Quarter-panel Ornaments

The most distinctive visual item on the 67 mustang to differentiate it from all other years is the ornament just behind the door on the quarter panel.  There are other visual clues to identify it as something other than its predecessors, but I think this one is the big item to quickly identify a 67. Most others are also common to the 68.

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The 67 was a transition year in many ways for the Mustang.  They learned things from the first couple of production years and made improvements. They also continued to make improvements in following years, so there are some aspects of the 67 that are unique to that year. The quarter-panel ornaments are one of those things.

All in all, its just some side flare. Not a big deal. Before I started restoring the car, as I documented the state it was in, I thought the ornaments were plastic based on the quality of the paint on them previously. I was surprised when they were taken off to find they were metal and an interesting design. Seeing how they went together made me want to share it as a unique aspect of the 67 and not something reproduction shops make.

The ornament tray and the 3 raised louvers are actually 3 separate pieces of cast metal.

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The tray has holes drilled in the center and an inset for the other 2 pieces. the middle piece fits into the inset and also has holes for the last piece.  The center piece has the 2 mounting bolts which go through the first to, and attach the whole assembly to the body.

There are 4 of these assemblies in total. Part of the original casting for the parts includes what looks like a hand etched number on each part so you get them back together correctly. They even tell you if they are upper or lower. Because of the angle, passenger and driver sides are not interchangeable, so no worries on that detail.

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The trays go into a recess in the side of the quarter panel that exposes the outside to the inside of the vehicle if left out. They server no functional purpose like air intake for brake cooling or anything like that. They just add a distinctive flare to the 67.

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When I first looked at putting the ornaments back on the car, I didn’t realize there was a gasket. The big book of projects enlightened me, and off I went to order more parts and wait a week.

67 Quarter panel ornament gasket set of 4

Since the ornament fills a hole in the exterior of the body, the gasket makes sense to keep water out of the quarter panel under the coupe rear side windows. $4 to save a lot of rust later.

While waiting for the gaskets, I thought I would look into the big pile of parts for the mounting hardware. Essentially its just 8 nuts. Unfortunately, they are not like normal metal bolt style nuts. They are just pressed metal with the bolt threads being more similar to wood screws than bolts. They are nowhere to be found. Order more parts. Reset the week waiting for parts.

67 Quarter-panel ornament nut set (8)

Good thing I ordered the set though because they also came with a bushing to help buffer the stamped nut against the inside of the body and hold it tight.

Once I finally had all the parts, assembling it is a snap.  The gaskets are a little loose and hard to keep in place. To make sure they didn’t slide out when I was tightening them down, I added a drop of weatherstrip adhesive that I had from the trunk weatherstrip project. They get compressed pretty well as they are loose pack foam, so I was less worried about the glue to keep a water tight seal than making sure they made contact all around.  If they set right, they are going to seal.

It’s the little details that I love about this car. This is one of those things that shows some craftsmanship around a part that’s only purpose is to make the car look tough. It’s not just a cheap plastic part, or even flimsy metal, but something someone put some care into designing. I have to appreciate that and think it’s worth sharing.

Seeing it come back together piece by piece just makes me happy. I never thought I would see it looking this new again. Just another project while waiting for parts.

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