When Miles Don’t Matter: 1965 Mustang Coupe

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The phrase “low miles” is like red meat to a car collector.  The term conjures up visions of perfect cars with little wear because they were only driven to church and the market on Sunday.  This time I think we have found a rather depressing version of low miles.  This 1965 Ford Mustang coupe, for sale on eBay out of San Diego, California, is being touted as a low mileage vehicle in the ad.  The 39,900 miles on the odometer may actually be legitimate.  What is also legitimate is how poor storage has made this once pretty Mustang an example on what not to do with a collectible car.  With just two days left to bid, this pony car has managed to collect four bids.  Is the current high bid of $2,050 the high water mark?  Is it worth even that?

The seller tells us that this car was a one owner car.  The car spent its whole life in San Diego as well.  Looking at the VIN number, we can also tell that this Mustang was built in Ford’s San Jose factory.  It was truly a California car through and through.  The car comes with the original ID card to prove this fact, and it still has the original owner’s manual.

Despite what you see in these pictures, the seller claims that the rust problems with this car aren’t as bad as they look.  We are told that the unibody supports and the rocker panels are solid.  Additionally, we are told that there is some surface rust and some holes in the rear quarter panels.  Yes, you are seeing the same pictures I am.

Inside, the situation is a little better.  The dash pad, often warped in Mustangs of this era, looks fairly good.  The rest of the dash may clean up as well, and the steering wheel and horn assembly isn’t that bad either.  The carpet has obviously seen better days.  The door panels and seat covers look to be somewhat compromised from moisture trapped in the car.  Mustangs are notorious for cowl leaks.  Of course, the holes around the back glass probably didn’t help very much.

There isn’t a clear picture of the engine.  We do know that this car was equipped with a 289 cubic inch V-8 and a three speed transmission.  Once again, the VIN number helps us figure out that this was the low horsepower V-8.  It used a two barrel carburetor to produce just 200 horsepower.  Considering that many Mustangs were equipped with an inline six cylinder engine, the V-8 is a nice surprise.  No information was given in the ad as to the engine’s condition.

With prices for well restored first generation Mustangs hovering just north of the $10,000 range, it is difficult to see this Mustang selling for much more than the current high bid.  It is a low mileage car.  Maybe.  However, that low mileage claim doesn’t seem to be worth much in this situation.

Will this Mustang ever make it back on the road?  What is a fair price for this pony car?


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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Considering this a southern California car I’d guess this car spent some time on the beach running through the surf. Lots of work ahead here.

    Like 9
  2. BoatmanMember

    So it’s on a lift but you don’t want to show us the underside? Hard pass.

    Like 11
  3. Steve R

    The seller should be embarrassed to have claimed 39,000 original miles, but then again, the picture of the speedometer passes for proof nowadays.

    I’m surprised the car bidding surpassed $2,000.

    Steve R

    Like 10
    • Jett

      Keep in mind odometers only had five digits back then. It’s proof of nothing without paperwork to back it up.

      Like 2
  4. John Oliveri


    Like 3
  5. Tom

    My Dad bought a new white 1967 Mustang in January 1967 with the 289 4V carburetor. The car also has factory A/C. It has stayed in our family since new and has had great care. The car has outlived my Dad who bought it when he was 45 and he lived to 86. My youngest son now has it and and just recently moved to New Hampshire. He gets comments about it everyday. No rust since it spent almost all its time in LA.

    Like 6
  6. TimM

    Take the drive line out and put it in another car!! The rust by the back window means that water has been running in the car for years!!! The mustang body wasn’t designed to be a swimming pool!!!

    Like 3
  7. Joe Machado

    San Diego is a spread out area. Beach, inland hills, like desert in El Cajon.
    Lower temps in the beach side of the hill, rain, humidity, salt air, and every car I got that came from here rusts.
    They cannot dry out fast enough.
    Worst miles, sittin still outside.

    Like 2
  8. Paul

    If it was a convertible it would be worth the effort to restore…not this notch back….you can by a much better running and driving car that needs a lot less work fairly inexpensively, so I would pass on this one.

    Like 1
  9. Kenneth Cartwright

    miles says 68668

    Like 0
  10. James

    Is that a cancer awareness ribbon magnet in one of the photos? I think that says it all… At least we know one spot is solid!

    Like 0

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