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What would you do with a 1965 Mustang?

PlumLoco

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So nearly a decade ago my wife bought the car from a friend. She had been working for a hot rod magazine and had enough connections to put together a project that would restomod the car as a fastback, and eventually use it as a raffle prize for the Wounded Warriors charity. Well a lot has changed, and the print media industry has shrunk considerably. Several anticipated parts donors have closed up shop, and so have most of the hot rod magazines.
Now I have a real nice, low mileage (61,000 miles), six cylinder, Forest green car that I need to do something with. The wife thinks she wants a sports car but acknowledges that this might not be that car, when it is all said and done. We do still have all of the sheet metal from Dyna corp to make it a fastback. So that means a repaint. That means the motor is coming out. Do I just mod the body, and end up with a red fastback powered by a 190 c.i.? Do I build a 60's style 302 or 351 C4 combo? Or do we top that off with FI? Maybe hunt around some wrecking yards for something real modern like a Coyote motor? Overkill? Maybe.
Seems like a more modern steering system and disc brakes need to happen, especially since we have a brand new Curry rear end also taking up room in the dirtbike garage. I can see this costing $30-40K and I also see that I can buy nice ones already done for less than that, but this car is pretty mint to start with. We know the history of it, as it has spent the majority of its life in a dark garage in Anaheim, with an owner that was in the grip of mental illness, eventually becoming to afraid to leave her house, let alone drive anywhere.
I am leaning towards rebuilding the carb, replacing the battery, and taking it to the auction. My wife wants to build it, "and then we will see if I like it enough to keep it".
So how do I maximize the fun factor, and maybe the profit factor, without breaking my wallet? What route gets me a fun, trouble free car for the least amount of pain and risk?
 

billperkins3@att.net

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So nearly a decade ago my wife bought the car from a friend. She had been working for a hot rod magazine and had enough connections to put together a project that would restomod the car as a fastback, and eventually use it as a raffle prize for the Wounded Warriors charity. Well a lot has changed, and the print media industry has shrunk considerably. Several anticipated parts donors have closed up shop, and so have most of the hot rod magazines.
Now I have a real nice, low mileage (61,000 miles), six cylinder, Forest green car that I need to do something with. The wife thinks she wants a sports car but acknowledges that this might not be that car, when it is all said and done. We do still have all of the sheet metal from Dyna corp to make it a fastback. So that means a repaint. That means the motor is coming out. Do I just mod the body, and end up with a red fastback powered by a 190 c.i.? Do I build a 60's style 302 or 351 C4 combo? Or do we top that off with FI? Maybe hunt around some wrecking yards for something real modern like a Coyote motor? Overkill? Maybe.
Seems like a more modern steering system and disc brakes need to happen, especially since we have a brand new Curry rear end also taking up room in the dirtbike garage. I can see this costing $30-40K and I also see that I can buy nice ones already done for less than that, but this car is pretty mint to start with. We know the history of it, as it has spent the majority of its life in a dark garage in Anaheim, with an owner that was in the grip of mental illness, eventually becoming to afraid to leave her house, let alone drive anywhere.
I am leaning towards rebuilding the carb, replacing the battery, and taking it to the auction. My wife wants to build it, "and then we will see if I like it enough to keep it".
So how do I maximize the fun factor, and maybe the profit factor, without breaking my wallet? What route gets me a fun, trouble free car for the least amount of pain and risk?
Be advised.....Nobody really jumps on posts without pics. I get reminded often....
 

BUDMAN

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Get it running and just enjoy it. It can snow ball pretty fast into something that never sees the day again. Especially if your not really into it. Just my .02 worth
 

Sharp Shooter

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I am leaning towards taking it to the auction. The wife thinks she wants a sports car but acknowledges that this might not be that car..... My wife wants to build it.
From the sound of it, you don't really want the car and your wife doesn't know what she wants....

Reconfiguring that car to a Coyote powered fastback would be bad ass, but unless you're an awesome fabricator and mechanic you're looking at a truck load of $$. Why not just get it going and drive it for a while and see where it goes from there. Have some fun with it.
 

monkeyswrench

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6cyl cars were notoriously under braked. They also may get you run off the road now on the freeway...at least that's what I told my parents.. I'm pretty old school, and inherently cheap. For cheap fun, do the Shelby suspension mods, swap the rear axle and put discs up front. Throw a 302 with a cam and a 5spd behind it. Low buck stuff. The 5spd has a deep enough 1st to make it feel pretty peppy, and then the overdrive to get you down the hwy. All that stuff fits without cutting, and all less than a Coyote crate with the standalone stuff. Drive it for a bit, then decide if you want to build a motor, or swap out.

