1965 MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE
With the exception of documented concessions to safety, comfort, and driveability, this 1965 Mustang convertible is undistiguishable from its condition in June of 1965 when it was new on the showroom floor in Pullman, Washington.
The digital photos on this website tell the majority of the story regarding the Mustang's restoration and present condition.
Our process: There is simply not a more complete restoration of a 1965 Mustang on the road (or in a museum!) today, and it is impossible to completely document the thorough nature of this restoration. In addition to the highest quality paint, body, upholstery, electrical, and mechanical renovation, each of the smallest details of this car's production were documented and either preserved or duplicated.
Having logged nearly 400,000 miles during its first "life", this Mustang was clearly not intended to be pampered. To that end, the entire restoration was done with the goal of producing a routinely driven re-creation of the original. The structure of the car is stronger than it was originally, and concessions to dependability, safety, and durability were made throughout, largely without evidence. Most of the visible alterations are completely reversible.
Each fastener was cataloged, cleaned, checked for authenticity, replated, and eventually returned to its original location. Lost, damaged, or replacement fasteners were researched and replaced with correct originals. Every individual part of the entire car was diligently re-built to ensure the car would perform as well as, or better than, new. Each marking, tag, or code on the car was documented and preserved or re-created, resulting in an exact image of the car as it looked on the dealer's showroom floor in 1965. In years to come, mechanics servicing this Mustang will be impressed with hidden details that were painstakingly duplicated then hidden as the car was assembled.
The exterior of this Mustang is striking. It is painted in a shade of dark green which is not immediately dicernable from the original 1965 Ford Mustang Ivy Green, and one of the door trim caps was polished and left that original color as a basis for comparison. In fact, the paint is Highland Green, a code taken from the 2001 Mustang Bullitt limited edition which features a subtle opalescent poly flake that produces more depth, contrast, and warmth to the color. The car shifts slightly more than original from nearly black to bright green in changing lighting.
The hood, fenders, doors, valances, trunk lid, and front fascia are the same ones Ford installed on this car in 1965. The final coats of color and clear are applied over black substrates, so as these areas become chipped, the chips will not be so evident.
The interior of the car is finished in the original Parchment color offered with deluxe interiors beginning in April of 1965, with Ivy Green appointments to match the exterior paint. A parchment convertible top was stretched on to maintain the theme. To be clear, this color combination was not offered by Ford at that time, nor was the comfort of the rare bench-seat option offered in combination with the deluxe interior. Having decided to deviate to this extent from original equipment, it was also decided to upholster the seats in real leather, resulting in seating comfort on a par with any Lexus. In all other details, however small, the interior is concours-correct.
The engine compartment is completely as original. This Mustang is equipped with the 1965 standard 200 cubic inch in-line six cylinder engine.
Evident to purists in this picture is one of the concessions made to safety: The brake system has been converted to utilize a redundant design brake master cylinder, providing protection against a complete brake system failure in the unlikely event of a hydraulic fluid leak. Not evident in this picture is the addition of a modern electronic ignition system, which was carefully modified to hide its presence from even a careful inspection. The original Autolite model 1100 carburetor was replaced with the Ford Motorcraft Holley-designed 1-barrel for ease of operation and smoother idle characteristics.
All fuel, brake, and vacuum lines are stainless steel duplicates of the originals. The radiator is an updated 3-row design for additional cooling capacity, but appears entirely stock. The heater core is similarly updated to provide about 30% more heat exchange surface for hotter air on cold days. All rubber components are replaced except those few where identical replacements are not available. The PCV hose is a restored original formed hose. Radiator and heater hoses are MCA correct and approved reproductions with all the correct markings and ribs.
The entire electrical system was restored to new condition. In this case, most of the wiring was merely inspected and cleaned, but the spark plug wires and any wiring subject to heat or damage were replaced with identical components.
The engine is chased by the rare "Dagenham" four-speed manual transmission and 2.73:1 differential. All mechanical components of the entire car have been completely rebuilt or replaced and are new. All components are either the exact ones from this car or are identical original or reproduced parts. The colors and textures of the paint used are based on years of research and exact matches from original, unpainted specimens maintained in our archive. (And those detail oriented viewers who are bothered by the blue components on the alternator may want to click here.)
The trunk received no less attention than any other area of the car during the restoration.
While we imagine that few people other than the guys at the tire store or the neighbor's cat will ever get to enjoy it, the undercarriage got the same attention to detail and, in fact was where a great deal of the restorative work was actually done. Since most of the welding and repairs were in this area, there was much effort made to assure that no sign of the repairs would be evident when completed.
In its first two shows, this Mustang was awarded First Place in concourse judging at the world's largest annual Mustang show held in Bellevue, Washington on July 20, 2002, and Best Mustang at the Sun Country Ponies in the Sun event on September 15, 2002. This Mustang was photographed for a feature in Mustang Monthly magazine.
The actual cost of, and all parts used in, the restoration are detailed on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet you can download by clicking here.
home - more - thoughts - images - links