By on October 28, 2011

Nostalgia is big business, and there are plenty of people who will pay any price and bear any burden to return to the products of their youth. Harley has CVO Springer Softails for thirty grand. Gibson has the 1959 Murphy Aged Reissues for about half that much. Patek Philippe will sell you a Large Calatrava just like the one your father forgot to hand down to you (because he was actually a hick-assed convenience-store manager and not the Duke of Worchestershiresauce) for as much as $40,000.

The Sixties-car fanaticism has arguably reached its sell-by date, a casualty of disappearing portfolios and Barrett-Jackson overkill, but Ford has something really quite nice for the remaining True Believers: a brand-new 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible shell, built (or at least approved) by Ford.

Quoth the release:

The ’65 Mustang body shell is constructed of higher-grade steel than the original, said Jim Christina, vice president of Dynacorn International, the Ford-approved company that is manufacturing the ’65 Mustang. “We use a modern universal automotive-grade steel that is actually stronger than the original, and modern welding techniques along with more welds to strengthen the body,” Christina said.

The ’65 body is in production now and can be delivered by freight truck to any address. The ’65 Mustang body includes the doors and trunk lid and all the sheet metal from the radiator support to the taillight panel except the hood and front fenders. Those items are available separately. The ’65 Mustang body shell starts at $15,000.

The new body shell can be made into a 1964½, 1965 or 1966 Mustang, based on the powertrains and trim parts added to it. It is the third classic Mustang body shell now available to restorers. The other two are the 1967-68 and the 1969-70 fastback bodies.

Super fun. I can tell you what I think of when I see bare Mustang body shells. I dream of building a competitor to Paul Faessler’s fire-breathing AIX Mustang.

It’s a proven fact that simply showing your fifteen-year-old son this picture will cause him to wipe the goth lipstick off his face and delete “Glee” from his TiVO settings. It’s that strong. I’ve been in a few races with Faessler and having that thing blow by my Neon is like being personally reprimanded by Zeus.

Anyway. Back to classic Mustang body shells. They’re better than the original. Go buy one and build yourself a Mustang. Why not? If, on the other hand, you’re a child of the Eighties, you can hold out for a reissue of the 1983 GT 5.0 “White Trash Ferrari”. If the Dynacorn current offerings are any indication, Jack Telnack-era 1979-1993 Mustang shells should be available in about twelve years. In the meantime, however, we’ll have to re-suffer through the Mustang II. King Cobra, anyone?

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73 Comments on “Ford Would Like To Sell You A 1965 Mustang...”


  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    What would be involved in making one of these street legal? Wrapping it around the VIN tag of a ’65 Mustang?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup that’s the way it is done in many cases. Purchase a “parts” car with VIN and install a “service replacement” body.

      • 0 avatar
        econobiker

        That is why it will rapidly become more valuable to possess a VIN and title even if the original car body is ferrous oxide cheese for these type of collectible cars.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperACG

      In California, you can title it as a “year model it most closely resembles” *HOWEVER* this only applies to the first 500 applicants each year, and you can bet they are all gone on the first day.

      You can wait for next year, or title it as a year model for the date it was completed. HOWEVER, you are subject to emissions standards for that year.

      Of course, if you had a dealer plate just slap that on and drive around…

  • avatar
    bunkie

    ’69 Camaro shells have been available for a while now. All you need is an utter basket case (for the VIN) and you can, effectively, build a complete new, registerable ’69 Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnny Canada

      Any idea where the Dynacor bodies are manufactured? I don’t mean assembled. But where does the actual stamping take place. I was looking at a Camaro shell at a restoration shop many years ago, and was surprised to see “made in China” ink markings on all the components. Nothing wrong with that….no wait a minute, there is something wrong with that.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I believe they are also reissuing the early bronco body as well. So you can build your own “Big Oly”.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Nice but give me the fastback. Though from what I’ve seen from Mustang parts warehouses you could build a scratch Mustang from many model years if you were crazy enough to order it piece by piece.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      That’s pretty much all they are doing putting together all the repo parts that are already available so you don’t have too.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      Having a reproduction full body shell available now has really made it more inviting versus having to salvage a body shell and scab in floor pans, rocker panels, etc. Now you can start with a dimensionally accurate body, made from better quality steel, and with better pre-treatment for anti- corrosion properties.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        True, and I wonder if it would come out cheaper, since you can save quite a lot on the actual body work of swapping in all that sheetmetal, esp since most people dont have the skills to do that work themselves.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Complete 1957 Chevy convertibles can be bought, built around an original cowl for something like 100 grand, but who in their right mind would want to? I mean, who has that kind of cash?