If you swap quarters, you're also looking at "Paint Jail"...
 

rrrr

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There's a reason people that spend huge amounts of money on restomods sell them for a loss at auction. Making a '65 Mustang six cylinder into a V-8 fastback is a great way to join that club.

Sell everything and buy your wife a new car. It'll cost less and she'll like the end result much better.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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There's a reason people that spend huge amounts of money on restomods sell them for a loss at auction. Making a '65 Mustang six cylinder into a V-8 fastback is a great way to join that club.

Sell everything and buy your wife a new car. It'll cost less and she'll like the end result much better.
This X1000
 

CJ_Donahue

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Almost all my decisions these days involve where to invest my time, money, and energy. If this isn't a true passion project I would punt now. I think you already know what you want to do now but you are looking back at all the time and former dreams.
 

HB2Havasu

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There's a reason people that spend huge amounts of money on restomods sell them for a loss at auction. Making a '65 Mustang six cylinder into a V-8 fastback is a great way to join that club.

Sell everything and buy your wife a new car. It'll cost less and she'll like the end result much better.
Yep - turning a Straight 6 Mustang Coupe into a V8 Fastback is what I call a “Bankruptcy Starter Kit” 😂

Take rrrr’s advise. Sell the car and buy wifey a New 2021 Mustang Fastback. You will score lots of points if ya smell what I’m cooking?
 

bldrinker

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Clean it up and keep it. Sell all of the parts and put that towards a down payment for the car the wife wants.
That 6cyl isn’t worth nothing now so you might as well hold on to it. They are only getting harder to find and will cost nothing to keep it.
 

boatnam2

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I got a 2005 Mustang I picked up from a buddy, 1600 miles on it, has Saleen blower, body kit, stick. Thing has never even seen water except when its washed, still brand new underneath car and even smells new. I tell my chick all the time lets just dump it and she flips out.
 

lbhsbz

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Could be fun.

If I had a 6cyl mustang, I might be inclined to throw a Toyota 2JZ or a Nissan SR20DET or SR25 in it...can pick up the motor & trans for not a lot...and since it’s a 6cyl which means it’ll never be worth much, why not? Brakes are easy...(for me). Find a hub that uses the same bearings (pretty sure an early Nissan 300ZX turbo will work...you can fit Lincoln aviator 13” rotors to it and then whip up some brackets for an appropriate caliper, find a disc brake rear axle with a factory LSD and a decent ratio...decent suspension up front, add some modern bolstered bucket seats and if you do the work yourself...$10K and you’ll have a bad ass driver.
 

Jay Dub

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If possible get it running and sell it. I also like the idea of a newer/modern sports car.
 
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Shlbyntro

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Could be fun.

If I had a 6cyl mustang, I might be inclined to throw a Toyota 2JZ or a Nissan SR20DET or SR25 in it...can pick up the motor & trans for not a lot...and since it’s a 6cyl which means it’ll never be worth much, why not? Brakes are easy...(for me). Find a hub that uses the same bearings (pretty sure an early Nissan 300ZX turbo will work...you can fit Lincoln aviator 13” rotors to it and then whip up some brackets for an appropriate caliper, find a disc brake rear axle with a factory LSD and a decent ratio...decent suspension up front, add some modern bolstered bucket seats and if you do the work yourself...$10K and you’ll have a bad ass driver.
And then you can race a yakuza gangsters nephew down drift mountain...

Fix it up as is and drive it around for a little bit to see if you like it. You can still auction it off as is for your charity with a running 6cyl and it'll still bring in some fair money just because of what it is. Its a "survivor car" unmolested.

To make the changes you're talking about is a huge undertaking and you really have to have a passion for it, almost a sickness.

Or you could always submit a video to Garage Squad and tell them the plan with it. Maybe get lucky??
 

Mandelon

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For $50,000, you'll have an awesome $25,000 car.

Unless you have a shit ton of extra time, and a money tree. Sell it to someone who has that passion mentioned above. You have to really want it to make the investments for a high end car. Otherwise get it running and send it down the road.
 

Yoshiro

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Over the past few years in the vintage mustang world the 6 cylinder has become increasingly desireable and thus the value has increased. I think it's because so many of them were modified into V8s over the years that they are actually rare now.

If it were me I'd either restore it to stock if you want a fun project, or clean it up a little and sell it if you are looking for a true hot rod.
 

PlumLoco

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You guys are as divided as we are. But it seems as though most are leaning towards sending it down the road. That would be my first choice. My wife would probably vote for holding on to it for another decade. Honestly I can't see selling it as an original would bring much money. For that amount of money is sure seems like I could build a 302 with more modern suspension, steering, and brakes. The big money will be in paint to make it OG cherry, or if we go the fastback route.

