In Storage For 30 Years! 1965 Mustang Fastback

Although this Mustang has been in storage for 30 years, it suffered it’s fair share of rust damage prior to being stored. Nevertheless, this fastback example of the first pony car might just be the ticket for someone to create the restomod of their dreams. Yes, that’s right, I said restomod, because the odds of this car ever going back together with the four-lug hardware and base inline six are about the same as me buying it from the auction here on eBay (which are pretty small considering I’m not bidding). Bidding has gone all the way up to $4,000, but as of this writing the reserve has not yet been met.

Based on what I think are Corvair wheel covers and the four lug wheels, I think this car has 13″ wheels, not even the later 14, which honestly is the first time I’ve seen those on a fastback (not saying it’s not common, just not in my limited early Mustang experience). And you can see the rust issues in the rocker panel and quarter panels, probably at least partially due to the Buffalo, New York location of the car. The seller also talks about trunk pan work, and I’d be checking out the torque boxes for sure. However, based on the panel seams the car does look pretty straight.

It would be nice to have a rear bumper, but I think it’s in the interior. Which begs the question why did someone remove it? Perhaps they were starting on the trunk floor work? Regardless, take a moment and think about how this car must have looked in mid-1964 compared to the average car on the market. Wow, it doesn’t surprise me that the early Mustang took the auto world by storm. And to think the underpinnings were from the Falcon!

Speaking of those underpinnings, we can see some holes in the shock towers here and, of course, the warranty number decoder here tells us that it is the 200 cubic inch inline six cylinder we’re seeing. I was shocked to find that the orange on the valve cover and air cleaner could be original–what happened to Ford blue? Perhaps that was later. Regardless, the car isn’t running so even if you want to explore how to hop up the original engine, you’ll probably want to dive into the internals. The car supposedly has 96,000 miles on it, so it is at least possible that the engine components are ok, although I’m guessing they would at least benefit from new bearings.

While the dash looks surprisingly nice, I’m pretty sure new seat upholstery will be in most folks plans. Ultimately, I do believe this will get a front/rear end suspension and brake transplant and some sort of 302/351 transplant, but I’d be more interested in what you folks think! How about sharing what you’d do with this car in the comments?

Fast Finds


  1. Gary

    I wouldn’t drop anything bigger than it already has in the engine compartment with those shock towers. I had a ’67 with the same shock tower treatment that was originally a 6 cylinder that was upgraded to a 302. I drove it for about 5 years before the Illinois State Police made me take it off the streets because the front suspension was collapsing. It tore up a set of tires in a very short time.

  2. San Jose Scott

    This would be a tough call for me. My first car was a 65 mustang and growing up my mom had a 65 and 67. I like these cars.

    It needs a lot of work. It is too low a spec car to restore and too complete to resto rod it. I prefer restored originals so would pass on it and hold out for a v8 needing love, or an I6 without rust.

    We all have our aversions. Mine is rust. I’ll reupholster, rebuild, repaint, and rewire gladly. I know after those there are no hidden monsters. With rust, I never trust it to be tamed.

  3. CCFisher

    The holes in the shock towers were cut to access the grease fittings, a common shortcut back in the day. My ’68 convertible had more “petite” holes that I easily welded up. Whoever cut these holes must have had a very big grease gun.

    Six-cylinder and V-8 body structures are identical, so there should be no concerns with upgrading to a V-8, provided the suspension components are upgraded, as well. Nearly all of the bolt-on suspension bits are unique to the 6.

    I believe a black block with red/orange valve cover and air cleaner are correct for 1965 Ford 200-cid 6.

  4. 68 custom

    6 cylinder fastback mustang, when rare does not equal valuable. resto mod for sure with a flatplane crank coyote engine!

  5. Mike mo

    Keep it stock there is many available with no engine and trans on eBay that you can restomod since others are not original any way

  6. MrBlueOval57

    I would restomod it to some extent and make it a Shelby clone or lookalike fixing all the rust issues and repainting it maybe like an Eleanor gray with black Lemans stripes and dropping in a mildly built up small block then drive the hell out of it, but I would have to see how high the price goes first. Though 65-66 fastbacks are at a premium in ANY condition, I’m not gonna pay $5k for a 6 cyl. rust bucket.

