1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

Surprisingly, in 2003 you could still find ’65 Fastback Hi-Po 289 Mustangs for sale in the strangest places. That’s when Dan DeYoung of Grants Pass, Oregon, found a K-code ’65 fastback at a local garage sale. In all honesty, Dan had examined the car some days before and had been mulling over a possible purchase. Yet it was pure surprise when he passed by the owner’s house on a Saturday morning and saw the car for sale in the middle of a skattering of household items. It was all the enticement Dan needed. He immediately stopped, got a second look, and came to an agreement with the owner right then and there.

Dan had been a Chevy guy and wasn’t particularly well-versed in Mustangs when a buddy called him to suggest he look at a neighbor’s ’65 fastback. Turns out, it had been owned by Byron Tyra, who sadly had passed away in the midst of a major restoration. Understandably, Byron’s wife Ann couldn’t immediately sell her husband’s pride and joy, but eventually came to the realization that it was time.

That’s when neighbor Doug McBee told Dan about the car. As Dan describes it, “The first time I saw the car, it was on jackstands with the tires, doors, interior, and bumpers off the car. The left quarter-panel was held on by three pairs of Vice-grips. I was mildly interested, but really needed to talk to someone with more Mustang knowledge than I had at the time. I called my friend Steve Whitlock, and he walked me through the process of identifying the car. I soon learned that it was a K-code, but the real surprise came when I removed the cardboard laying over the engine to expose a three two-barrel setup. Ann and I discussed what she wanted for the car. She said it would take a few weeks to round up all the parts, I said I’d mull it over, and we left it at that. A week later, I bought it during Ann’s garage sale.”

Forty-five years and numerous owners leaves the tale of this pony a bit sketchy, but we do know from the door tag that it was scheduled to be built in San Jose on December 18, 1964. That makes it too early to be a factory GT, though when Dan bought the fastback, it had already been dressed as such so he decided to continue the theme. Likewise, the timeframe for when the tri-power was added is uncertain, but Dan has made contact with two owners prior to Tyra, and both confirmed the presence of the multi-carb induction when they held the pink slip. Let’s just say the setup has been with the car for a very long time. Small-block 6V (six venturi) induction was a Ford dealer parts counter affair only, and this kit specifically for the 289 flows a healthy 775 cfm. Vintage headers were also on the fastback when Dan purchased it, and though he isn’t certain of the manufacturer, they surely complement the upgraded induction.

Upon bringing the ’65 to his well-equipped shop, Dan took stock of what he had and what needed to be done. Typical restoration items included rebuilding the 271-horse Hi-Po and drivetrain, new interior, suspension, detailing, etc.-some done by Dan and some parceled out to experts. The body was one of the items requiring real expertise, so that portion of the job went to Ron’s Rods and Rides in Rogue River, Oregon. There, Ron VanderMeulen thoroughly worked over the unibody on a rotisserie, finishing the tacked on quarter-panel, replacing framerails, and eventually laying down a fantastic Martin Senour two-stage topcoat in the original Silversmoke Gray. It’s a color that isn’t often seen, and combined with the black GT stripes and interior, makes for a striking mix.

Once finished, Dan took the car to Ann Tyra to show her the fruits of the extensive labor. Not surprisingly, Ann was emotional as she took a spin in the like-new machine, and explained how pleased she was that Dan had purchased the car and completed what her husband had dreamed of. Dan didn’t need another reason to be happy with his desirable ’65-lots of admiring comments and the blast of six wide open barrels and a four-speed have a way of keeping a smile on his face all by themselves. Nevertheless, Ann’s response added to the satisfaction of a job well done, with Dan offering, “It made all the nights out in the shop worthwhile.”

Deuces Wild!
Sixties-era speed parts are highly sought after today, with OEM over-the-counter items being among the most prized. Such is the case with the three-deuce induction on Dan DeYoung’s ’65 K fastback. While Ford pumped out numerous 390 and 406 6V cars from the factory, a comparable small-block setup was never offered straight from Dearborn. However, for those inclined, a “Three 2-V Induction Kit” was available for 260s and 289s from the dealer parts counter. Advertised for $210, package C4OZ-6B068-B was intended for the 289 and flowed 775 cfm, while C4OZ-6B068-A was aimed at the 260 with 730 cfm. Dan’s setup is the 289 version, which uses a 265-cfm center carb and 255-cfm outboard units. Combined with a street-friendly progressive linkage, the result was claimed to be 12-15 horsepower over a four-barrel 289, and 30 horsepower over a two-barrel 260. Carb spacing and a reverse facing orientation were identical to big-block applications, meaning air cleaners are interchangeable. The carb linkage was different, however, with the bellcrank located between the first and second carbs on the small-block arrangement, whereas the bellcrank was at the front of the carb assembly on big-blocks.