, 1964 and the carpet went all the way to the sill plates (The RH door panel is stamped Jun 2, 1964). The car has never been painted, the doors and carpet appear to be original in every aspect including grease pencil marks on the inside door panels like from the assembly line. So it has got me to wondering if any cars were stranded on the assembly line or somewhere else partially assembled during the shut-down and re-tooling in August 1964?
I considered the door panel being a dealer service part, but it has assembly line markings on it and the date code is too coincidental.
Any other thoughts?
742143
 

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The simplest explanation is that the door panel may have been damaged at the dealership through test drives or other use and then replaced prior to sale. The factory does some test builds during change over to ensure line flow, and a generator car would not have been part of that. Interesting find though. If there was a bunch more than just the door panel I think you would possibly have a story, but a single part looks like dealer intervention. JMHO. I wasn't there.
 

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Also, a door panel probably was not a regularly stocked part at this point as the cars were new and the need was rare, so they would have to order one from the factory which would line up with the close date you have on yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quite likely dealer intervention, however this door panel is not marked like a factory service part. The other option I thought about was the dealer borrowing a part off another car on the lot. My cousin owned and operated a Ford dealership through the 60’s and he told me this was not uncommon then.
This is the fifth 65 convertible I have owned, but the only 64 1/2 out of all of the 14 Mustangs I have owned over the years. It has almost all of the stereotypes: exposed screw hood bumpers, hood with unfinished corners, generator, battery vents, A on vent knob, slotted spare tire hold down, clip inside door handles, D code engine, serial number in the 215000 range. The only two traits it didn’t come with were angled headlight buckets and partial carpet (as noted before it came with a very old full carpet).
It does have a couple interesting things though. The block and C-4 are 6-bolt, I can’t check the casting date yet on them, but the casting dates on the intake and the exhaust manifolds are all mid-1964. The other interesting thing is the seatbelts, but they could also be a later intervention. There is only front belts and no evidence of any rear ever, the outside belts are fastened with typical bolts, the inside are fastened with an eye-bolt (all of which very rusted in place) the buckles are a patterned chrome two-part lift-up that I haven’t seen before. They say Fomoco on the back and are dated 1-64. They look like dealer installed belts. I have another 65 with a 250000 serial number and it came with the typical crinkle lift up buckles.
 

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The OP's post is based upon a premise that the assembly lines were shut down during August for the model year changeover. While I can't comment on what happened in Dearborn and Metuchen during that time, I was invited to take a tour of San Jose in mid August and the line was 100% Mustang production. Given the minute changes between '64-1/2 and '65, I can't imagine the main assembly line was shut down for any length of time, if at all, during the '65 model changeover. The production demand was high, the line was running at a swift pace, "just in time" supply line logistics was not then in place at Ford, and the loss of production volume would have been a loss of profit for Ford. That being said, when it comes to production anomalies, never say never.
 

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Interested to see what the date code is on the engine block and transmission. Tranny date code is above the shifter on the side of the case. Difficult to see unless it is on a lift.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interested to see what the date code is on the engine block and transmission. Tranny date code is above the shifter on the side of the case. Difficult to see unless it is on a lift.
I’m pulling the car apart to do a proper rotisserie restoration, just documenting what I find as I go - so I will know casting dates soon. Fun car to document as it was never restored, repainted or any noticeable collision repair.
 

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I've heard it's fairly common for those near the change-over point to have bits and pieces from both, so nothing really unusual. But the documentation is good. Interesting that the seatbelts on my March build also have a 1 64 date on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A D code 289 was a 5 bolt block. You have a replacement short block with the original manifolds and such bolted back on.
That makes sense. The exhaust manifolds (RH: C40E-9430-A date 4C23; LH: C30E-9431-A date 4D15) seem original. The block (C5AE-6015-E date 4G18) seems too close to the scheduled build date (27G) even though the steering box has a 4G20C date and by all appearances has never been off the car. They even put the original generator and correct bracket back on. The transmission is a C4, but the valve body has a tag from a 68 mustang (C8ZPH A18), so I am suspecting now that the drivetrain has been messed with. It is very believable that the block and transmission were swapped out at some point. Only 60,000 miles, so I’m not sure why yet. Sad as otherwise the car is intact wearing all of its original sheet metal and paint.
 
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