Cheap Fastback: 1965 Mustang

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As prices for first-generation Mustang coupes and convertibles fall, fastbacks seem to be holding their own.  The good looks of these models are still inspiring collectors to purchase and restore them in numbers that keep demand far above supply.  There is some good news for those light of wallet but strong on the desire to own such a beautiful car.  This 1965 Mustang fastback is currently being sold on craigslist in the little town of Hayden, Indiana for the bargain price of just $11,500.  The catch is just what Mustang lovers think it is: rust.  While the body panels look pretty good, a rusty frame is driving the price down to affordable levels.  Is the car worth fixing?  Let’s take a look.

On the outside, this looks like the typical high school parking lot ornament of the late eighties.  The cheap custom wheels and the dark window tint take me back to dates at Bennigans and wearing out my Miami Vice soundtrack cassette in the aftermarket tape deck.  The seller tells us that the car has been re-sprayed at least once.  The evidence can be seen in the chipping and lifting clear coat evident in the picture above.  There is some surface rust here and there to contend with, and the driver’s side door seems due for some alignment and maybe hinges.  Other than that, the car is pretty clean for a Mustang of this vintage.

We see the problem clearly in this horror shot from down below.  The shot is of the driver’s front frame rail and a tie rod end that the seller tells us came off as he drug the car around the yard with a locked up front drum.  The good news is that nearly every part of a first generation Mustang can be sourced through the aftermarket.  There are also numerous parts cars lying here and there to scavenge.  The bad news is that there is not a lot of frame rail left here.  This article in Mustang Monthly goes over the replacement of one side of a similar Mustang’s frame rail.  The repair is rather involved, and some talent is needed.  There are also some kits on the market to replace the whole front assembly with a modern design.  The car will also need a drivers floor pan.  Everything else is said to be good to go.

Inside, the eighties theme continues with the old school speakers.  Other than the leftover Sir Mix A Lot sound equipment, the remainder seems to be in remarkably good condition.  All of the plastic looks free of cracks and just some cleaning and dying away from being quite presentable.  There are no tears in the well-worn upholstery either.  There is the matter of the driver’s seat.  It is missing from the car with no explanation.  What is left of the carpet will also be on the buyer’s shopping list.

Peering under the hood is another mild disappointment for anyone who wants to go fast.  The car came from the factory with the standard 200 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine.  The missing spark plug wires tell us at a glance that the car is not in running condition.  The seller also adds to our understanding by letting us know that they are unsure of exactly when the car last ran, but the engine is not locked up.  The left corner of the picture also reveals what looks to be a bent support.  As with any car, a thorough inspection is in order before sending any cash.  With a Mustang, I’d rent some time on a lift at a local shop as well.

Despite the six-cylinder engine and some major frame rust, this Mustang seems to be a bargain at current market prices.  You might even break even in restoration if you did all the work yourself.  Make no mistake, there will be a lot of work ahead to either restore or modify this beautiful Mustang.

Is the car worth the asking price?  Let us know in the comments.

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  1. beaudog

    I’m pretty sure if you put that on a lift, it will fold in the middle. Too bad, I love the early fastbacks.

    Like 10
    • grant

      Too mas.

      Like 1
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Beaudog is right, if you can see that much rust there’s probably more hidden. As jeff said you would need a thorough inspection, torque boxes and don’t forget that hidden hemroid the cowl plenum, Lots of great parts there tho, the rear area plastic, seat and grille assemblies are rare as hen’s teeth and some of the repop stuff isn’t that great. can’t beat original. Perfect for a nice 289 4 speed. Good luck to the new owner on this rusting. Doing that rail ain’t for the weak of heart.


    Like 5
  3. Dwain Arrants

    Like to see some 1964/65 Ford falcons

    Like 4
  4. Eddie

    You can buy a decent one for about 20k plus the price is too high 4500 is just to do it right you will spend around 20 k minimum

    Like 1

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