Gauge Cluster color?

I was at the Tulsa Cougar show yesterday and was trying to pay attention to the color of the trim around the gauges on the standard '67’s and '68’s. The reason for that is because mine is painted black:

Was the chrome part of the deluxe interior package in '68? I saw a couple of '67’s with black surrounds, but all of the '68’s I can remember were chrome (and happened to have black interiors).

There was an interesting sign there, too:

Assuming all the info here is accurate, I’m sure mine would be one of the 20,036 that were the base model without any special packages. Mine was scheduled for a January 30, 1968 production date, so it was one that received the 289-2v, also. I still need to get a Marti report, but I think power steering, air conditioning and an automatic were the only options it had. While it doesn’t make it valuable, I’m thinking my car may be a little less common than I thought it was.

The instrument cluster in both 67 & 68 was originally chromed. People paint them because the plastic chrome hasn’t held up well over the years.

Thanks for the info. Somebody did a decent job of painting mine, so I wasn’t sure.

Mine is a factory 289 '68 as well. I have read that the half year thing on non decor cars was due to rising costs, and then the other story I’ve heard is that there was an issue with the first run 302 blocks and that was why they did a half year switch as well as 302 cars receiving 289s as service replacements. I wonder which is actually the case. Maybe one of the more knowledgeable on this type of stuff will chime in. I would like to know if anything so I don’t go around spouting off the wrong info.

There was a strike in September - November 1967 that caused a shortage of 302 engine assemblies. So Ford used already built 289-2V engines to fill in until supplies were restored in several model lines, including the base model 1968 Cougars. This allowed the use of 302’s to satisfy more profitable XR-7 models.

Royce to the rescue!!! That actually makes sense. And now we know…The rest of the story.

Thanks for the info, Royce. It’s always nice to learn a little more about these cars.