Indy 500 Pace Car Replica: 1965 Ford Mustang

Ford got an early start on the 1965 model year by introducing its new Mustang “pony car” at the New York World’s Fair in April 1964. Sometimes these editions are referred to as ‘64 ½ models, but all of them built before the ‘66s were titled as ‘65s. As part of Ford’s marketing push, the Mustang was selected to pace the field at the Indianapolis 500 just a month after its rollout. Replicas of these pace cars are perhaps the rarest of the “64 ½'” cars because only 35 convertibles and 185 coupes were built. The seller’s auto is said to be one of those coupes and is in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s available here on eBay where the no reserve auction has reached $15,300.

The differences between the early ’65 Mustangs and the rest of the 1965 run are few but significant, including the use of a 260 cubic inch V8 over the 289 that would come a little later. And the cars had generators rather than alternators. Considering that Ford built 92,705 coupes before the Fall of 1965, 185 replicas are a small representation. The replicas were painted Pace Car White (Code “C”) and had while vinyl interiors with blue trim (Code “42”).

With just 58,000 miles, this Mustang had been stored in a garage since 1996. The seller, who is also a dealer, acquired the car, cleaned it up, changed all the fluids (including the gasoline), installed a new fuel pump, and it fired right up. We’re told it runs and drives well for a car coming out of hibernation after 25 years. The transmission is automatic and it’s said to shift properly. We’re told the drivetrain is numbers matching, helping make a rare car even more interesting.

The body is in good condition with no flaws in the sheet metal or paint except for a couple of bubbles in the single repaint that goes back to 1995. The interior is okay but could use a thorough detailing and the driver’s seat has a minor tear in it. Before considering a restoration, I’d drive it the way is as the car is mostly original and that’s a talking point to onlookers. The Ford is not museum quality, but they don’t all have to be.


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  1. Dennis Tjaden

    Nice little car but 65 289s were not blue the blcl was black and the valve covers were gold

    Like 2
    • piston poney

      yeah ford painted there engines some weired colors, i think it was the mercury comet, i think it was the 289 was pink, yes pink

      Like 1
  2. Joe Haska

    Like the clarification on the 64 1/2. I have tried to tell owner’s there is no such thing. Most refuse to believe it and I say , well Gayle Halderman told me, and I think I will go with that.

    Like 1
    • Christopher Gentry

      Engine could have been repainted , incorrectly , in the past. As the post says , should be 260 any who. But as to the repaint , when I was 15 I had a 65 Fairlane with a 289. At the time I thought all ford V8s were blue. So genius me removed the valve covers and air cleaner housing and sprayed em ford engine blue. Might explain the incorrect color

  3. Terry

    An easy way to tell the first Mustangs from the later 65’s was their dash knobs were white plastic, having come out of the Falcon parts bin. Later ones were chrome.

    Like 2
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $20,200.

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