1965 Ford Mustang: A Decaying Beauty on Private Grounds, Deserving of a Second Chance

Ford kicked off the first-generation Mustang production in April 1964, approximately four months before the official 1965 model year.

1965 Mustang convertible 18 photos

Photo: eBay seller nibiru2010

As a result, the American carmaker didn’t want to call these cars 1965 Mustangs, and despite using this model year for its marketing materials, diehard fans call it the 1964 1/2 Mustang.

The cheapest Mustang could be had for $2,368, though it came with a lazy six-cylinder engine that Ford eventually abandoned when it started the production of the 1965 model.

The base 170 engine was a straight-six unit with 105 horsepower, and Ford knew it wasn’t the best choice for the Mustang. After all, its pony was supposed to impress with a solid mix of sporty looks and intriguing engines, but the U-code engine donated by the Ford Falcon made sense on this early run of the Mustang.

Four months later, Ford started the production of the 1965 Mustang, and the 170 straight-six was one of the first 1964 1/2 goodies to get the axe. It waved goodbye to the Mustang lineup to make room for an upgraded six-cylinder unit, making its way to the pony as a 200ci Thriftpower rated at 120 horsepower.

1965 Ford Mustang

Photo: eBay seller nibiru2010

The same six-cylinder remained the base unit on the Mustang without any significant changes for the 1965 and 1966 model years.

The base V8 on the first Mustang was the 260 small-block with a 2-barrel carburetor and a 164-horsepower rating. It was a decent choice for anyone who wanted a pony that was not as lazy as a six-cylinder but still not as powerful as the HiPo. The American carmaker eventually dropped the 260, going all-in on the 289, which was eventually available on the Mustang in three different versions.

The 289 2-barrel with 200 horsepower became the base V8 on the 1965 and 1966 Mustangs, turning into the most common choice for pony buyers. A 4-barrel version of the 289 was also available, both on the original Mustang and the 1965 refresh. The original 4-barrel developed 210 horsepower, but Ford wanted to provide buyers with upgraded power when the 1965 model went live, so its power was increased to 225 horsepower. It was the top choice for the “regular” 1965 Mustang, though a more powerful version eventually joined the lineup with 271 horsepower on the 1965 and 1966 Mustang HiPo versions. It also used a 4-barrel version, but its focus was specifically on delivering improved performance.

1965 Ford Mustang

Photo: eBay seller nibiru2010

eBay seller nibiru2010 has recently listed for sale a 1965 Mustang that has been sitting for a while, so the car is now suffering from concerning metal problems.

This Mustang has likely been sleeping on private property for years, so I expect the floors and the trunk pan to be wrecked. The owner admits the rust is a problem, but this isn’t a surprise on a car this old, especially considering the many years of sitting.

The Mustang rolled off the assembly lines as a convertible – it was one of the rarest body styles for the 1965 model year, though you can still find it in a solid shape today. This one hopes to impress with a 99 percent complete configuration, as the only things missing are the transmission and the hood.

1965 Ford Mustang

Photo: eBay seller nibiru2010

And speaking of how complete the car continues to be today, potential buyers will be glad to know that the Mustang still has a 289 engine. It’s unclear if it’s the original unit, but the V8 is no longer in the car anyway, as the owner says the engine is currently on the ground.

It was likely removed from the car for a rebuild, so bring a good mechanic to figure out how much work this Mustang requires before returning to the road.

The interior seems in a better shape than the rest of the car but would still require an overhaul. However, the Mustang comes with plenty of extra parts currently sitting in the cabin, so you’ll have to remove all of them, give the interior a thorough cleaning, and only then determine its condition accurately.

1965 Ford Mustang

Photo: eBay seller nibiru2010

I would’ve expected a 1965 Mustang convertible to be more expensive, but the owner believes $2,650 is a fair price. The car was posted on eBay with a fixed price, but the owner won’t accept other offers. You can see it in person in Moundsville, West Virginia, and considering the engine is no longer in the car, you’ll have to take it home on a trailer.

The seller says three of the four wheels are good, and the fourth would only require a quick fix, so you should be able to roll it on your trailer easily. The listing will expire in approximately six days, so you still have enough time to convince your significant other that you must spend $2,650 on a pile of rusty metal that could eventually become a head-turning convertible worth ten times more.

You’ll have to contact the owner to figure out how original the car continues to be after all the years of rotting away on private property. 

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