Ford Would Like To Sell You A 1965 Mustang

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

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?

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • John Rosevear John Rosevear on Oct 29, 2011

    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?

    • Rudiger Rudiger on Oct 29, 2011

      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.

  • Crosley Crosley on Oct 29, 2011

    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.

    • Tonyola Tonyola on Oct 29, 2011

      "Slightly more than that". You mean having been fully assembled and welded? That's where a big part of the cost comes from.

  • Theflyersfan I look at that front and I have to believe that BMW and Genesis designers look at that and go "wow...that's a little much." Rest of the car looks really good - they nailed the evolution of the previous design quite well. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel - when people want a Mustang, I don't think they are going to cross-shop because they know what they want.
  • Theflyersfan Winters go on around Halloween and Summers go on in late March or early April. However, there were some very cold mornings right after the summers went on that had me skidding a bit due to no grip! I do enough (ahem) spirited driving on empty hilly/mountain roads to justify a set of sticky rubber, and winters are a must as while there isn't much snow where I am (three dustings of snow this entire winter), I head to areas that get a bit more snow and winter tires turns that light, RWD car into a snow beast!
  • SCE to AUX My B5.5 was terrible, but maybe the bugs have been worked out of this one.
  • Zerofoo 5-valve 1.8T - and OK engine if you aren't in a hurry. These turbocharged engines had lots of lag - and the automatic transmission didn't help.Count on putting a timing belt on this immediately. The timing belt service interval, officially, was 100,000 miles and many didn't make it to that.
  • Daniel J 19 inch wheels on an Elantra? Jeebus. I have 19s on my Mazda 6 and honestly wish they were 18s. I mean, I just picked up 4 tires at over 1000 bucks. The point of an Elantra is for it to be cheap. Put some 17s on it.