    Just like I’m going to spend $20-35 grand for a restored 1964 Chevy I used to own 40 years ago! Nope. Sorry, nothing to see here, keep moving!

    I suppose if I DID have the cash, I’d be writing a different comment, though! Dreams are still free.

    EDIT: Why would anyone in their right mind want a first-gen Mustang, anyway? The best ones were the 1967 & 68 models as to proportions and quality, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      Go to Hot August Nights or Back to the Fifties and you will see.
      Street Rods and 50s 60s restos etc. is a huge ,profitable industry.
      And a heck of a lot of fun, at any level.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Zackman…. A 100 Grand is pocket change to some folks. I’m not one of them. If I was, I’d have one of those 57 Rag tops, in a heartbeat.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Yeah, Mikey, me too. If I had that kind of cash to burn, my question above would be moot. I would be in my right mind! THEN the question would be: Red, Turquoise or Rootbeer Brown?

  • avatar
    skor

    If I was running Ford, I would stay miles away from this thing. It’s been my observation that when a company goes down the “nostalgia” road, it’s entering into a death spiral. Healthy people and viable businesses live in the here and now while preparing for the future, not clinging to the glorious past.

    BTW, there is no such thing at a 64 1/2 model year Mustang. That’s just marketing crap dreamed up by old car auction housed to fleece the rubes. The Mustang went on sale in May 1964 as a 1965 model. All of those Mustangs were designated 1965 models by Fomoco. It would be more accurate refer to 65′s with early or late production features. Except for the bodies, the early Mustangs were pure Falcon…170cube I6′s, and 13 inch four lug wheels, or 260inch V8′s with 5 lug 14 inch wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It’s not like Ford has a big hand in this, it’s just an extension of the Ford approved resto parts program. They are pretty much just collecting the license fee and are spending zero capital and effort. It’s certainly not going to stop people from buying a new Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        Agreed. I’m already nostalgic for the 2005-2009 Mustangs.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        “It’s not like Ford has a big hand in this”

        I would bet money that Ford was definitely involved in this. The 50th anniversary of the Mustang introduction is only about 2.5 years away. A few years ago – for their 100th anniversary – Ford built a run of Model Ts to the original drawings. They even recreated tooling as needed.

        My money is on Ford having some plans for the 50th and they don’t want to use their extremely valuable original Mustangs for them. I’m not saying they are going to smash them up, but maybe they’ll have a fleet of them drive Route 66 from Chicago to LA or something like that.

        And since they spent all this money tooling up to build some new body panels, they might as well try to get some of it back…

    • 0 avatar
      mad_science

      “Early 65s” had enough differences (Generator, available 260) to make make the 64.5 distinction a reasonable thing. Besides, 64.5 is quicker to type.

      As the owner of a ’64 Falcon, I can also point out there are a number of bits and pieces that are (mostly needlessly) different between the two: all the steering parts and the rear springs, most frustratingly.

      • 0 avatar
        roger628

        Yep, there are scores of little differences-Generator versions had completely different wiring, different horns, different core support (with cooling vents for the gen).Even the horn contact design is different for gen cars. Other things that come to mind-2-speed blower versus 3, different carpet, non-adjustable passenger seat, master-cylinder mounted brake-light switch,color-keyed door lock buttons vs bright.Smaller T-handle on the automatic. Even the hood stamping is subtly different on the early cars. Undoubtedly, there are more that I can’t remember right now. To complicate things even more, there were no hard and fast rules for changeover dates, simply using later-model parts when the older types ran out. Multiiply this by 2 different plants (Dearborn and San Jose and things get pretty
        cryptic.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      The 289 Hp K engine showed an appetite for clutches in the first year, a few 64.5 Mustangs came with the 10.5 inch clutch in a 5 bolt bell housing, The move to the 11 inch clutch required a bigger bellhousing, I had one of the 5 bolt versions and finding a 4 speed housing was a bitch.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      If I had the time and energy to hunt down the advertising photos there is a clear license plate in the marketing material saying “1964 1/2″ for the official release of the Mustang. Something like 10-15k went out as 64.5 models and have no real difference between 65 models besides some minor tweaks but FoMoCo themselves invented that marketing term not some old car auctioneer because the timing put it smack in the middle of the car year cycle and they didn’t want to lose a year of production numbers.

