We have just found this site. We are looking to purchase a 65 Mustang Fastback. Any comments would be welcome. We do not have much knowledge of Mustangs. However, in the last couple of days, we are learning a few specifics such as, checking for rust at the rear spring shackles, and front shock tower seams. We also were able to find a picture of the pony interior. We have seen pictures of counsel cars and shifter only cars too. We do not know how to tell a 302 from a 289. Also, how hard is a fastback to come by? Were there more 66 Fastbacks and are they easier to find? We are not looking for a number correct car, it can have a 302 in it. We are mostly looking for a car that we can turn the key on almost daily, except for winter driving.
Thank you for your help.
stano and Annie
In the '65 and '66 model years, fastbacks represent ten percent of the production, one in ten. They were a more expensive model and most were bought by performance minded people who wanted to share the "Shelby" magic without having to pay the price for a Shelby. Fastbacks almost always were ordered with v8 engines and hence were desired as used cars. Many were high school cars and most no longer exist. Hence, fastbacks are getting quite rare compared to Mustang coupes. The ratio today is probably one in fifty. That does not mean you can't find one. It does mean you will pay a higher price for everything associated with the car that is not common with the coupe. Fortunately, there are a lot of common parts between the car models. Unibody sheet metal is not always.
There are two approaches to owning a restored classic car. You can buy a restored car, or you can restore one. Of these choices, buying a restored car is cheaper in most cases than restoring one. The main reason this is true, is the cost of parts and labor. Labor costs are now about $60 per hour for any kind of auto work. Thus, if a car needs two hundred hours work (and this is easy to accumulate), then the labor cost is about $12,000. The parts cost is similar, hence a restoration of a typical $3,500 car is about $24,000. Fully restored fastbacks are able to be purchased for about $8,000 less.
Can you beat this price? Yes, but only if you have the tools and skill to reduce the labor costs, and only if you find a car with almost all original parts, a very good corrosion free body, with good chrome and stainless steel. You won't find a car like this for $3,500. You might find one for $8,000 if you are very lucky.
The $3,500 car will need everything. It will need corrosion work, new moldings, body work, engine, transmission and drive line work, suspension work and all new upholstery. It may also need all new weatherstrip and moldings, etc. The problem with starting with a car like this is it quickly becomes a three-year project and unless you have the stamina, it will never get finished. It takes about one-or two hours each evening for two years to finish a garage restoration project. Only one in five starts actually finishes up. Yes, there are cut rate methods of getting the job done, but then you have no return on your investment.
The better fastbacks run about $12K to $15K. If you look in this price range, you should find a nice one provided you know what you're looking at.
If you are a serious buyer of a classic car, think over what you want from it. If you'd rather drive it than work on it, think of the better, higher priced car. Once you decide, then plan to look for at least six months and travel 500 miles to look at each serious prospect. Do not give in to temptation. If it is not the right car, don't buy it! A bad or wrong decision is very costly!
Best approach is to join a local Mustang club, participate in shows for a year. Most clubs welcome new members willing to help with running shows, fund raising, etc. Most do not care if you have a Mustang, only that you have a sincere interest in them. Study the cars and models. Learn the good and bad points about the cars.
There are some real pitfalls in buying an old Mustang and you need a year of learning before jumping in. This is true for any vintage car. Of the vintage cars, Mustang is one of the cheapest and easiest to restore!
'65 - '66 easiest.
'67 - '68 next easiest.
'69- '70 next easiest.
'71 - '73 hard.
'74 - '81 very hard.
'82-'93 about the same as '67-'68
'94 to present...Ford support still pretty much available.
The level of difficulty is related to the availability of reproduction and aftermarket parts. I hope this helps. It is not meant to deter you, rather to inform you.
I agree with you except on the fully restored fastback for $8,000.00 or less. I haven't seen those prices unless it has a stright six and usually needs an engine/tranny rebuild. Everything else is right on target.
Thank you for reply Jeff and Rob. I agree totally with Jeff and when I saw the restored price for 8,000, I figured he meant more like minor restored like a low #2 car. I agree if you want a nice car for show, we would be cheeper to buy one rather than restore one. We are looking for something more as a daily driver. Except not in the snow, as we live in Iowa. We can paint cars here and do mechanic work. I guess we would prefer idealy, something in good running condition maybe need engine repairs in the future, but can be drivin right now. Also, fair paint or car that needs to be repainted, but we prefer not to install rear quarters, fenders and the like. We also are looking for nice stainless and nice chrome with a minimum pit here or there. We hope this gives us a nice driving car for our cruising.
Some more about us. We are a Chevrolet family, with a number of Chevys already (none perfect show quality, but are drivin 2 to 4 times daily for small chores, school, soccer,grocery store). We have 2 daughters, 15 and 12 which we are just finishing a 76 Camaro with a 70 rally sport front bolted on and a 72 tail welded on. Each girl has welded patch panels in the front fenders, with some minor fixing. They also by themselfs, have taken out the interior and the dash, and reinstalled it. The rest of the car has been a family project. It hopefully will be painted by next week. The girls and myself have been sanding, sanding, sanding, and sanding.
This is the part you guys will like. Our 12 year old, for some reason, loves first gen Mustangs. Living in a Chevy family. So, we are going to make a search for a 1965 or 1966 Fastback for our next family project. We are looking forward to it, Mustang in the family sounds pretty good. When I was in high school, my best friend had a 63 1/2 Falcon Sprint, 66 GT 350, 66 GT Fastback, 64 Falcon, 67 GT 500, and the rest I have forgotten. The only Mustang knowledge that we have are of these cars. Our 12 year old is very excited about getting a Mustang. We belong to 3 car clubs. I am looking forward to a Mustang also. It looks like we will be able to find one. thank you stano and Annie
A early 2+2 is a great car to restore because there are more aftermarket parts by far than for any Chevy. I have Chevy parts catalogs so I have a good comparison.
In many respects Camaros are better built cars than Mustangs but not less costly to restore. Chevy engine and tranny parts are abundant but not so with body parts. There are far more Mustang body parts available. It's this way partly because there is a larger market for them and partly because there's more need for them. Ford engines cost more to restore...about 50% more.
My best advice is to look for a car in west Texas or the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle. These cars are far enough south to be in fairly good shape body wise. There's a lot of good cars in California and Arizona but these are further away from you.
If you see a car in or around Oklahoma City and want to get an appraisal, I have the connections to have an MCA appraisal done on a car. I think Steve Hendrix of our club would do this for you if asked. By the way, Steve and a couple others from the club plan to attend the Grand Nationals in Overland, KS in Aug 31-Sep 2. This would be a very good trip for you to see a show and perhaps find the dream car you want.
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