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Hi-Po 289: 1965 Ford Mustang K-Code

Lightning strikes twice? For the second time in as many weeks, we have another valuable Mustang to review that is in a rather disorganized state. This time, it’s a top dog K-Code variety but all is not as it should be. This 1965 Mustang is located in San Jose, California and is available, here on craigslist for $13,900. Thanks to rex m. for this tip!

Back on December 2, we reviewed this 1966 Mustang GT A-Code that is now in “yousetobee” category as the A in A-Code was missing. Today’s ’65 K-Code may be in a similar situation, it’s not certain. Ford’s K-Code engine was an impressive piece of machinery in that it generated 271 gross HP from its 289 CI displacement, close to the magical one HP per CI ratio. According to Ford’s publicity material from 1964, it was available in the first year 1965 Mustang as early as June of ’64 and it also served as the basis, with further modifications, for the powerplant installed in Shelby GT350 Mustangs from 1965 through 1967. The build date on this car is September ’64 so it’s an early ’65.

This example, like the A-Code, is engineless. There is an engine included that the seller describes as, “Fresh 289 engine with real HP 289 heads; Edelbrock F4B 4v int.; sand-cast alum COBRA V/Covers; New Hyperutectic pistons; Crank assy. balanced; Roller tip rockers; dbl. roller timing chain. Regular 289 block“. Based on the description, it sounds as if this isn’t the original engine but as described, it stacks up impressively. That said, it will be a finish it yourself project for the next owner. Originally a four-speed manual transmission car, the seller has a five-speed of unknown origin included in the sale.

The lead image is really the only one of this Mustang’s body and it’s not too helpful. Obviously, it’s not a completely together car and the seller adds, “Most (or all ?) of the body parts are included. Rt. fender and hood are not original to this car since it had a crunch in the rt. frt. end corner. Not sure what other parts are missing since I did not empty out the car and check every single part…so a few things are probably missing and there may be extra parts…what you see if what you get“. Caveat emptor… The seller does claim that there is no apparent rust to this original California car, just surface rust on the underside of the floors though he does admonish those interested that he didn’t do a full inspection so “there may be a little somewhere“. That said, the included images do not show any indication of rot-thru.

A picture is worth a thousand words so this interior image does the best talkin’. There’s no telling what’s there and what’s not. The tangle of wires seems daunting unless you assume the wiring harness will just need to be replaced and you start at ground zero. It looks like there is at least one bucket seat in place but that’s about all that is recognizable. It does have its original radio…

So it’s a K-Code car without what appears to be the original K-Code engine. Does it matter? From a value and collectibility perspective, yes. From what could be a neat high-performance old car position, probably not – and the included engine sounds like a stout piece. The question here seems to be what to do with the rest of the car. It’s going to be a challenge, what do you think, worth all of the needed effort or hold out for a better example?


  1. 8banger David Mika Member

    Why pop the tag off?

    Like 7
  2. DRV

    Build another and use that tag. Unethical, but literally the same difference between fixing this one and another good shell.

    Like 3
  3. Dave Mathers

    I see a LOT of work in somebody’s future!!

    Like 2
  4. chrlsful

    buncha junk.
    Only acceptable to some1 who’s done a few of these (can spot thru the trash anything missing/of interest) at the low enuff price its doable.
    “…use that tag…”
    like my bronk, everything is available aftr mrkt. They make wholes outta justa tag.
    I’m wid DM, Y is the tag in the guy’s hand? C my 1st 2 sentences…

    Like 0
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Did every mustang ’65-’70 eventually get that silly front end squeak from the control arms, like my ’70 boxy falcon did?

    Like 3
    • Gary Crawford

      My 69 Ranchero had one like that too. We had a small hole cut in the shock tower and the mechanic put a grease fitting in.

      Like 1
    • Charles Sawka

      Answer,yes !

      Like 0

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