Back in the early 1960s, a young German lady named Maria Seidl, fell in love with an American soldier named Bob, who was stationed near her home in Germany. The two eventually got married and decided to buy a car. Maria had been enamored with the Ford Mustang, which had just started to be imported to Germany under the name, "Ford T-5." That said, they purchased a brand new T-5 in Wiesbaden, Germany, and got to drive it for a few months in country, before Bob was stationed back to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.
Maria got a job working at the PX on base at Fort Belvoir, where she became my mom's first boss. Maria and my mom struck up a great friendship that endured for decades. Maria became the God Mother to my sister, and was like a third grandmother to me growing up; we called her Mutti. When I was in elementary school, Mutti gave the T-5 to me, in hopes that I would one day be able to drive it. Many years later in 2010, I decided to get the car fully restored back to its original beauty. Mutti was able to see her car in a car show for the first time, it brought her an incredible amount of pride and joy. Mutti passed away in May 2022.
It looks like a Mustang, but the Mustang name is nowhere to be found, inside or out, and the badge on the fender says T-5. But why?...
In 1965, the top-selling Mustang in the U.S. was an affordable and attractive Ford coupe. In Germany, the year’s top-selling Mustang was a hulking commercial truck. Decidedly less sporty than America’s coupe, Germany’s Mustang truck was an ungainly presence on the road, and its two-stroke diesel engine was a noisy, smoking slug. Produced by Krupp Motoren und Kraftwagenfabriken in 1951-68, the Mustang truck’s primary claim to fame was that it — and Krupp’s copyright — set up a roadblock for Ford’s plans to market its Mustang in Germany. If you were a G.I. in Germany or a Nordic fan of American cars, you couldn’t buy a Ford Mustang, but you could purchase its doppelgänger: the Ford T5 – a car bearing the cryptic alpha- numeric code that Ford had assigned it during development. Marketed in Germany from 1965 until Krupp’s copyright expired in 1973, the T5 was a Mustang lookalike and drive-alike. A casual observer would be hard pressed to think it was anything other than a Mustang, but there are minor differences. The 1965 T5s had unique hubcaps with a plain center, rather than the galloping horse and “Ford Mustang” badging. The Mustang name on the front fenders gave way to a T-5 badge — Ford couldn’t decide how to spell the two-character name — and the Mustang ID on the steering wheel was banished. Most T5s had clear parking lamps rather than amber, and some speedometers were calibrated in kilometers. Practical modifications included extra bracing to fortify the body and a heavy-duty suspension. For more information, see https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/01/12/german-for-mustang
There are only three known 1966 T-5s of this year, color, and trim in existence today. See the T-5 Registry for additional details: http://www.fordt5.com/registry.html