High School Sweetheart! 1965 Mustang Convertible

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

Way back in 1981, when the previous owner graduated from high school, his 1965 Ford Mustang convertible was stashed away in a garage to await a future restoration that never came. Now it’s up for sale here on eBay. Bidding is just under $4,000 at this point but the reserve has not yet been met. The convertible is located in sunny (and unfortunately, salty) Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I find myself actually liking the “GT350-esque” paint, but the car was originally Twilight Turquoise as this picture of a restored ’65 shows. I would not be able to resist cosmetically restoring the car eventually as that’s one of my favorite early Mustang colors, but I really think I’d get it driving just as it is for the looks it would get!

As you can see, there are some rust issues to be taken care of. This is a representative example of what you are facing.

The underside shows some rust as well. The owner mentions “frame repair” in the list of items that need to be fixed. That being said, it is a convertible, and it is an original V8 car (although it’s a two-barrel, not a K-code car). Perhaps that alone makes it worth maintaining and improving to you? This does look like a car that you could both drive and improve over time. Of course, you’re going to have to get it driveable first!

I could live with the interior for a good while after I cleaned it up. Someday, perhaps I’d get around to fitting some new seat covers, but again, that could be a while down the road. Surprisingly, the convertible top mechanism operates well and is shown in this video.

After repairing the carburetor and replacing the plugs, wires and distributor, the 289 V8 was brought back to life. A video of the engine being started is here. It sounds a little rough to me, but that may be my imagination. So what do you think about my plan of drive while you refurbish? Any takers?

 

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Comments

  1. Jim

    I did one of these cars back in the 90’s (I still own)I would not buy this without a visual inspection. There is no mention of the torque box condition, frame repair is most likely the rear frame rails both costly and time consuming repairs. As of now you are looking at least $5000 in sheet metal alone. Then you have to replace the entire interior including the 66 dash parts. The front grill is also a ladder bar with no spires also off of a 66. Mustangs are gaining value even though they made over a million 65 & 66 so it is worth saving just be prepared for the surprises this little jewel will have in store for you.

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  2. Dave

    Right said – I restored a ’66 a few years back, and yea tho the parts are aplenty, it ain’t cheap. As for the engine video, not really long enough to tell, but hey, it runs!

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  3. Glen

    I prefer the original colour, but either way, getting it ready for paint is going to take some work.

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  4. Mike Williams

    Beware of this one, Frame work needed says it all. The side beams rust away and if you open both doors at the same time, the car will buckle in the middle. Not a driver. It’s may have been in a flood or driven on the beach alot.

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  5. Mike Williams

    Did anyone watch Counts Customs last night? They restored a ’65 converible and found a wood 2×4 where the side frame is supposed to be to hold the floor up.

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  6. Rustytech

    They make reproduction body’s for these in case the tin worm has completely taken over. Either way this is going to be an expensive restoration. If it was a true GT350 it may be worth more, as is I think it’s already at the top end of it’s value range.

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  7. erikj

    Yea I saw the count custom show also. I’ve seen a lot of weird so called fixes,but not that. LOL beware, this pony needs a lot of rust repair. Don’t drive it unless you like your butt dragen asphalt!!!

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  8. JW

    I had a 67 coupe somewhat restored by a so called professional Mustang Restoration shop in a Chicago suburb back in the mid 80’s for my wife, he did a fantastic job on the body but never touched the rotted drivers side front framerail after about 6 months the steering box broke loose and took it to a ditch. Learned my lesson on that one so when our 70 Mach1 was finished at a different shop I had him put it on a lift before final payment. Mustangs that are this rusty especially convertibles are going to cost you big time in bodywork.

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  9. Blyndgesser

    Four grand should be all the money here. Move along.

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  10. Mike H

    Don’t know. . . Grille is from a 66, as is the gage cluster (or, if a 65 then the gage cluster is from a GT, which this car clearly isn’t). I believe that those wheels are also a 1966 GT option, but my memory of these things isn’t what it once was. Seems as though the car is a hodge-podge of parts from an older “restoration”, suggesting that a myriad of horrors may lurk just below the skin.

    The convertible aspect is the only place where this particular car has value. Ford made a lot of them (the first million built by early 1966, if I recall), and as many (most) were lost to the Tin Worm there still seems to be quite a few out there; I think $4k is a generous offering for a car that isn’t all that rare and would be a misery project for most of us.

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  11. Al D

    Agreed on the $4k top price. Even at that,be diligent. Coastal cars rust in weird places due to salty condensation. Not a project for an amateur Mustanger. As I type this it’s at $5,700…gulp! Somebody’s in for a rude awakening.

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  12. DannoGT

    This would be a good parts car for a nice dry roller from Arizona!

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