1965 Ford Mustang
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Outside of the infamous Shelby Mustangs, there aren't many Ford pony cars that are more liked than a 1965 Mustang coupe with a C-code 289 and a 4-speed, which is exactly what we have here. The numbers match and check out properly – VIN/warranty number 5R07Cxxxxxx, (yes, she has her original motor she was born with!) it has been restored and detailed to a very high standard, and is ready to show, drive, and enjoy today. There were many C-code Mustangs built in 1965, most of them GT coupes and fastbacks, making this non-GT coupe a desirable little car for the money. These C-code cars are gaining popularity by leaps and bounds, and none will appreciate as quickly as a 4-speed car in red. If you buy it now, you'll be thanking yourself later!
The “C” represented the engine code in the VIN of these Mustangs. Each C-Code Mustang, including this Poppy Red one with white interior, had a special badge on their front fenders that read “289.” This is a nice upgrade from the common 6 cylinder that many of them had.
Here's the trim tag decode:
Body: 65A - Hard Top (Standard Interior)
Color: 3 - Poppy Red
Date: 24K - October 24th
DSO: Axle: 6 (2.80:1, Conventional)
Trans: 5 - 4-Speed Manual
The body on this hardtop is in excellent condition, having been fully restored a few years ago. The body received extensive work to get it this straight and clean, and panel alignment is very, very good. The Poppy Red is now a 2-stage urethane instead of the old single stage enamel, and it shines way better than the original ever did. There has been some expert sheet metal work, but the repairs are invisible and 100% OEM throughout. Look at the photos again and check out the shut lines on those doors, – there's no sagging, no sign of fatigue in the rockers, nothing. This car was restored to better than new condition in every measurable way, and has been driven only sparingly since its completion. There are no ripples, no waves, no dings, just nice & straight sheet metal everywhere you look.
The chrome and trim on this car were also restored or replaced during the restoration, and most everything is in first-rate shape today, the rear bumper and chrome wheels could possibly be original. They are showing a little wear, but still in nice shape. The front bumper has to be new, since it is completely wave-free and the chrome is a little deeper. The stainless has been buffed to look like the best chrome, and all the cast metal pieces have been refinished properly. There are some signs of age in the bright work, but they are very, very slight and could easily be remedied. Glass is correct and intact all around, while all the lenses and other trim pieces are really nice. The correct “High Performance 289” badges are in place on the front fenders, advertising this car's potent 200 horsepower V8. Out back, the correct looking exhaust chrome tips protrude from the rear valence and sound amazing.
The engine compartment in this C-code coupe is as the factory made it, with some NOS parts and a few after market ones too. The block is black, not Ford Blue as many people think it should be, and shows very few signs of usage. The chrome dress-up kit is in nice shape, including the “289 High Performance” air cleaner decal, and nice chrome air cleaner. The hoses are correct and showing to be in good condition. Plug wires are Mallory Pro Wires, and there's even a reproduction Ford FOMOCO washer bag. The correct Hi-PO fan cools the radiator and the chrome alternator has the large-diameter gold cadmium plated pulley.
You'll also note that the underside of the hood and the engine compartment is finished as nicely as the exterior of the car, something that wasn't “Job One” in 1965, but there's no penalty for over-restoration. As impressed as I am with this car overall, I was very pleased by the engine bay; it's gorgeous, accurate, and pretty correct for this era car.
The transmission is a Ford close-ratio 4-speed cast iron Top Loader with a 10.4-inch clutch that was a mandatory option with the 200 HP engine option in 1965. It drives an unbreakable 9-inch rear carrying 2,80 gears on an open differential. An optional front sway bar is included on the front suspension of this pony. This was the same 'Special Handling Package' offered in the V8 GT cars. The steering was the fast ratio box (16:1) used with the power steering cars, but without the power assist. Tires were 14-inch with a standard white wall. The tires are Cooper Trend Setters steel belted radials. P195/75R14, on a set styled chrome steel Mustang wheels.
The rest of the chassis is nicely detailed, but now showing some signs of usage. A weekend of elbow grease would put it back into top-flight show condition, but if this were mine, I'd simply maintain it and enjoy the heck out of the high-winding small block's song as I hammered down the road.
The fully restored standard bucket seat interior is absolutely beautiful there was no sacrifice in choosing the base interior option. The Pony interior option may have been an upgrade, but I don't think you're missing anything now that I've seen how this car looks. The seats feature new foam under fresh seat covers, the door panels look new, and there's fresh carpet on the floor boards. The dash and gauges look great and are probably originals. The AM radio works properly, as does the heater. The 4-speed floor shifter looks period correct, and shifts great. The trunk is finished to factory specs with a new mat and a nice looking spare tire, and even a jack. The underside of the trunk lid is also restored nice, including a fresh rubber weather seal and a floor jack decal.
These C-code cars are an absolute blast to drive. With a 6,500 RPM redline, a close ratio 4-speed, and a 2:80 rear axle, 17-second 1/4 mile times are possible. The car just explodes from about 3,500 RPM to redline and the solid lifter engine and dual exhaust sounds incredible. With a high-quality restoration that's just starting to mellow, this would be an incredible seasonal driver that would be welcome at any show where it would probably draw a crowd the instant you popped the hood. In the meantime, its value should continue to climb, making it one of the smarter investments you can make. Remember when Plymouth 'Cuda convertibles were changing hands for $60K and we all thought they were overpriced? Don't make that same mistake with this car. This is a real deal C-code car that has been nicely restored. Don't let this pony get out of the stall and into someone else's hands before the season ends.
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