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C-Code 289: 1965 Mustang Fastback 2+2 Project

Here on eBay in a no-reserve auction is a 1965 Mustang Fastback – a C-code car from the factory – bid to $14,901. C-code Mustangs were equipped with a 289 CID V8 mated to an Autolite 2100 two-barrel carburetor, making about 200 hp. This example is revisiting eBay due to a non-performing buyer – frustrating for sure. That auction ended at $20,100. A few warts tarnish the story here, but if the price is right, none are deal breakers unless you simply must have a completely original car. Let’s investigate.

The Mustang arrived in 1964 and was officially introduced during that year’s World Fair. The fastback was a new body style for 1965.  The first two full years of production – ’65 and ’66 – marked the zenith in Mustang sales with over 1.1 million copies sold. Bestseller or not, the Mustang was one of the most influential cars ever conceived. Other automakers copied its long hood/short deck configuration, as well as the fastback’s sloped-roof design. This example has a new steel hood, headlamp buckets, floors, valence panels, fenders, driver’s rocker, and more. The floors may not be finish-welded; the seller isn’t sure. The car was apparently in a rear-end accident; repairs included bondo in the rear panels and doors but skipped a still-damaged frame rail. The glass is said to be good, and if you’re a fan of offbeat colors (yeah!), this car was originally Ivy Green. The seller will include a new driver’s door; copious parts are also lounging in the trunk.

Here’s another demerit: the car has lost its original 289 and now houses an in-line six-cylinder. This motor will run on a can of gas but there is no exhaust apparatus or functioning fuel lines. The car also needs brakes. The original transmission was a C4 automatic, but now, of course, the sky’s the limit. The wiring is original but good enough to run the radio.

The bucket seats were upholstered in cloth and vinyl from the factory, according to the seller. Currently, an all-vinyl set is installed because the frames of the original seats need to be repaired. The originals are with the car, however. The rear seats, cargo area, and the rest of the interior are in good condition; the seller uses the phrase “time capsule” to describe the cabin. I don’t care for the aftermarket steering wheel; fortunately, factory-look versions are available. I’ll be curious to see if this round of bidding reaches the level of the last; what do you think?


  1. Avatar photo DA

    I wouldn’t want it. With unfinished, incorrect body work, incorrect engine (it WAS a 289 Fastback) and the multiple needs, it is not anything I’d pay that much money for. Ivy Green as original seems odd, given all the red paint in the trunk, jambs, etc. Hard pass.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo A REAL enthusiast

      Why even bother commenting then?

      Like 8
      • Avatar photo DA

        Because at the end of the article, we are asked, “What do you think?”

        Like 14
  2. Avatar photo Al camino

    Somebody else’s head ache!

    Like 6
  3. Avatar photo Mark F.

    The extra seats that come with it, he says are original fabric and vinyl. There is no such thing. They were all vinyl. There were no fabric seats in the early mustangs. Body work looks suspect. Replacement rocker panel on driver’s side isn’t welded in correctly.

    Like 8
  4. Avatar photo Mark F.

    And curiously it is another 1965 fastback on Barn Finds in just a month or so to have the clip on window winders and door handles like the 1964 1/2 style.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Mitch F

      The early 65 mustangs had items that were carry-over from the “64.5” mustangs. For example, my October ’64 mustang (a true ’65) also has the clip-on window and door handles. And looking at this mustang, the build date is November ’64. Ford continued to refine the mustang throughout the 65 production run.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Mark F.

        Oh I fully agree that some 65’s had them, just find it odd that two showed up on Barn Finds so close together, although the other one I believe was too late in production to be correct since the other car has a January build date, and they only made 1965’s until July. Starting in August of 1965 they were making 1966 mustangs.

        Like 0
  5. Avatar photo H Siegel

    I don’t see anything that isn’t fixable. I understand body work scares some people doesn’t bother me though. I call this a blank canvas you can keep it a 6cyl or source a correct date coded 289 or you can even go restomod. The choice is for the new owner to make. Everything goes for crazy money these days so I don’t think the seller is out of line here. Buy it make it your own drive it and enjoy it. That’s what this hobby is all about. GLWTA

    Like 10
  6. Avatar photo Mitch F

    What is everyone’s opinion on the value of this car if another 289 was installed, vs. if it still had it’s original 289?

    Personally I don’t have an issue with a non-original 289 in an early mustang. There were so many of these cars built, and they went through who-knows what over 55+ years. An “in the time frame ballpark” engine is fine by me. Now, I’m not talking about Hi-po 289 engines that are stamped with the VIN of the vehicle they came in, just run-of-the-mill 2v and 4v 289s.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Mark F.

      If it was the correct year 289, value wouldn’t be changed much if at all. Like you mentioned, as long as it wasn’t a Hi-Po car there is no such thing as a numbers matching 1965 mustang, because the VIN wasn’t stamped on the engine, so you really can’t prove an original engine in any of the non Hi-Po cars

      Like 9
  7. Avatar photo Paul S in TX

    This Mustang must have been hit really hard or even had multiple wrecks because the back seat doesn’t even fit well on the drives shaft tunnel.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Brian Janiuk

    This looks like an ok project. As far as going original, I think that ship has sailed and maybe even sunk. Everyone has an idea and no idea is wrong if you own the car. On a side note, my dad had a 76 (I think) Celica and it looked a lot like this one. I called it a poor mans muscle car lol.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Poncho

    Paint the body and jambs any color you like, swap engine for a 289, 302, or whatever you want, maybe add vintage air (for here in FLA anyways) and this car would get quite alot of looks and people dreaming it was theirs. People can pick this car apart but what car is truly perfect anymore? This is the kind of car I’ve been working with forever (or worse). Make it yours with mentioned tasks and drive it for enjoyment. Listing ended at $15,100. Someone will be making it theirs.

    Like 1

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