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I am fixing up a 65 mustang and would like to replace the trim on the side panels. The only thing, I can’t seem to find them, and haven’t seen them on other mustangs. Is this an aftermarket item someone added along the way? The black rubber pieces in the center of the chrome have shrunken over the years. I like the trim, but would like to replace if possible. Let me know if you have any idea what it is and if I can get a replacement. Thanks!

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Aftermarket. Probably added in the 70’s or 80’s. IMO they look horrible, and ruin the clean lines of a car. I still remember my Dad adding that same kind of trim to his ‘73 Celica in the late 80’s. Just like in the picture you posted, as the rubber dries, it shrinks. Then, as in the picture, there’ll be huge gaps in the trim.

I would remove them, fill the screw holes and then paint match.
 

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If you really want to find some choices, search for body side moldings. Here's an example:
 

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If you can't find the right aftermarket rubber looking at car parts try expanding your search to include boat rub rail molding. It's similar enough that there might be some available that would slide into your existing chrome.

Just something else to look at. Some examples here.
 

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Or, if you took it off, you could add a tasteful C-stripe that was an option and it would cover your paint holes and wouldn't be a turn-off for the anti-body molding crowd (if you even cared, of course). I like the stripe on some cars, because it actually accentuates the Mustang's natural lines on some cars with or without the quarter ornament, without being gawdy.
 

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Ah! Those are genuine JC Whitney "paint protection" bumpers. Probably cost about $2 back in 1970.

For those not old enough to know, JC Whitney was a newsprint mail-order catalog that sold cheap, tacky, accessories. While the DID sell legit car parts (especially old flathead stuff), we mostly knew them as the world-wide purveyor of fuzzy dice and shrunken heads up until the early 1990s. If it was kitcshy, made outrageous snake-oil claims, and was possibly outright dangerous, then JC Whitney certainly sold it. Much of the sentimental "Doo-wop" 1950s crap you see at local car shows came from JC Whitney (tail pipe extenders, "continental" kits, etc.). Teens loved to dress up their cars with cheap garbage back in the 1950s.

In the 1970s, me and my friends loved JC Whitney catalogs more than comic books. They were hilarious. We ignored the legit car parts and had competitions to find the most outrageous (and dangerous) junk being offered....

www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/lets-go-shopping-at-jc-whitney-in-1958.679472/

Do you want a stuffed cat in the rear window with red bulbs for eyes wired to your brakes as a third brake light? Do you want a foot-operated radio station selector? Do you want a bobble-head weeny dog or grass-skirt hula girl on your dash? Do you want an ocean liner blast horn? Or an old-timey "Au-ooo-gah!" horn? Do you want to improve gas mileage by 10% just by adding a "Econ-o-mizer" fuel regulator or "Turbo-X" air cleaner?

The answer to all these questions is an emphatic "Who wouldn't want that?"

So anyway, your rails were added by somebody worried about reckless shopping carts roaming free in parking lots. If your paint is original, then perhaps the rails were actually effective. But we must ask ourselves, "At what cost? At... what.... cost?"
 

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JC WHITNEY was great, as a young teenager with no car, I loved those catalogs.
 

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I’ve recently filled all 32 holes left by some of that damn trim on my daughter’s 66. It’s the worst.

Do you want a stuffed cat in the rear window with red bulbs for eyes wired to your brakes as a third brake light?
I have a friend with one of those cats in his 64 Cadillac. Beautiful car and that ugly cat always gets a laugh.
 

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I am fixing up a 65 mustang and would like to replace the trim on the side panels. The only thing, I can’t seem to find them, and haven’t seen them on other mustangs. Is this an aftermarket item someone added along the way? The black rubber pieces in the center of the chrome have shrunken over the years. I like the trim, but would like to replace if possible. Let me know if you have any idea what it is and if I can get a replacement. Thanks!

View attachment 762744

View attachment 762745
You can buy the rubber at a RV parts store. I replaced it on my Motothome. If you can, I would remove it.
Not a ford mustang option
yarb
 

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Strange how most comments here are strongly anti the protector strip (quite typical of its time) whilst others croone over 18" wheels fitted with tyres that look like black band aids.
Fickle fashion. 😂
That’s a false equivalency. One is a bolt on affair while the other arguably makes the car uglier in an effort to preserve paint while ironically requiring welding and a new paint job to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input and history! I am planning to repaint in the future (not original as-is), so I will probably just leave it until I do the repaint and then have them remove and patch.
 

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Are you staying with that color? Looks like Twilight Turquoise, which is a personal favorite of mine.
 

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JC WHITNEY was great, as a young teenager with no car, I loved those catalogs.
That's where I first learned about the toilet paper oil filters!
 

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I am planning to repaint in the future (not original as-is), so I will probably just leave it until I do the repaint and then have them remove and patch.
Winner! It's troubling how happy I am to hear you plan to remove those. Like BlakeTX, I am also a huge fan of the Twilight Turquoise.
 

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That's where I first learned about the toilet paper oil filters!
Which were a Godsend on older cars that had no oil filter on the engine. I still have a chrome one in the basement I took off my other car, which now has NO oil filter.
 
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