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Mystery Engine: 1965 Ford Mustang GT

Mustang Barn Find

If I were to get another Mustang, it would probably look something like this. It’s a ’65 notchback with a 289 and 4-speed. It does need some work, but the seller has already pulled it out of storage and gotten it running. They also replaced that broken windshield and have driven it about 1,000 miles. They bought it from the widow of the long-time owner and she claimed that the engine had been replaced with a high-performance mill. If you think it might be worth a look, this pony project can be found here on eBay where bidding ends Monday.

Mystery 289 V8

There’s that mystery engine! It does have a Offenhauser intake and Cobra valve covers in place, but the A in the VIN tells us that this should have already been the 4-barrel version. That wasn’t the highest performance V8 in 1965, but it wasn’t the lowest either. With the 4-speed manual transmission, it would have still been a blast to drive. Could this replacement engine be a valuable k-code unit?

Deluxe Pony Interior

Even if it’s not, this would be a fun car to restore. The plate in the door jam tells us that the paint was originally Ivy Green. Combine that dark green color with a black vinyl top and you have quite the looker! This would have come from the factory with a deluxe black interior too. Oh boy, I’m liking this car more all the time. The seller claims that you can even drive it home.

Drive It Home

The rusty floors are a problem and I’m sure you will find more of the nasty stuff under the surface. It’s going to take a lot of work to cut out all those bad areas and weld in new metal. It will be a big job, but the end result would be good looking and fun to drive. It would be nice to know more about that “performance” engine before bidding, but you might just get lucky and score something special here.


  1. Dave B

    Auction already ended due to an error? Have not seen that one before. Would need some research to tell if it was a factory GT or just had some dealer (or aftermarket) add ons. The hub caps and what looks to be standard (not pony) door panels make me wonder. Still looks like a good start or something to clean up and drive.

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    • TdF 83

      If i recall correctly there was no code that states it would be a factory GT listed, it was an option only, like A/C, or dealer added accessory. As far a door panels go those are the correct “pony” interior panels not the standard garden variety. The wheel covers are also standard and nothing much special but incorrect as they are 66 covers. It could very easily be that the GT parts were added and in 65 that was not uncommon. After decoding the data tag it was Ivy green metallic, sent to Charlotte NC, built June 2 65, Okay TMI!

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  2. TdF 83

    Well it is not a factory High Performance 271 motor,no large balancer on the crankshaft, perhaps hopped up by a machine shop? Looks like a color change from turquoises to red, and the black paint on the inside under the carpets is not original. restoration/repair 20+ years ago? As a Calif boy i don’t have any experience with that much rust.

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  3. Frank martin

    Looks like an early model 351 to me, oil pan, water pump and hoses look in right place, fits tight like 351 would, not sure if bigger block would just slide in like that.

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  4. Dolphin Member

    T code in the VIN = originally powered by the straight-6 engine. Somebody swapped the engine and put in dual exhausts and the 4-speed.

    The car has rust problems, but not as bad as many cars we’ve seen, and it runs, which is another plus. Probably $7500 isn’t too unreasonable if the car drives well, the systems all work, and the buyer isn’t afraid of doing, or paying for, some bodywork and paint.

    A pulled auction due to an ‘error’ but with no relist (so far) usually means that the seller made a deal to sell off-Ebay and saved the fees and further sales work.

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    • DEC

      I believe the A as the fifth digit means it had a 289 4BBL.

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    • Dolphin Member

      You are right DEC….289 4-barrel. Memory isn’t what it used to be, at least like it was when I had the codes remembered for when I was in the market for one. Thanks for correcting it.

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    • streamliner

      A pulled Ebay Motors auction due to an ‘error’ and no relist can mean many things. True, one reason could be the seller made a deal to sell off-Ebay. However, you are wrong about saving any fees and further sales work. That is not how Ebay Motors works. That is how the old ebay worked until 2000s. For many years now
      ebay Motors charges sellers a fixed fee up front. The fixed flat fee depends on value of car, number of vehicles you sell within 12 months period, etc. There are no commissions on ebay motors sales. Also, unlike the rest of ebay, Ebay Motors does not force ebay’s wholly-owned Paypal 3% cash grab service on buyer and seller as the only form of payment. Instead, your fixed fee of $60, or $125., or ? gets you an initial listing and 2 re-lists. This is how ebay motors was re-structured years ago so that ebay always wins, and sellers always pay. Typically, a pulled auction using any one of the many standard stock ebay excuses is a disingenuous lie. A crock. Not the truth. Buyers beware. You’re swimming in shark infested waters. These days there are countless fake so-called “barn finds” stories on CL and ebay. As many BF followers have rightly commented, alot of this doesn’t pass the sniff test. If you study the pics, read the seller’s story and know about the specs for the car in question, chances are you’ll figure out what the deal is. My 2 cents: Be skeptical. ie: This Mustang is not what it appears to be as others have pointed out above. At least it is not what the seller has written.

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  5. Shayne Jenkins

    Has the “A”, disk brakes, correct master cylinder for factory disk brakes, fog switch, correct valance, reinforced steel under rear seats along with correct looking hangers for the dual exhaust. Looks pretty legit to me. I would check the rear rails for the plate to prevent the crunch, along with how clean all the holes looks (if they look factory) to be sure its real. But if it is… 4 speed? 65? GT? Worth fixing.

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  6. stillrunners

    Shayne knows his stuff….it’s what I saw too….maybe another “sneak by the insurance guy” with the right code option ?

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  7. Mike Williams

    Come on #Dolphin The T is the 2nd letter and stands for metuchen new jersey, where it was built.
    The auction was pulled because of mistakes, or so it says. it also has ’66 wheel covers. It does have the GT speedo to 140 mph

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    • Dolphin Member

      Right you are. My explanation—-I mean, excuse—-is above in reply to DEC. Sorry.

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    • Shayne Jenkins

      Someone commenting on the add seemed very interested. Id imagine a sale over the phone to avoid fees. Then removed.

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  8. ssp

    I think the engine is a 289 but likely not K code hipo engine. K code engines came with dual point mechanical advance distributors. This car clearly has a vacuum advance distributor.

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  9. JR Hollingsworth

    I purchased this car and as it turns out it does have a 289 Hi Performance Engine in it.It came from a 1964 Fairlane.I have done the body work and rebuilt the four speed transmission It will be painted back with the original Ivy Green in about ten days.I also installed a new interior kit.The car needed a new carburetor and tune up.We set the timing and the advance and the Mustang now runs great…..Very Strong and Fast. It is a Factory GT as it still maintains the factory buck tag with PI option.I could not be happier with this Mustang.

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    • Josh Staff

      Congrats JR! It sounds like you’ve been busy. That’s awesome to hear that you’ve already gotten it running again and we can’t wait to see it in the original color. We would love to see some before and after shots!

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      • JR Hollingsworth

        Hi. Josh…I will post pics at a later date….before and after.I was thrilled to find the original Buck Tag still on the car.This leaves no doubt that it is a factory GT.The Buck Tag reads as follows…..F 18 May 18th build date…..65 B…..2 Door Luxury Hardtop……R…Ivy Green…..66…..Black Interior Decor Group Option….4-Speed V8……PI…..Performance Option……Vinyl Top-A…The A is for black.The VIN is also on the Buck Tag and matches the door VIN and The VIN on the rails.I have had about thirty of the 1965-66 Mustangs and this one is by far the fastest of any of them.

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  10. JR Hollingsworth

    Please excuse my error….The date is June 18th instead of May 18th….Sorry.

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