Story by John Murphy, owner of this 1965 Mustang GT High Performance Fastback.
This car was purchased in January of 87, so we have owned it 21 years.
I purchased it from the second owner, an attorney in Northern Illinois
through a wanted ad I had placed in Hemmings. The guy wanted $5600.00 and
would not budge. I wanted a ragtop, but due to the rarity of a GT Hipo
fastback with Deluxe interior it seemed a shame to pass on this car. I
drove it 250 miles home on the day of purchase, he kept the title until my
check cleared. The vehicle was intact and had not been fooled with too
much. Headers were on the motor but the original manifolds were part of
the deal. I have the copy of the title from the original purchaser and
have talked with him. The car was originally purchased from Hawkinson
Ford in Chicago IL on May 03, 1965.
Most of the restoration work was done in my home workshop with plenty
of help from my wife, my son, and so many members of the Central Illinois
Mustang Club that I dare not try to name those who pitched in because
someone would be left out. We have made hundreds of friends in the
process. Along the way little stops were made in the restoration to
construct what ever tool was needed such as a glass beading machine (plans
from TIP in Ohio) a press from a thirty ton porta power, a sandblaster
(again, plans from TIP), a rotorisserie, a drive on lift - just whatever
it took to continue the restoration. One of the goals was to return this
car to the condition it was when it left the Dearborn assembly plant in
April of 65, but also to make every detail and component of the car
useable and to end up with a safe and dependable, highly detailed car that
would withstand extreme close inspection by the tough MCA judges yet could
be driven and enjoyed. We have driven this automobile to many shows, as
far away as Oklahoma to the West, Florida to the South and Pennsylvania to
the East. Never, ever has it so much as sputtered. 21 - 22 miles per
gallon is the norm (with sensible driving habits) And boy, is it fun to
drive. There is a certain thrill about going down the highway on a warm
summer day and feeling and hearing and smelling everything that is
happening. Although I am into my seventh decade I feel 21 again when
driving this GT fastback.
As many as possible NOS or excellent original parts were used during
this restoration. Even hardcore Mustang folks know that not EVERYTHING
can be NOS and still use the car, but every effort was made to find and
use the "real thing". Obviously, the tires and exhaust, battery and belt
along with plug wires and radiator core are reproductions. The carpet is
repro as well, but is the Mass Backed offered by ACC. The upholstery is
made from NOS material from a supplier in the west and sewed by one of the
leading reproducers of Mustang seat covers.
Just about all of the rest is from Ford. The Styled Steel Wheels are
original to the car, along with the tinted glass, the grille and GT lights
assembly, door handles and most of the bright work. The exhaust trumpets
are Scott Drake repos.
The engine is still standard bore, and the car has just slightly over
85,000 miles. The heads have been treated to new valve guides and
hardened valve seats, a replacement oil pump and timing gears and chain
but is otherwise as Ford built it. The original piston rings are still in
use, along with the original rod and main bearings. A correctly dated hipo
water pump was used as well. The car uses less than one quart of oil
per thousand miles, just as 271 motors did when they were brand new. The
differential contains 3:50 gears, still the originals only now they are
bathed in synthetic Mobil One. The transmission is the original close
ratio top loader, and with the exception of new front and rear seals and
top gasket is untouched.
The paint was done by one of the Sikkens sales reps in this area, and
closely replicates the "baked enamel" of the sixties, although it is base
coat/clear coat. The color is Honey Gold, one of the most rare shades
found on 65 Mustangs. The interior is Ivy Green/White Deluxe, again a
color combination that is not often found.
Complete photo documentation was kept showing most parts along with
the Ford ID numbers and dates stamped on in all of the parts. Lots of
time and effort, as well as some money, have been put into this old car.
but every cent, every drop of sweat and every busted knuckle seem well
worth it when ever one sits down in the car, turns on the engine and
drives away. Having a part of history is great, looking at it in the
garage gives one a warm feeling, but getting on the road and really
hammering one of these old cars is what really makes you feel alive. I
only hope that all Mustang fans enjoy their car as much my family and I
have enjoyed this 1965 GT hipo.