  7. Miguel

    There is no chance this car will stay the way it is. Somebody is going to restomod it and dump in a huge engine.

    Haven’t shops been removing the shock towers anyway in these cars?

    The fastbacks are bringing crazy money so the incentive is there.

  8. James

    Fisher was spot on in his deduction about the hole in the shock tower. You practically have to remove the whole thing to get to the zerk. I cut a hole in my tower too, but installed a nice grommet–looked factory when I was done.

    That is the correct color for the 200 I6. Black with orange valve cover and air cleaner. Painful, I know.

    However, the dashboard looks like a 1966 model and not a 1965. Hard to say without the VIN as this looks like it might have parts from other cars. However, I would certainly do it 90% stock with some slight creature comforts. I would put back the I6 with a Sprint 200 motif. You pull that thing into a car show and pop the hood. People would love it!! It would draw all kinds of attention.

  9. JW

    This car screams restomod but the rust repair will be costly, Mustangs and Camaros hide rust very well so don’t think the exposed rust is all there is to deal with, I say this by experience with a 67 and now our 70. OH and I might mention we just got back from the Woodward Dream Cruise and were at Mustang alley with ours and got invited to Fords proving grounds for a day of lectures on auto cross in the 2018 Mustangs with demo rides and then got to take our 70 Mach1 around their 5 mile test track a 100 mph. Awesome, I would post a picture but it keeps giving me a error message “Website Block”.

    • JW

      Here’s a link to Mustang 360 newsletter about the Dream Cruise and Mustang Alley, you scroll down and the pictured car for the Mustang Alley is our 70 Chestnut Metallic Mach1.

  10. newfieldscarnut

    Rust stang
    How’s the frame ??

  11. JW

    Check out our Chestnut Metallic 70 Mustang Mach1 at the 2017 Mustang Alley on Mustang 360 website, scroll to middle of page to view.

  12. Troy S.

    Don’t really know what direction would be the right way to go here. Looks to be very expensive no matter what. How about a clone of an old ’65AFX mustang race car, just thinking out loud.

  13. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Little rarity there….base 6 with the upscale pony interior….but most don’t care.

  14. Red Horowitz

    Looks like a ’66 dash in the vehicle.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Gage cluster is either 1966 or from a 1965 GT. I don’t recall the GT package as being available on a 6-cylinder car, so this is swapped in.

      • Rob'sGT

        Wrong! Data plate clearly identifies the car as having the deluxe interior, and the dash is correct for that. Deluxe interior and GT packages are independent of one another. Do your research.

        But yes, the GT package was not available on a 6-cylinder car.

    • Rob'sGT

      You obviously don’t know your early Mustangs.

  15. Rustytech Member

    I remember, and it wasn’t too long ago when it was said ” if it’s a six run from it”. Now even the sixes are bringing good money. I would definitely convert it to a V8, but I would try to find a period correct 289ci. There’s a lot of rust, but at least almost every body part is available. Hopefully whoever buys it is good with a welder.

    • Jon

      For a 6cyl to 8cyl swap, you would need to do a lot of work. ’65 not as collectible as ’66, and you would have to upgrade the suspension, 4lug to 5lug, brakes, shock towers, etc. The Pony interior is nice, but I don’t think you’d ever get back even half what you put into this.

  16. Jim

    Ford blue showed up in the 1966 model 1965 models V8s were black block and gold valve covers and gold air cleaners the 6cyl were red

  17. Pookie Jamie P

    Where in Buffalo is this? I’m from Buffalo. (Now in Florida) I’m curious to see who owns this. I would make it a restomod, enjoy it for awhile then sell it down here.

  18. Don H

    Hood pins on a 6 😐

  19. Randy

    No restomod here. If the interior is complete, and the door and rear glass are good, cut the roof at the windshield pillars and back deck about six inches down the quarter panels and graft it onto a rust-free coupe. Not as hard as it sounds.

    $4,000 is the max value for the parts, however.

  20. Dt 1

    What a mess I’ll pass

  21. Mike

    I’d drive it just like it is…what a gem! Let my friends laugh…I don’t really like any of them, anyway

  22. Mike Williams

    It’s not worth fixing up, a six T code with lots of rust. The fastback roof might be worth a little, but then that’s a hugh project too.

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