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Black Plate Bargain? 1965 Ford Mustang V8 Coupe

It looks like someone has started the restoration process on this ’65 Mustang at some point, and it has stalled for whatever reason. If the photos are any indication of the overall condition of the car, this might actually represent an incredibly good project car. Barn Finder Ikey H located this one for us, so thank you for that Ikey. The Mustang is located in Lakewood, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the sale price for the Mustang at $5,200, which appears to be quite competitive.

Whoever began the restoration on the Mustang has tackled it in a haphazard manner, so there is going to be some work ahead for the next owner. What impresses me is the lack of major rust issues that are visible on the car. There might be a small spot in the lower quarter panel on the passenger side, but it is hard to be sure. There are definitely some spots in the bottom corners of both doors, and there might be a small amount in the rockers. However, the one shot of the underside of the car looks really encouraging. There is certainly some surface corrosion to be seen, including on the passenger side front floor, but otherwise, it all looks pretty promising.

The news isn’t so flash when you open the door and climb into the Mustang. I suspect that the next owner will be wielding their credit card because the entire interior will require restoration. The dash has also been cut to fit an aftermarket stereo, which is hugely frustrating. There are also numerous small pieces missing, so it will definitely be a case of making a decent list before work commences.

The news is better under the hood, with a 289ci A-Code engine in residence, which is backed by an automatic transmission. The engine itself looks pretty clean, and the car has also been fitted with an aluminum radiator. What I don’t like is the missing brace running from the driver’s side shock tower to the firewall. I’d be getting one back in there pretty quickly. Ford certainly didn’t fit them for their good looks, so they serve a real purpose. The owner doesn’t indicate whether the engine is original, but he does say that it does start and run. He also suggests that there are a few tasks to be undertaken before the car is ready to hit the road again. These include a tune-up (important), and a brake rebuild (very important!). The car also comes with its original black plates, which is pretty cool.

As Mustang project cars go, this would seem to be a good one. The photos don’t seem to show any horrendous rust issues, so it looks like the next owner is not going to be facing wholesale metal replacement to get the car back to a solid state. The fact that it appears to have a healthy 289 under the hood is an added bonus, so it might actually be a case of this one only needing cosmetic work. If this is the case, then that makes the price look pretty competitive.


  1. Avatar photo Joeinthousandoaks

    Not a bad car but the engine looks to be later small block transplant just by the valve covers. I’d want to see the ever important data plate to see what the paint and interior codes are.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo TimM

    Great starter project!!

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo grant

    Looks like a pretty solid car, at what passes for a reasonable price nowadays. Don’t be too concerned with the radio cutout, patches are available. You’ve really got to expect it to be cut out in any car this old, factory radios were horrible back then.

    Like 0

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