Real GT? 1965 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

The introduction of the Fastback body in 1965 gave prospective Mustang buyers a third choice of body style, and plenty of people were attracted to it. Ford managed to sell 77,079 Fastbacks in 1965, and while this figure was higher than the 73,112 Convertibles that they sold in the same year, it pales when compared to the 409,260 Coupes that rolled off the line. This ’65 GT Fastback is a car that the owner says will require a cosmetic restoration, but it is a running and driving example that could be enjoyed immediately. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is listed for sale here on eBay. This is another one of those cars that have generated strong interest since it was listed for sale. There have been 44 bids submitted, and this has pushed the price along to $14,100. At this stage, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The first thing to note about the Mustang is that it isn’t wearing its original paint. There’s evidence to suggest that it started life painted in the very attractive Tropical Turquoise, but has received a pretty ordinary repaint in white at some point. It also appears as though the lower quarter panels may have both been repaired at some point, and you would have to wonder whether this was due to rust issues. There is evidence that rust is appearing in the driver’s side quarter, while there is rust visible in the lower fender on the same side. There is also a spot beginning to show in the bottom corner of the passenger side door, but the rockers look to be nice and solid. One area that we know little about is the underside of the car. A brief glimpse inside the trunk seems to indicate that the pan is solid, but the state of the floors, frame rails, and torque boxes are all unknown quantities. One thing to note is that if this Mustang is a genuine GT, then it is missing the fog light bar from the grille, and the correct GT and Mustang badges.

The black interior of the Mustang will also require some work, but it appears that its “bones” are quite good. The front seats will require new covers, but the rear seat looks like it is pretty good. The dash and pad also look quite solid, but the gauge cluster doesn’t appear to be correct if this is a GT, as claimed. The aftermarket stereo has a nice retro look to it, but the dash will have been cut to fit this in, which is a disappointment. I also suspect that this might help to explain the enormous cluster of wiring that is hanging down under the dash, which is never a good look. The carpet is quite faded, and the upholstery on the door trims is a bit stretched. Having said that, there is no reason why the interior couldn’t be used as it is, with the restoration being undertaken as time and circumstances allow it.

The Mustang was originally equipped with an A-Code 289ci V8, but it isn’t clear whether what resides there today is original. Shifting duties are tackled by a C4 transmission, while it appears that the Mustang wears front disc brakes. The owner doesn’t elaborate on whether the engine is original, but he does say that the 289 is nicely tuned and that the car runs and drives really well. He also does say that the next owner won’t have to spend a cent on the car mechanically, which is a real plus. As for its originality as a genuine GT, the Mustang does send us some mixed signals. While it appears to be missing a few of the items that I have previously mentioned, it is fitted with the correct master cylinder for a GT with front disc brakes. That’s hardly conclusive, but it is something more to consider.

I would really like to get a look at the tags on this Mustang because while part of me believes that it really is a GT Fastback, part of me also has some doubts. I would also like to get a look at the underside to verify whether all is well down there. If the car is solid, then the owner’s claim that it needs no more than a cosmetic restoration would seem to be correct. Even if it isn’t a genuine numbers-matching GT, it would still have the potential to be a pretty nice car, once restored.

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Comments

  1. SteveJones

    One has to assume clone until trim tags are real and numbers are matching.

    Ford has numbers on upper right firewall and Left drip rail of trunk in addition to other areas 🤔

    The underneath should be seen for rust tooas well as rails .

    This car is cheap to restore but one can buy many aftermarket items to clone including missing trim tags too….

    Buy it as you would for A fastback price in my opt being a classic mustang owner ..

    • CATHOUSE

      What numbers did Ford put on the upper right firewall and the left trunk drip rail? VIN? Perhaps they put a buck tag on the firewall, that would have the VIN. I have never seen a VIN on the trunk drip rail, only a date code. Now I will concede that my knowledge base starts with the 1967 model year so perhaps things were done a little differently prior to that. If so I would like to see proof that the drip rail was VIN stamped.

  2. Dan

    I don’t see a fog light switch, or evidence of one. Mustang GTs–if memory serves me correctly–also have holes in the radiator support for the fog light wiring to pass through and extra brackets around the exhaust tips. I also believe that if wired correctly, the headlights will dim when the fog lights are switched on. Based on the photos provided, I doubt this is a real GT. The door tag does not provide that information, and last I heard, Marti Auto Works does not have that information for ’65s. Finding a build sheet, or possibly a body buck tag, is the only way to tell for sure.

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  3. joeinthousandoaks

    Dan, he has cleverly left out the area of the dash that would have the fog lamp switch. There is nothing to show it is a GT. Odds are it isn’t. GT would have the ’66 style instrument cluster which has a round notch in the dash panel to make it fit. The 65 instrument cluster will not fit a GT dash. Some people believe the A code makes it a GT but it doesn’t. The rear seat has a cigarette burn so the entire interior will need replacement. Still if the underside is clean its a good start on a full restoration project.

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    • Dan

      I did not know that the standard ’65 cluster will not fit in a GT dash. Mustangs equipped with the Interior Decor Group (popularly known as the “pony interior”) also used that dash. The VIN also seems to indicate a car that was built before the GT Equipment Group was introduced. I am now 99.99% sure the car is not a real GT.

      3
  4. Dave

    And if the engine has a FRAM oil filter on it, then it’s going to need a rebuild!

    8
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Dan and Joe are correct- look for the hole where the fog light switch would have been, on the dash next to the headlight switch, and as Dan and joe also pointed out the owner cleverly didn’t post a pic of that area. As always, Good inspection needed, no pics of the underbelly posted, but as much visible rust there is I fear the worst. Also check the Cowl Plenum. Gotta admit it looks great in the white and blue stripes, but it is a Rustang. 14.2 and it hasn’t hit reserve. Good luck to the new owner. caveat Emptor–know what you are getting into!!
    Cheers
    GPC

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  6. Troy s

    Nice stance, engine has the familiar dime a dozen dress up kit along with an aluminum intake manifold…I wonder what the seller means by it being “a great racer”.? Street…strip…daydreamer?? What?
    She’s rough alright, and I really don’t like the blue stripes, but heck, it’s not That bad. If it had a four speed people would jump all over it I suppose.

    1
  7. Cadmanls Member

    Seller did great job not giving too much detail in the pictures. I am afraid rust us a lot deeper than the pictures show.

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  8. Mikey8

    Too many questions for the price. Would be nice to fix up, but not for 14k

    2
  9. JOHN Member

    Interesting project that will go fairly high, remember the “Shelby” that was wrecked here a while back? It finally sold for stupid money, after the owner changed the ad. No Mustang expert here, but I also doubt this is a real GT. And for what it’s worth, the dash isn’t cut for the stereo… but, I always liked the fastbacks, from day 1! I was 13 and remember the introduction well.

    2
  10. Blueovaldude

    must have spent a ton on Armor all!

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