@lbhsbz What you are describing is not way farther outside of the box than I want to deal with. I can't imagine that project ever finding a buyer in the future.
 

steamin rice

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Another vote for clean it up and either enjoy it as-is or sell it. Unless you want the project, you will be $$ ahead if you either buy a new Mustang or an older one that is already complete.
 

Shlbyntro

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You guys are as divided as we are. But it seems as though most are leaning towards sending it down the road. That would be my first choice. My wife would probably vote for holding on to it for another decade. Honestly I can't see selling it as an original would bring much money. For that amount of money is sure seems like I could build a 302 with more modern suspension, steering, and brakes. The big money will be in paint to make it OG cherry, or if we go the fastback route.

@lbhsbz What you are describing is not way farther outside of the box than I want to deal with. I can't imagine that project ever finding a buyer in the future.
Personally, if it were me. Id take the project on in a heartbeat and build a really nice sbf for it but thats because I love stuff like this. It doesn't sound like that's your cup of tea though
 

nowski

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Over the past few years in the vintage mustang world the 6 cylinder has become increasingly desireable and thus the value has increased. I think it's because so many of them were modified into V8s over the years that they are actually rare now.

If it were me I'd either restore it to stock if you want a fun project, or clean it up a little and sell it if you are looking for a true hot rod.
To be honest with you every time I see one of your posts I'm always distracted, probably something to do with the corner of my left eye...
 

PlumLoco

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Personally, if it were me. Id take the project on in a heartbeat and build a really nice sbf for it but thats because I love stuff like this. It doesn't sound like that's your cup of tea though
My Dad had a 68 Cougar that I drove a lot before I bought my first car. Even then I was never really all that taken with the car. My first car was a 1969 GTX w/ 4.10s. Room for 6, smokey burnouts anytime anywhere, big disc brakes and decent handling with a little tweeking. It is hard to get excited about a "pony car" when you have had 20+ big block Mopars.
But again, it is the wife's car to do with what she wants, and she thinks Mopars are too big and ugly. Guess I should have kept my one and only 'Cuda (factory 383 4 speed car). When I sold it, it had a stroked 400, a 6 pack setup, and some nice Recarro seats in it.
 

beaverretriever

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If you throw a bunch of money at it, just keep it as 6cyl cars aren't worth a lot. But who gives a crap about the VIN if you keep it?

I LOVE fastbacks but coupes are bitchen too!

Here is my 65 K Code Hi Po vintage race car I had. Nothing like 15" wheels with Blue Streak tires. They just look so good. These old cars look ridiculous with large wheels. It was completely VARA and SVRA legal. Even had vented drums on the rear to meet qualifications as there were no rear disc allowed at the time.

IMG_20180207_101821_703.jpg
 

old rigger

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If you throw a bunch of money at it, just keep it as 6cyl cars aren't worth a lot. But who gives a crap about the VIN if you keep it?

I LOVE fastbacks but coupes are bitchen too!

Here is my 65 K Code Hi Po vintage race car I had. Nothing like 15" wheels with Blue Streak tires. They just look so good. These old cars look ridiculous with large wheels. It was completely VARA and SVRA legal. Even had vented drums on the rear to meet qualifications as there were no rear disc allowed at the time.

View attachment 974363

My uncle's '65 Cuda he bought new, I inherited it last year, but he ran blue streaks and red back in the 60s. This was at our little place in Bullhead.

Just posting this for the younger members that might not have ever seen them.
IMG_1924.jpg
 

coolchange

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If you throw a bunch of money at it, just keep it as 6cyl cars aren't worth a lot. But who gives a crap about the VIN if you keep it?

I LOVE fastbacks but coupes are bitchen too!

Here is my 65 K Code Hi Po vintage race car I had. Nothing like 15" wheels with Blue Streak tires. They just look so good. These old cars look ridiculous with large wheels. It was completely VARA and SVRA legal. Even had vented drums on the rear to meet qualifications as there were no rear disc allowed at the time.

View attachment 974363
There is one that looks just like that running around la Canada.
Sell that body kit. Unless it’s your life’s passion for a fastback.
I had a coupe I put a .030 302 in. Fast and fun. 302s are cheap. The car only weighs 2800 pounds.
Find someone replacing the v8 stock suspension with “racing” stuff. The 8” is fine. I thrashed mine with 350 hp and a clutch and 4.11 with no problem.
Like waters said a 5 speed od, with 3.73 would be excellent. Probably find a takeout eng trans pretty reasonable. Stay away from 351, whole new set of problems.
Stay away from racks and suspension swaps. Nothing but bragging there. Factory geometry missed it by an 1/8” and is easily modded if you think your that fast lol. ( my brother set up what was at one time the fastest b production mustang in the country). Could be fun, if you want a Mustang.
 

rivermobster

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You guys are as divided as we are. But it seems as though most are leaning towards sending it down the road. That would be my first choice. My wife would probably vote for holding on to it for another decade. Honestly I can't see selling it as an original would bring much money. For that amount of money is sure seems like I could build a 302 with more modern suspension, steering, and brakes. The big money will be in paint to make it OG cherry, or if we go the fastback route.

