V8 Fastback Project: 1965 Ford Mustang

First generation Mustangs are a staple of Barn Finds because even after all of these years, they are still very popular, they were made in various iterations and there were hundreds of thousands built between mid-1964 and the conclusion of the 1966 model year. That said, here’s one we can take a gander at, located in Stratford, Connecticut and available here on eBay for a current bid of $13,000, three bids tendered as of this writing.

The 1965 Mustang came in three body styles, coupe, convertible and fastback like this example. Truth be told, I never cared for the coupe and only marginally accepted the convertible because the top went up and down. The fastback, however, is another matter; I like them! The extended roof-line just gives this car a more serious, purposeful appearance – perhaps what Carroll Shelby thought or maybe needed? Anyway, it’s the Shelby association, that for me, sets the fastback apart from the coupe and convertible.

Our subject car is equipped with a 289 CI V8 engine though I don’t know which one. There were three, 200, 225 and 271 HP. Based on the air cleaner I’d say it’s the 225 version but I’m sure one of our sharp-eyed Mustang enthusiasts will be able to help out here. The seller gives very little information other than to state “matching numbers” and “runs”. Unless my eyes are fooling me, I doubt it runs very well as the fuel line looks like it is disconnected. Gears-wise, this fastback is equipped with a three-speed automatic C4 transmission.

The seller tells us that this Mustang is on its second white paint-job and it comes with lots of NOS parts (bumper, emblems, rear view mirror, etc.). The seller also tells us that this Ford will need floors. There are no images available, so I can’t tell you how extensive the floor damage is, as in, can they be patched or are talking the whole ball of wax? There is silence regarding structural members but if there is floor trouble, I’d want to look the entire underside over pretty closely. There are very few images but from what’s available the body looks to be in decent shape. The blue GT 350 stripe is exactly that, a stripe; this is not a Shelby Mustang or a derivative.

The interior looks about how you would expect it to look considering this Mustang’s age; there is only one image and no detail. I imagine at the least it will need a good cleaning and beyond that there are probably other matters that will need attention. And that’s about it for details on this fastback. It doesn’t look like there is a reserve on this auction lot and there are a few days to go before the bidding is concluded; no telling where it will top out. If you’re interested in a first generation Mustang, this may be a good candidate with its fastback body and 289 V8 engine. As usual, the devil will be in the details. What do you think, good start in the right bid range or too many unknowns? Happy New Year to all of our Barn Finds readers, Members and contributors!

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  1. Bob_S

    Hey Jim,
    There were 12 Shelby Convertibles built. Does that change your opinion of the convertible?

    Happy New Year to all!

    Like 2
    • Eric

      He also technically had his hand in some coupes (Terlingua) and Ford went racing with some pretty awesome coupes. Done right, they can look pretty cool, but of course fastbacks are indeed king- I concur. But, a coupe is so much cheaper and you can mod to your heart’s content.

      Like 3
    • CCFisher

      What’s your source? Everything I’ve ever read says no Shelby convertibles in 1965 and four in 1966.

    • Jim ODonnell


      Well, OK, if it’s a ’68 yes.

  2. Flmikey

    The ad says it’s a C code, so if it’s matching, it’s the 200 HP version…I had an A code 4speed fastback….2 totally different cars…

    Like 2
    • Matt Trummer

      Flmikey I had a 66 GT Fastback with a K code and a 289 w solid lifters making 271 HP. The top of the air filter has the same badging that mine had

      Like 2
      • RH FACTOR

        271 had no vacuum advance.

  3. Twanger

    I wonder what the passenger side looks like???

    Like 1
  4. Twangr

    I wonder what the passenger side looks like???

    • Steve R

      At least the same amount of rust, probably more.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  5. Troy s

    Coupes are okay, as stated above they can be turned into cool machines…this fastback looked good a few years ago, maybe decades, there’s no telling what’s been done to the 289 over the past 55 years, all I see is a grease pit sporting headers and an open element air cleaner with an inverted lid. Loose the Shelby stripes completely.

    Like 1
  6. Tucker Callan

    I`m curious about the wooden handle on the shifter?

  7. CCFisher

    The 271-hp K-code engine was not available with an automatic transmission until 1966.

  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Something just don’t look right about the stance of this car. Looks to me like maybe suspension and or frame rust issues.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  9. 73 AMX

    Got a watch on it to see what it goes for. In CT, so probably an east coast car needing floors and MINOR rust repair?? Probably rear quarters extensions and rockers. Could get nutty.

  10. Bernie H.

    C CODE is probably correct in that all 271 HiPro’s from 1965 were 4 speeds only. The photo shows this engine to be a replacement, it has a vacuum advance on the distributor, 271’s were mechanical advance only. Too bad you cant see the harmonic balancer, 271’s were 2” wide, the c code engine was 3/4″ wide. Looks like a project for someone with $$. lots of hidden rust,

    Like 2
  11. Gordon Duncan
  12. Gordon Duncan

    It looks like it’s got a new coil, distributor cap and plug wires so once they hook the fuel line back up it could be a runner.

  13. TimM

    Could be a nice project if it can be bought at the right price but I think that price has come and gone!!

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