with installing aftermarket stereos in ‘65-’66 Mustangs has
always been created by the small, rectangular opening in the
sheet-metal instrument panel. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, owners
regularly hacked up the dash to enlarge the opening for
cassette units and newer AM/FM stereos.
Custom Autosound rushed to the rescue in the ‘80s with its
AM/FM/cassette units specifically designed to fit the
instrument-panel opening. Take a look inside early Mustangs
today and most likely you’ll find one of Custom Autosound’s
USA stereo systems, many with CAs CD changer in the trunk.
Autosound’s latest USA-66 adds a new twist to the lineup.
While most of the USA head units are modern in appearance
with digital faces and small function buttons, the new unit
looks identical to the ‘65-’66 Mustang’s optional AM/FM
stereo, right down to the sliding AM/FM bar, push buttons,
and analog dial. But behind the USA- 66’s original
appearance lies 200 watts of stereo power along with a
dedicated input for CA’s 10-disc USA-CD1O CD changer, an
auxiliary input for iPods and other MP3 players, and
line-out connections for an amplifier.
USA-66 adds a truly vintage vibe to a '65-'66 interior, it
doesn’t operate like an original AM/FM, Yes, turning the
knob on the left controls on/off and volume, and the right
knob tunes the radio, just like on originals, but the
pushbuttons don’t operate as presets. Instead, the left
button selects between radio, CD changer, and auxiliary,
while the other four control a remote CD changer. Pushing
the radio knobs also switches their function for bass and
treble, balance, and front/rear fader. A small LED in the
bottom left of the dial changes colors to indicate radio,
CD, or auxiliary functions.
giving up radio presets for a direct iPod connection was not
a problem. With an iPod, there’s not much reason to listen
to the radio anyway
one of Custom Autosound’s USA-5 stereos in a ‘66 GT hardtop
for several years, and it has served us well. But with no
need for a cassette deck any longer, Matt Simmons at Classic
Creations of Central Florida swapped out the USA-5 for the
new USA-66, connecting it to our complement of CA kick-panel
speakers, rear deck speakers, Back-Seat Driver subwoofer and
amp, and CD changer. It’s the best sound we’ve ever had in
our ‘66, especially with the direct iPod connection
eliminating the need for a less-than-ideal FM transmitter.