      That being said, who cares if Ford is throwing out new 65 mustang bodies for 15K? I would love to pick one up and find a Ford Galaxie 500 Rear and a larger ’68 engine and running gear but I don’t have 50K minimum to arrange that. This is more or less for serious enthusiasts. When you’re this large of a company it’s very reasonable to cater both directions. The Focus, Fusion, and to some extent the Taurus are all very future-forward cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      The 64-1/2 Mustang was something dreamed up by Ford because it was the first major automobile (well, post WWII, anyway) that came out at a time other than the traditional late-October-paper-over-all-the-windows-at-the-dealership new car introduction. And the radio ads that summer called it the 64-1/2 Mustang.

      You’ve got to be over 50 to catch the difference. The fact that Ford was bringing out a whole new and different car (well, it looked new and different – most people didn’t catch on to the re-bodied Falcon) in the middle of the model year was real radical back then. Ten years later, and it just the usual way of doing business.

      I’m old enough to really remember, and miss, the gala new car introductions. They were something special back then.

    • 0 avatar
      cwood

      There absolutely is a difference in the 64 1/2 Mustangs. I used to restore and show them. The hoods and headlight buckets are different and the 64 1/2′s came with 13″ wheels instead of 14″.

    • 0 avatar
      cwood

      Also the 64 1/2′s had 260 V-8′s instead of 289′s.

  • avatar
    love2drive

    I actually think that the US car makers would have done well to do limited production models of their own – updated for safety, but rather than give away the market for these actually do very small runs, gin up energy in their brand, so on. A limited release of 5000 69 Camaros. A limited run of 5000 64 Mustangs. Things like that. Something to keep the brand in the eyes of the consumer, to tap in to some nostalgia, yes, and get people who couldn’t afford them new, to buy them now. They own the designs, after all. Do this instead of looking to sell 100,000 retro-styled cars, that are too styled to reach mass market status. But then again, it’s just me.

  • avatar
    jglucker

    “It’s a proven fact that simply showing your fifteen-year-old son this picture will cause him to wipe the goth lipstick off his face and delete “Glee” from his TiVO settings. It’s that strong. I’ve been in a few races with Faessler and having that thing blow by my Neon is like being personally reprimanded by Zeus.”

    yes, yes, yes, yes, yes… Great group of lines there Dr. Baruth.

  • avatar
    jimbowski

    Speaking of remakes, where can I go for a reman 1993 Acura Integra LS-S in Aztec green with two-tone black and tan interior?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    It’s not that I don’t like the 1st gen Mustangs, not even that I would think people are dumb to use that kind of cash to reproduce one, but seriously, they built more than a million of them (64-1/2 to 66) There still has to be quite a lot of them around. Repair panels I can understand, full body (unless if it had been ridiculously cheap), no…
    Still, if they have to make one, make a Fastback, convertibles and hardtops are about as rare as ’98 Corollas…

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      If you were doing a serious restoration or project, the $15k might be worth it. Around here, any sort of rust bucket ’65 or ’66 coupe starts at 2 or 3 grand as a parts car. Factor in the typical rusted out cowl and cracked taillight panel, new floors etc., I could see going the shell route to build up a Mustang, especially a convertible.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      And 990K of them are rust buckets.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The first offering was the Fastback, 67 version, chances are the early fastback will come around too.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        I can’t help thinking 15k would buy you quite a few hours with a decent fabricator, not to mention all the repair panels are available.
        And that got me thinking, this really is mostly a showcasing of the fact that they can actually provide every panel that goes into a convertible body, and the full body will make more money as ‘billboard’ than it will in sales.
        I can understand that someone with enough money, and some wrenching skills, but no metalworking skills (even if the 15k only gives you a complete, as far as I know unpainted body) , can be tempted, unless you live somewhere where you can’t legally re-register a car that is rebuilt from the ground up.
        (in Norway replacing the whole body will effectively make it a 2011 model, and must comply to the same regulations as any other 2011 model, so you’ll have to keep it a secret…)

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I used to see quite a few cars that would be perfect donors, rolled, wrapped around a pole, sideswiped ect where pretty much no body panel was worth saving.

