Ford Mustang Tail Lights Through The Years (1979-Present)

Tail Lights on the Mustang have changed dramatically over the years so we at LMR have created an in-depth article covering the transition from 1979-Present!

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Ford Mustang Tail Lights Through The Years | 1979-2021 - Ford Mustang Tail Lights Through The Years | 1979-2021

Ford Mustang Tail Lights Through The Years (1979-Present) - Ford Mustang Tail Lights Through The Years (1979-Present)

Mustang Tail Light Design Over The Years


With the introduction of the Fox Chassis, Ford went with a taillight design that had sharp edges with vertical lines that were reminiscent to the three-bar taillights of the 60’s era Mustangs!


The second iteration of the Fox Mustang Taillight, the vertical lines were dropped for a horizontal design and incorporated an amber turn signal.


Ford did not change much for the SVO taillights. Horizontal black lines were added to the 1984 SVO and Charcoal lines for the 85-86 cars to help set it apart from the standard Mustang and the GT variants.

1987-93 LX

More noticeable changes were made for the 87-93 Model Years. The brake light section received its own square portion and while the turn signal bulb remained amber, the lens was changed to a clear version that flowed nicely into the backup light.

1987-93 GT

Known as the “cheese grater” because of its perforated appearance, the GT’s of 87-93 had a built-in bezel that was painted body-color that drastically changed the rear end appearance from the LX models.

1993 Cobra

Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) released the Cobra in 1993. The taillights featured the same horizontal Charcoal lines that were found on the 85-86 SVO Taillight lenses.


The SN95 platform marked a massive change to the Mustang! With it brought back the 3-bar taillight design. However, these were horizontal in design but was a welcomed nod to the Mustangs of the 1960s!


The shape of the taillight did not change but the Mustang now had its iconic vertical three-bar design back on the rear of its Pony Car! This theme was revamped in 1996 and still continues to the current Model Mustang!


With the facelift of the 1999 Mustang, the Taillights also received a revamp! They retain the vertical design with sharper lines that flow well with the “New Edge” body style.

1999-01 Cobra

Amber turn signals are back for the first time since 1993! The taillight remains unchanged with the major exception of the “import” style version featuring a flashing turn signal section on the outer bottom of the lens. These taillights are a highly sought-after modification to many New Edge owners.


2005 marked the end of the Fox Chassis and the beginning of the S197 platform. Keeping in line with the traditional three-bar design, Ford modeled this taillight to be in a rectangular shape with rounded edges.


A facelift in 2010 brought upon another new taillight design. This time, sequential taillights were instituted that flashed from inside to the outside paying homage to the Shelby Mustangs of past years! This feature would continue to the current model year Mustangs.


The final look of the S197 platform featured some of the most creative taillights to date! An LED outlined housing surrounds the continuing sequential turn signal design. The backup lights are also built-in to the middle brake light section and switch from Red to White depending on usage.


Once the S197 platform ended, the S550 came about with a completely new design! The taillights featured a three-dimensional, vertical LED sequential set up that is similar to the 1969 Mustang!


A slight change was made to the S550 design where there is a taper at the top and bottom of each of the vertical three-bar taillights. Other than that, the design was a carryover from 2015-2017.


The S650 Mustang features a unique design of taillights in comparison to previous year models. With sharper lines, iconic tri-bar styling, and a convex rear section, the S650 has much more in store for us down the road!