@lbhsbz What you are describing is not way farther outside of the box than I want to deal with. I can't imagine that project ever finding a buyer in the future.
Not really, on the divided part....

If you'll notice, the guys that actually work on cars for a living, are all saying the exact same thing...

That car bone stock, fully restored, will be fun to drive and net you more money when you go to sell it. I'd maybe upgrade the brakes a bit, but make sure to keep all OEM style parts. I did a 6cyl Mustang that we put a nice cam in and a new Holly carb, and the thing had plenty of power for a daily driver! It didn't over heat either, which those early cars are notorious for. The opening in the front (core support) is way too small for a decent size radiator. You could go for a triple pass radiator and fan set up, but right there will cost you about 2k.

Turning it into some Frankenstein deal will not be in your best interest. If you're looking for a real buyer, they will want everything to match the VIN.

Choose wisely.
 

707dog

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Keep it bone stock make it a runner or Dump it get her what she wants in a modern version. ..Take advantage of the classic car market now while people are throwing wreckless cash at classics completed or not. You will have a 60k+ 6-8 year build on your hands and still have a 20k mustang . I have had plenty of classics pre 72 cars i stopped counting at 36 cars... its a rabbit hole when you have the passion and half ass skill.
 
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beaverretriever

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Build a car like mine and you never have to worry about it looking dated like all this other retro rod and pro touring crap that looks crappy in a year with stupid huge wheels and bondo smoothness everywhere. I am usually neutral on RDP but when it comes to vintage cars I am not! hahaha. If you want big wheels and turboed Nissan engines in your Mustang just buy a new Mustang, Challenger or Camaro. The big three really did a great job in building cars that look pretty cool and vintage with all the new goodies.

Keep old cars old!
 

Cdog

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Make it into the cherry 2000 mustang. Haha!
 

Sleek-Jet

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Still waiting for pictures... :)

I'd keep it stock, maybe rod the little I6 a bit. A bone stock car will get just as much attention on the cruise nights.
 

poncho

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And since we are sharing, here's my '68 with a stoked out FE at 445ci and dual quads. And yes, it runs hot.

Seriously though, I stayed away from the trendy stuff and tried to keep it true to the way the classic GT500s were from the factory.
SAWEEEEET. 👍
 

rrrr

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My uncle's '65 Cuda he bought new, I inherited it last year, but he ran blue streaks and red back in the 60s. This was at our little place in Bullhead.

Just posting this for the younger members that might not have ever seen them.
View attachment 974365
My Mom bought a new '65, it had a 273 V-8. She was 29, already had four kids, and told my Dad she wanted a car for her, not another station wagon.

She was her own person, I loved that about her.

😁
 

TITTIES AND BEER

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Post up a picture and a price if you want to sell it . I’m not a Ford fan but my kid is 😎
 

Singleton

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My moms first car is a 65. She had it until 83 when we moved from IL to AZ. Wish she would of kept it but husband #2 told her to sell it before we moved :( Always disliked husband #2 - when mom told him to hit the road and I was in HS - it was much fun watching him move out. I was playing basketball in the driveway and he threw a chair at my mom; next thing I remember is the cops pulling me off of him :)
 

SBMech

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If you are not hurting for space, I'd drive it monthly and store it.

65's are becoming harder and harder to find. Unmolested stuff brings a premium, especially a 6cyl , because you can pretty much bet it was driven mildly.

I'd pass on the fastback modification, that would lower the value IMO.
 

old rigger

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My Mom bought a new '65, it had a 273 V-8. She was 29, already had four kids, and told my Dad she wanted a car for her, not another station wagon.

She was her own person, I loved that about her.

😁
This one is a Formula S, 4 speed, commando engine and some other options. All black interior and those trips to Bullhead would just cook my uncle with no A/C. lol
He bought it the year he graduated high school. I grew up nextdoor and always wanted the car, just didn't expect it to happen like it did. Thought for sure it would go to one of his daughters.

27,XXX original miles.
 

TITTIES AND BEER

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If you are not hurting for space, I'd drive it monthly and store it.

65's are becoming harder and harder to find. Unmolested stuff brings a premium, especially a 6cyl , because you can pretty much bet it was driven mildly.

I'd pass on the fastback modification, that would lower the value IMO.
I found one completely stock, 6 cyc 3500$ but the guys dad drove it to work every day across the salt flats in Salt Lake , I don’t know what he did but no thanks .
 
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