In pretty much every corner of the world, vintage Mustangs like this super tidy 1965 coupe are seeing a lot of new cultural awareness. Almost as widely recognizable as the VW Beetle, these early Mustangs are the epitome of vintage motoring, with car fans from all over the globe dreaming of owning their very own 1st generation Pony. If you're a first-timer looking for a dialed-in classic to begin your collector car journey, or a seasoned collector looking to add to the stable, this handsome driver-grade coupe has a lot to offer.
Code J Rangoon Red was one of the most popular color choices on the menu in 1965, and the restorers of this '65 coupe did a great job laying down a slick-looking, driver-quality finish on that original sheetmetal. Bright and sporty, it matches this Mustang's personality perfectly but doesn't seem to be trying too hard, and even though it's not without its imperfections, the car has a killer look that's further enhanced by the black stripes running down the center of the car. It retains that classic Mustang look that really embodies what most of these cars actually looked like in 1965, but has a little added punch that turns heads out in the streets today. No spoilers, no scoops, and not dressed up like a fake GT, but rather a clean, conservative, and eminently stylish Pony that's ready for just about any situation. The bodywork is pretty well done, with decent gaps, good panel alignment, and a trunk lid that fits better than most cars at this price point. Modern paint probably makes it deeper and shinier than it ever was back in the '60s, and a wet sand and buff would likely wake it up even more. Bright chrome bumpers are in good shape and enhance the familiar Mustang shape, and the slightly modified front grille give this '65 a special look.
Some color combinations just work better than others, and you simply can't go wrong with red-on-red. This is the standard interior, which pleated vinyl bucket seats that are in great shape and wear like iron, matched by the rear bench that barely looks used. The interior seems to be composed of both original and NOS replacement parts, but what's important is that the stock look was retained with only light patina and wear found in mostly inconspicuous places. The deep-dish, 3-spoke steering wheel is period-appropriate and has a Mustang horn button, and just ahead of it are all the original gauges in the wide Falcon-style instrument panel. Unbelievably, the original AM radio is still in the dash, but it's out of commission so that might be a good place to start the upgrades, and that's something the aftermarket is really good at. There's also a factory-style under-dash A/C unit in the cab, and irrelevant of whether it's an original factory unit or not, it's been upgraded with R134a hardware and is blowing ice cold today! Plush red carpets are the correct pile and loop for the era, and a modern dog-leg shifter was neatly swapped in to manage the 5-speed manual transmission below. The red headliner above is taut, the dash pad is free of cracks, and the door panels at the flanks give the cabin a very complete feel, while out back the trunk is finished with correct plaid mats and carries a space-saver spare for emergencies.
Don't scoff at Ford's T-code 200 cubic inch inline-six, which is smooth and torquey, a perfect fit for your affordable Mustang. The bright orange engine fires on command, runs like a sewing machine, and remains almost completely stock. Up top there's a correct orange air cleaner that's been painted to match the valve cover, as well as a 2-barrel carburetor underneath. The big aluminum radiator up front keeps it cool effortlessly and a stock exhaust manifold feeds a dual exhaust system with chambered mufflers that sound just right. A 5-speed manual transmission is obviously not the original specification but certainly a welcomed upgrade, shifting smoothly as it managed the rigors of the modern road. There are newer shocks underneath, which make a very noticeable improvement to the agile little coupe's road manners, and a fresh gas tank and beefed-up rear end help clean things up for the very solid undercarriage. Flashy Center Line bullet-hole alloys are fitted with 15-inch blackwall radials for a classic performance look.
If you've been sitting on the sidelines during all the Mustang celebrations, it's time to get into the game. This car is clean, fun, and affordable, and with great support from the clubs and the aftermarket, it remains on every collector's wish list. Call today!