        Not sure if anyone is doing it now but at one point you could buy a kit to convert your 65-6 Coupe into a factory correct looking convertible.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I dont think there is a big market for these in Norway. I dont think you would have trouble registering this anywhere in the US. As long as you have a title to a car, no one even checks the VIN in FL, I can mail in the forms… LOL

    • 0 avatar
      Johnny Canada

      Even 60′s Mustangs that look OK, have probably been “restored” at least 10 times already. After so many patch jobs you start to question the structural integrity of the uni-body. I guess if you were contemplating a full carte blanche restoration, a new shell would be the best foundation for your project.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        It might be a good idea on a high budget project, if you don’t care so much about the originality. For a driver, or modified car, a body with some structural integrity that doesn’t need to be stripped completely before the build might make sense.
        As long as no-one tries to make money on the ‘no-rust, complete original matching numbers car’ that’s really a replica….

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Gives me a hard-on just looking at it…

  • avatar

    Ain’t nothing like the real thing, to quote Marvin and Tammy. I used to own this original Mustang. http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/2-features/special-issue/969-the-24-cars-of-christmas-day-11-1965-mustang.html

  • avatar
    Neb

    It makes sense to me. Past a certain cost, you might as well just build the thing as a replacement rather then original. A quick search through the manufacturer’s web site says they make ’67-’69 Mustang shells, all in fastback.

  • avatar

    These have more style and personality than just about any contemporary car. It is amazing how bad contemporary styling is. And people just don’t give a sh*t. In fact, some people think the Honda Fit, which to be sure, is an excellent vehicle–is a nice looking car. It’s not. It’s plug-ugly. Though not as ugly as the Dodge Caliber. And all these ugly cars make the roads ugly.

  • avatar

    PS: : Jack, let me know when I can get a body like this for a Peugeot 404.

  • avatar
    Toad

    ‘wipe the goth lipstick off his face and delete Glee from his TiVo settings”

    Great line; that made my day. Car looks good too.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Body shells for MGB have been around for some time, but they costs about as much as a nice used MGB.

    http://trf.zeni.net/MGB-GC/129.php?s_wt=1536&s_ht=960

  • avatar

    Now if you could just get a real full aluminum Jaguar XJ-13 shell+kit for less than $100k…

  • avatar

    When they reissue the 1975 LTD Brougham, then we’ll have something.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I’d settle for this close relative: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270839281201&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 Sure it’s only got a 400V8 but still, I know there’s enough torque there to make a diesel blush.

  • avatar
    esager

    I would love for someone to begin building / re-issuing the BMW E30 body style. That would be fun and yes, I was a teenager in the 1980′s.

    E

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I love those too! Yea, child of the 80s here too. There was a guy locally who was selling one he restored, had it media blasted to bare metal, PERFECT body and paint, the interior was completely redone, visually it was perfect. He didnt do anything to the mechanicals, it looked to be in clean shape, but for all I know it needed the usual stuff any E30 would need (brakes, struts, LSx engine swap, etc). How much was he asking?? $5900, and it took a month or so to sell, even at that price.

      Point being… theres no reason to sell a $15k re-body. You can find tons of E30s on the cheap, even an E30 M3 is attainable at that price range.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Torino Talladega with the new 6.2L.

  • avatar
    mad_science

    Where something like this makes sense is on your way to a >$30k super high-end build.

    Those are cases where someone pays to have a car that’s in better shape than what I daily drive stripped to bare metal, re-welded and sealed, blocked and painted. That last sentence is more than $15k for high-end work, and would also take months to execute.

    I think the real business case here is for the people who sell *everything else* that’s needed to fill out that shell. Glass, window seals, trim, etc, etc…there’s a long list that’ll likely get close to the price of the shell.

  • avatar
    skor

    1965 Mustang had a base price of $2,400….about $17K in today’s dollars. That got you a new complete car with a warranty. This shell is $15K by itself. Buying the rest of the parts new will probably set you back another $15K-$20K. Cost of paying someone else to paint and assemble the thing? $10K $15K. So, a new old Mustang will set you back $30K-$50K. You really have to be hardcore to do something like this.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      I don’t know. How many people spend over 30k on new Mustangs trying to relive the glory days of the original? And before I sold my late-model Mustang, it had become just as much of a fair-weather garage queen as a vintage model would be, thanks to Midwestern winters and long commutes, just with the added benefit of heavy depreciation.

