’65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Words: Tommy Parry Photos: Rich Ohio weather is cruel - so cruel that it took the trunk floor, rear frame rails, rear convertible pieces, outer wheel houses, inner wheel houses, inner rocker panels, front torque boxes and frame extensions of this ‘65 Mustang. So the build was off to a busy start. No doubt he had a long checklist of things to do, but Rich had big plans for this monster. The driveline for this car comes from a combination of 4 different cars that he parted out over the past two years in order to obtain parts and funds for this project. The engine is a roller block, featuring stock bore with factory TRW forged pistons, Trick Flow heads, an F-cam and a GT-40 intake port matched to the heads. Good start, no? With all that grunt on tap, Rich would need a proper backside to harness it all. The rear end started life in a Foxbody. He retained the Foxbody width by using aftermarket brackets that adapt ‘94-98 rear discs and a 31-spline setup that uses a rebuilt LSD. That would be sufficient for the Pro Touring bent Rich was on, to say the least. Then Rich positioned the frame rail splice under the 4-link brackets. This made for a really strong joint. Next came the crossmember - juicy! Then came time to install the one-piece floor. Because Rich is a taller guy, he positioned the frame rail extensions 1" back from the original position. That moves both the lower floor supports and the seat riser back 1". He also lowered the seat riser, which allows for a nicely positioned seat and some genuine tall-guy comfort in a road racer like this. Now, the exposed buckets would need a proper rollbar to suit the Pro Touring theme of the build. Rich used 1.75" tubing with .125 wall. It's beefy stuff. He tried to make it as functional as he could given the limited number of tie points and the fact that he wanted to retain rear seating. Well, a Windsor with a Vortech blower came next, and an MSD, thrown in as the cherry atop the sundae, if you like. That power would be sent through a Tremec TKO600 to an 8.8 rear. It would have to have plenty of thrust to be a real road racer, as Rich intended. Next, Rich went ahead and had his Mustang put on a rotisserie, had some bodywork done and had a “dustless” sandblasting. By pelting the exterior with millions of tiny glass shards, this “dustless” approach offers no warping, but comes at the price of very difficult cleanup. Lesson learned—but once he’d cleaned all the glass out of every possible crevice and added a coat of primer, he at least had a spiffy ‘Stang in his garage. Rich then turned his attentions to the interior, where he painted the dash an off-white, installed some Speedhut gauges, RetroSound stereo and speakers and bolted on a wooden-rimmed wheel for a classic touch. Rich spent some time on the phone with QA1 tech support after dealing with a set of disappointing shocks from another brand. QA1 ended up suggesting a DS401 shock and 10", 300 in/lb spring. This setup gave him almost an extra inch of suspension travel while utilizing a 10" spring, which should help ride quality. This shock comes with 1/2" spherical bearings at both ends, so he had to swap them out for 5/8" bearings, which QA1 also sells. Now he has a very nice adjustable shock in the back and zero binding issues in the suspension. With a set of Cobra wheels and a coat of primer, the car rolled and looked presentable, finally. However, it would need to be pretty as well as potent to be a real Pro Touring gem. Don’t worry; he had a nice color chosen for this particular steed. The color chosen was Ford’s Atlantic Blue. For a little extra wetness, Rich added a coat of SPI clear coat. Then the interior trim was added back in, and with the white leather seats gleaming away against the black trim, the interior looked like a truly lovely place to sit when spinning the rears. With a set of ‘03 Cobra wheels fitted at all four corners, the fenders rolled to house the bigger wheels and some tweaking done here and there to minimize rubbing, Rich finally had his car. Gorgeous inside and out, capable with modern equipment, and not a stranger to the track: this Mustang has it all.

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Words: Tommy Parry Photos: Rich

Ohio weather is cruel - so cruel that it took the trunk floor, rear frame rails, rear convertible pieces, outer wheel houses, inner wheel houses, inner rocker panels, front torque boxes and frame extensions of this ‘65 Mustang. So the build was off to a busy start. No doubt he had a long checklist of things to do, but Rich had big plans for this monster.

