December 17, 2017

1965 Ford Mustang

Posted on October 16, 2012 by in Classic Rides

1965 Ford Mustang Convertable

The Boss laid down the law and said, “We need something different for this month. You can’t keep running 55 Chevrolets every month, just cause YOU like them.  Get me a Mustang or something different”.  With my instructions firmly in my brain, I headed off to the annual Santa Fe Texas Chamber of Commerce car show.  I was impressed this year at the number of cars and trucks on display, (estimated at 100 entries) that’s quite a few more than last year.  It’s gotten so big they had to park some of the cars on the grass.

After perusing the entries, I saw just what the Boss asked for; a group of old Mustangs all parked together.  I looked them over and this Wimbledon White 1965 first generation Mustang convertible with Skyline Blue interior seem to be a winner.

Mustang                                   1st Generation 1965 Ford Mustang Convertable

I learned that these cars were part of the JSC (Johnson Space Center) Classic Mustang car club from the Clear Lake City, Texas area.  All of the members of this club either work at JSC or worked there previously.  The member’s cars run from model year 1964½ to 1982. The owner of this 1965 model, (Henry Rabago) explained that he bought this car from a fellow Mustang enthusiast in Lake Haven, New York about four years ago. Mustang Engine

                                     Almost Stock 289 cid 210 hp Ford Mustang Engine

This car is shown in the ORIGINAL class, and I was told that there can be only three modifications allowed on the car that are NOT OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured). Mr. Rabago said that the chrome valve covers, the chrome air breather, and the cassette radio are the only non-original parts on his car.

Starting at the front, the engine bay houses the original 289 V-8 engine that’s factory rated at 210 horsepower.  Mr. Rabago explained that although the top of the chrome air breather identifies the engine as a 289 high performance model, it is not true.  The chromed breather and valve covers were added as homage to what the hot-rodders of 1965 thought was cool back in the day.  Mustang Interior

                                                   1965 Ford Mustang Interior

There is no power steering, power brakes, or air conditioning on this convertible.  The engine block has been repainted Ford blue, and the carburetor and intake manifold are both OEM. The Skyline blue interior has bucket seats in the front and a small bench seat in the back. The transmission is the original C-4 Cruise-a-matic, a two speed automatic.  The blue steering wheel is the original, as are all of the dash gauges.  In the two seater back seat, the blue interior leads to the snap on cover for the convertible top.  Although the top was down when I photographed the car, Mr. Rabago tells me that it’s also the original skyline blue color. Mustang Trunk

                                                                   Trunk Area

The trunk has been adorned with several Mustang magazines, and the spare tire and trunk compartment has been covered with naugahyde for display purposes.  The chrome Ford wheels are the original Ford mag wheels that came on the car and the tires are new P195/5R14 Trendsetters. The car has the original drum brakes it came from the factory with and the brake drums were painted to match the paint scheme.  Mustang Drive Inn Tray

                                                             Drive Inn Tray

The most unique item added to show off this car is a drive inn diner carhop tray on the driver’s side window. It’s a nice reminiscent touch.

I hope that you and the Boss, enjoyed my review of this car. Go green and look around for a classic car to restore rather than crush.  They aren’t making any more of them and they are a form of classic Americana that deserves to be put back on the road for all of us to see and envy. Till next time drive safely.

Juniors Boy

The first generation Mustangs created the “pony car” class of American automobiles—sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks.  It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced early on April 17th, 1964 and dubbed as a “1964½” model by Mustang fans. The 1965 Mustang was Ford’s most successful launch since the Model A.


The new car was introduced to the public at the New York World’s Fair. Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is credited by Ford to have suggested the name.  Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed in the first three months from rollout.  Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year (a record) and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built.  The sales may have also been boosted because a Ford Mustang appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger, in September 1964.

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