      I looked pretty seriously at ’65-’66 Mustangs a couple of years ago. You couldn’t find a decent ragtop for less than 15k, and that was for a “20 footer” with a six and God only knows what kind of hidden problems. Once you start redoing interiors, overhauling drivetrains and modernizing suspensions, this shell looks like a pretty good deal.

      I figure for ~$35k you could build a complete car that’s better than most of the rust buckets, more drivable than the all-original show queens that run at least $30k, and infinitely cooler than the new ones. And since it’s not a “real” ’65, you don’t have to feel the least built guilty about, say, dropping in EFI Windsor or Modular V8 and a 5-speed.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      A lot of classic cars go for huge Multiples of what they originally sold for, even adjusted for inflation. If I had time I would look of the original MSRP of a Hemi ‘cuda convertible and run it through an inflation calculator. It’s all supply and demand. This car would have the value of a “tribute” car, and those can still go for good money.

      The person you describe, that would buy this and then have someone build it for them, would not necessarily have to be someone hard core, it could just be someone that doesn’t care that much about $30-$50K. That’s not me, but that is a decent customer base for a niche manufacturer.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    It’s amazing that Dynacorn can pull of metal bashing on this scale in an economical way, it says a lot of the future of niche manufacturing.

    Still, if I was going to build from scratch I would go for a Factory 5 Roadster (shh, Shelby Cobra) over this.

    • 0 avatar
      AKADriver

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we have the Isuzu Vehicross to thank, at least in part. The Vehicross was designed to show off their new ceramic body-stamping techniques, which allowed them to create unique bodywork for a limited-production vehicle economically. Dynacorn doesn’t really tell how they do it, though.

      I’m surprised it took them this long to get to the ’64.5-’66 Mustang. I’m amazed at the variety of models that they offer already, including ’70-’72 Chevelles.

      I also wonder why they haven’t done a Mopar E-body yet. When they first started making these bodies they went on record saying they didn’t see a market. But I’ve seen literal piles of rust with a Hemi ‘Cuda VIN plate sell for five figures… those people would be in the market to spend $15k on a new body.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    From what I gather, everything is done in Taiwan. A company out there has the stampings and they do the recreations. They also do the 69 Camaros. Maybe Mopar didn’t sell the E body stampings. Or they’re in Brazil, not China.

  • avatar

    Didn’t these guys show a Mopar E-body at one point? I don’t see it on their site now. But I would think that’d be a great niche for them: way rarer than Camaros and Mustangs in the first place, and even more prone to scary levels of rust, but lots of recognition and demand now. It might not quite be cost-effective to build a ’66 Mustang from repro parts, but a Hemi ‘Cuda? Maybe the Mopar unibodies are harder to repop, or maybe Chrysler’s being less than helpful with licensing?

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      The conundrum of producing a more rare classic shell versus a higher-volume, popular one is that the rare bird is going to be substantially harder to find all the small bits and pieces.

      As someone else pointed out, the real market is for all that little, ancillary (but still necessary) stuff. There’s a whole cottage industry around cars like the Mustang or Shoebox Chevy which can be virtually rebuilt completely with all new, repro parts, and there were enough of them built originally to make it worth the effort. It’d be a whole lot harder way to go on an E-body (which means it’d be a whole lot more expensive for an already costly endeavor). Plus, the E-body just wasn’t that great of a car to begin with.

      The other big problem with the E-body is who wants an immaculate, restored one if it’s less than a top-of-the-line, fire-breathing big-block? There’s a reason they sold a lot more Mustangs and ’55-’57 Chevys than E-body Mopars. There are always buyers for old, spotless Mustangs, even those with a grungy Sprint six and a 3-speed stick. It’d be hard to unload a run-of-the-mill E-body for what it cost to restore one.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Great idea, but WAY too expensive. The sheet metal shell of a ’65 Mustang should be something like $5,000 tops. If you bought all the sheet metal separately for a reproduction ’65 Mustang, no way would it come anywhere near the price of $15,000. I understand this model has slightly more than that, but the price difference really makes no sense.


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