The driveline for this car comes from a combination of 4 different cars that he parted out over the past two years in order to obtain parts and funds for this project. The engine is a roller block, featuring stock bore with factory TRW forged pistons, Trick Flow heads, an F-cam and a GT-40 intake port matched to the heads. Good start, no?

With all that grunt on tap, Rich would need a proper backside to harness it all. The rear end started life in a Foxbody. He retained the Foxbody width by using aftermarket brackets that adapt ‘94-98 rear discs and a 31-spline setup that uses a rebuilt LSD. That would be sufficient for the Pro Touring bent Rich was on, to say the least.

Then Rich positioned the frame rail splice under the 4-link brackets. This made for a really strong joint. Next came the crossmember - juicy!

Then came time to install the one-piece floor. Because Rich is a taller guy, he positioned the frame rail extensions 1" back from the original position. That moves both the lower floor supports and the seat riser back 1". He also lowered the seat riser, which allows for a nicely positioned seat and some genuine tall-guy comfort in a road racer like this.

Now, the exposed buckets would need a proper rollbar to suit the Pro Touring theme of the build. Rich used 1.75" tubing with .125 wall. It's beefy stuff. He tried to make it as functional as he could given the limited number of tie points and the fact that he wanted to retain rear seating.

Well, a Windsor with a Vortech blower came next, and an MSD, thrown in as the cherry atop the sundae, if you like. That power would be sent through a Tremec TKO600 to an 8.8 rear. It would have to have plenty of thrust to be a real road racer, as Rich intended.

Next, Rich went ahead and had his Mustang put on a rotisserie, had some bodywork done and had a “dustless” sandblasting. By pelting the exterior with millions of tiny glass shards, this “dustless” approach offers no warping, but comes at the price of very difficult cleanup. Lesson learned—but once he’d cleaned all the glass out of every possible crevice and added a coat of primer, he at least had a spiffy ‘Stang in his garage.

Rich then turned his attentions to the interior, where he painted the dash an off-white, installed some Speedhut gauges, RetroSound stereo and speakers and bolted on a wooden-rimmed wheel for a classic touch.

Rich spent some time on the phone with QA1 tech support after dealing with a set of disappointing shocks from another brand. QA1 ended up suggesting a DS401 shock and 10", 300 in/lb spring. This setup gave him almost an extra inch of suspension travel while utilizing a 10" spring, which should help ride quality.

This shock comes with 1/2" spherical bearings at both ends, so he had to swap them out for 5/8" bearings, which QA1 also sells. Now he has a very nice adjustable shock in the back and zero binding issues in the suspension.

With a set of Cobra wheels and a coat of primer, the car rolled and looked presentable, finally. However, it would need to be pretty as well as potent to be a real Pro Touring gem. Don’t worry; he had a nice color chosen for this particular steed.

The color chosen was Ford’s Atlantic Blue. For a little extra wetness, Rich added a coat of SPI clear coat.

Then the interior trim was added back in, and with the white leather seats gleaming away against the black trim, the interior looked like a truly lovely place to sit when spinning the rears.

With a set of ‘03 Cobra wheels fitted at all four corners, the fenders rolled to house the bigger wheels and some tweaking done here and there to minimize rubbing, Rich finally had his car. Gorgeous inside and out, capable with modern equipment, and not a stranger to the track: this Mustang has it all.

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 1

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 2

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 3

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 4

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 5

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 6

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 7

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 8

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 9

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 10

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 11

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 12

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 13

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 14

'65 Mustang Convertible on Steroids 16

Back to Post
About Tommy Parry 98 Articles
Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, Tommy worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school and tried his hand on the race track on his twentieth birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, he began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a trackday instructor and automotive writer since 2012 and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
Copyright © 2005-2017 RacingJunk.com All Rights Reserved.

Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the RacingJunk.com
Terms of Use, Classifieds Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy