When it comes to nearly universal appeal, few American cars bring it quite like the Ford Mustang. While a lot of its competitors placed an emphasis on speed, style, or some other singular piece of the puzzle, the Mustang did its best to be everything to everyone while providing a solid foundation to build upon. While almost all the dials have been turned up, this restored 1965 Mustang continues to be a car that virtually any enthusiast could hop behind the wheel of and have an absolute blast. From the stout 5.0L V8 and Tremec transmission to the lightly upgraded suspension and restored interior, everyone who has a chance to eye the car in person will find something different to admire.
While there are some Shelby pieces in play, calling this car some sort of GT-350 tribute would be a disservice to what has been accomplished. The restoration work was performed by Stone Restoration Services back in 2006 and, judging by how the car shows today, they did everything right. The team started with a rust-free California body and got to work prepping it for a fresh coat of paint. This fastback left Ford’s San Jose line in September of ’64 wearing a coat of Honey Gold Metallic but that original color was swapped for shade of bright red more befitting of the car’s new performance theme. The color is Porsche Guards Red and it''s accented by a pair of white Le Mans stripes that run across the top side of the car while traditional GT-350 stripes flank the sides. The car presents well from all angles and makes a strong first impression overall.
Ford definitely sweated the details of their first-generation Mustang and its obvious the restoration continued that idea. At the front, those Le Mans stripes travel all the way down to a Shelby valance equipped with Optima fog lights. A thin chrome bumper splits the front, while a set of Tri-Bar headlights frame a black grille with a right-justified Cobra emblem. Above, a fiberglass hood is held in place by chrome hood pins while a functional scoop feeds air into the engine compartment below. The greenhouse is filled with clean glass surrounded by well-preserved stainless trim and malleable weather stripping. At the sides of the car, functional scoops help cool the rear brakes while standard Mustang pieces like bullet-style mirrors and chrome door handles fill out the profile. At the rear, segmented taillights cap the quarters while a discrete GT-350 badge, a chrome bumper, reverse lights, and a pair of chrome exhaust tips round out the view.
Of course, no one in their right mind adds Shelby visuals and racing stripes without putting something interesting under the hood. To keep power in check, this Mustang offers a well-integrated 5.0L V8 sourced from a 1990 Mustang GT. The mighty 5.0 is second only to the small block Chevy in terms of adaptability, longevity, and the size of its aftermarket parts industry. Externally the same size as the 289, it’s also an easy fit in the early Mustang’s engine bay. instead of taking the easy way out and reverting to carburetion, the entire Ford EEC-IV engine management system, including mass-air induction system, was retained. As a result, this Mustang fastback runs like a Fox Body, with an instantly recognizable exhaust note and a smooth flow of torque that’s a 5.0 specialty. The engine turns a Sanden air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and alternator while utilizing the water pump, stock radiator, and single electric fan to keep things cool. The Motorcraft distributor is visible up front, but the battery has been relocated to the trunk to clear up some extra space. Visually, the mill benefits from finned Cobra valve covers, a trick Ford racing oil fill cap, a Spectre intake, and a polished brace between the fenders.
What would a restoration be without a great foundation? Take a look under this Mustang and you’ll find solid black floors highlighted by fresh paint, factory-style undercoating, and some great performance hardware. Behind the 5.0L, a five-speed manual transmission turns a tried and true Ford rear end. At the ends of the car a restored front coil and rear leaf suspension includes upgraded front and rear sway bars as well as KYB Gas-a-Just shocks for tight cornering and solid launches At the corners of the car, power four-wheel disc brakes provide fade-free stops while power-assisted steering makes the most of driver input. Step on the throttle and a fresh stainless fuel tank supplies gas to fresh stainless fuel lines while cast exhaust manifolds carry spent gases out through a true dual exhaust system. The chassis rides on Magnum 500-style wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich Radial TA tires in sizes 205/70R14 up front and 235/60R14 in the rear.
Open either of this pony car’s doors to find a fully restored cockpit that’s clean, functional and attractive. The car’s factory bucket seats wear new white covers between two piece lap belts and new chrome hardware. In front of those seats, the stock dash hangs a full assortment of Ford gauges along with controls for the HVAC system and a Sony AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA head unit that sends signal out to Pioneer speakers mounted in the kick panels and rear storage area. Between the seats, a factory console sports a removable aftermarket armrest while making room for the shifter and a Cobra-branded console-mounted tachometer. At ground level, fresh black carpeting covers the floors, protected by rubber floor mats with the classic pony logo. The layered door panels are decorated with clean stainless and chrome as well as functional courtesy lights while a white headliner stretches overhead. Open the decklid and you’ll find an equally clean trunk space occupied by a correct trunk mat and the relocated battery.
The only problem with this 1965 Mustang is that, if you’re thinking about buying it, most everyone else will be too. With it’s combination of tasteful styling, a perfectly updated interior, and a drivetrain that will keep a smile on your face for days, the appeal is unnaturally strong with this one – so give us a call today or spend the next few years trying to recreate this killer pony car for yourself. The choice is yours!