Guide to Back Up Lights -1965 to 1970
Back up lights, at one time, were not standard equipment on vehicles sold before the mid 1960’s. Before then they simply were not offered, or required, equipment. One of the first years where Ford even started offering back up lights was in their 1957 model year. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when Federal Safety Regulations pushed new standards that back up lights became mandatory equipment. Part of that regulation reads that the back up light(s) must be white, the vehicle have at least one light, and only be activated when the car is put in reverse. When the Ford Mustang was released in April 1964 back up lamps were not available as a factory option. It was not until August 1964 that the back up lamps could be ordered as an option. Therefore the early Mustangs and the 1965 model year Mustangs did not have this option standard. Ford sold a back up lamp kit during that time if owners wanted to retrofit their Mustangs. Reverse lights finally became standard equipment for the 1966 model year. From that point until the end of 1970 model year Mustangs, Shelby’s, and Cougars had separate reverse lights mounted on the rear valance. It was not until the 1971 model year that the reverse lights were finally integrated into the entire tail light assembly. The separate valance mounted reverse lights were unique to the Mustangs for almost 50 years, and were not ever brought back until 2015 when the new model Mustangs again mounted the reverse lights separately. This guide here will show the differences and details and how to identify the early back up lamps. 


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