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Stalled Project: 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

We’re pretty used to seeing stalled project cars here at Barn Finds. Often these have stalled before they’ve started, while others have been sitting for years. This 1965 Mustang Fastback is something a bit different. Work only commenced on it about a month ago, but the owner has quickly admitted that it might be beyond his abilities. He has, therefore, decided to part with it rather than leaving it to sit. There’s a bit to unpack with this one, but it has the potential to be an enjoyable vehicle when the work is completed. The Mustang is located in Houston, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. There is a BIN of $18,000, although there is also the option to make an offer.

This is a 1st Generation Mustang project car, so the odds were always going to favor it having some rust issues to be addressed. The floors have been hit by the tin worm, as you can see. The driver’s side has a new floor sitting in place, and there is also a new floor for the passenger side included in the sale. It isn’t clear how the car looks structurally, but there are no signs of any significant rust in the rockers. There are the usual spots in the lower rear quarter panels, front fenders, and the door corners. I think that these could be repaired with patches, so wholesale steel replacement might not be necessary. The hood isn’t original and is said to be carbon-fiber. All of the glass is present, and there are many new trim pieces included in the sale. This includes a rear bumper, along with the trim for around the windshield and rear windows. New weather-stripping is also included. One item that isn’t is the Cragar wheels that you see in the photos. A set of 14″ steel wheels will be fitted for the new owner.

When the Mustang rolled off the production line, the engine bay was occupied by a 200ci T-Code 6-cylinder engine. That is now a distant memory because a 351ci Windsor V8 now fills the space. A 3-speed automatic transmission backs this. The news here is pretty positive because that 351 does run. A new fuel tank and battery have been fitted, and the owner treated the engine to a tune-up earlier this month. It now starts easily and is in good health. I have to admit that the appearance is disappointing. If I were going to the trouble of performing a transplant like this one, I would have painted and detailed everything before I dropped the engine in. If the buyer wants to attain a high presentation level, the engine will need to come out again. Still, I guess that you can’t have it all.

The interior will need some work, but it isn’t as bad as it could be. The rear seat has been folded down for years and is in excellent condition. The front seats will need new covers, and a new headliner will need to go on the shopping list. There are a few parts included in the sale. These include a new carpet set, along with a new dash pad. The only missing item is the radio, although sourcing one of those should be an easy task. The Mustang is equipped with air conditioning, but it isn’t clear whether it will need a regas.

I have to take my hat off to the owner of this 1965 Mustang. He had a few alternatives open to him. He could easily have plowed on regardless and potentially done significant damage due to his admitted lack of ability and skill. He also could have chosen to sit on the project for years, watching it deteriorate with each passing day. To admit his weakness and place the car on the market quickly shows an admirable strength of character that some owners are sadly lacking. Do you have the skills and the will to pick this project up and see it through to completion?


  1. Troy s

    One thing I dont and never have liked are showing a car for sale with wheels like these Cragars and then not including them in the sale. With old worn out steelies on it this Mustang looks like the forgotten clunker in the woods, more than it does now.
    Like the 351 idea, and it would make for an interesting ride. Leave the Cragars on it…

    Like 7
  2. Rusty Trawler

    Good luck with that price.

    Like 5
  3. 8banger David Mika Member

    Good project for someone with the cash and skills for sure.

    Like 2
  4. piston poney

    why would you pull the engine to detail it me and my dad have detailed dozens of engines with out pulling them mostly in mustangs like this we did one that had a 428 cobra jet once it was hard but came out nice. (it was a 66 fast back and for one of his friends).

    Like 4
  5. Kld

    BIN $18K! Please! $1500, Big money for this rust bucket! Big bucks for a proper restoration! Will pass….Thanks….

    Like 3
  6. Steve

    The writer states it originally had a 6 banger. But I see a GT rear lower valance panel, with the exhaust through it. Was that piece replaced? To me, it looks original, very rusty, like the rest of the car. That tells me it was a V8. Also, the steering wheel is a GT wheel, unless that was replaced too.

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