Classic Car Watch
Early Mustangs (65-68)

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

February 13, 2018
By Scott Lewis

It's time to take a look at early Mustangs with regards to my classic car buying selection. Below we will start with two Mustangs from A&E Classic Cars. I have seen one of them in person and was pleased, if it seemed a little expensive. The other I did not get a change to see, but likely will with my next visit to their showroom. The second one is just outside my price range, but I am including it for comparison purposes. It will reveal why I think A&E has some cars priced too high (IMO).

As for Mustangs in general, I love them. They made so many of them there are always cars available. You just have to find the nice ones. That's what we hope to do today. Prior to putting creating the the list below, I made up my mind that I really like a nicely optioned 65-66 Mustang GT. Of course, I would love to get a fastback, but those are more expensive than coupes.

While making my comments below I removed several cars from consideration. I was down to 16 cars. This exercise is supposed to have me be more selective. I keep tabs on many cars because some will surely sell before I can make an offer or even inquire about them. Plus I am still on the fence if I should wait until going to Spring Carlisle (link) where they are supposed to be thousands of cars in one place at one time.

Time for some hard choices. I am going to list the cars below that most interest me in blue.

Let's get to it.

1965 Mustang - $27,900 (link)

Description: Burgundy over Black, 289, 4 Speed.

Notes: This car has a really nice paint job. I shined a flashlight on it and it has a nice amount of metallic in the paint. Not something that would look gaudy, but would pop nicely in the sun. I like it. I am concerned this car is priced a bit too high. However, it is a super clean Mustang for under $30K.

Although I have a budget of $20,000 - $38,0000, I really can't see going over $35K. And if I did it would have to be perfect (to include A/C). Also, once I go over $30K I get a nagging feeling in my gut that the car will need to be #'s matching and I may have to treat it too preciously.

I want a driver, and this car can be that driver. I would have to add A/C, but even with that we would be in the very low 30's.

1966 Mustang GT - $38,900 (link)

1966 Ford Mustang GT – Wimbledon White / Red full

Description: Wimbledon White over Red, 289, 4 Speed, A/C.

Notes: I have not seen this car in person yet, but I have seen plenty of cars at A&E Classic Cars that I have no doubt it will be in excellent condition top to bottom. However, as you will see below I am finding other cars better equipped for less money. Is this car really worth what they are asking? To a degree, yes. There is an old saying, "something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it." A&E has been in business for some time (I have been passing their showroom on my way to work for over 16 years). They know their business better than I do. But this car is not worth it to me. Sorry!

1966 Mustang Fastback - $34,995 (link)


Description: Green over Black, Auto.

Notes: The description is very short. If you haven't noticed... I have been putting very short description in my columns. That is the information I take away from the listing that is important to me. However, this is the shortest. The car has manual steering, manual brakes, drum brakes, and fog lights. This is the definition of a low option car. But I love that 1st photo. A Highland (?) Green Mustang Fastback, with a very clean interior (not a Pony Interior, no console, no faux wood). But it is a fastback, and that commands a premium price.

I like this car for $35K over the Wimbledon White from A&E for $4K more. Even if I have to add A/C to it before summer. And then next year I will be adding 4 wheel disc brakes and rack & pinion steering. And on and one.

This is the car that is going to get me to travel to Houston to see what the dealers their are like. I would probably stop looking if this car did not have those gray stripes. That is the only thing I don't like on this car. They are not bad, I just would prefer white or none at all.

1966 Mustang Fastback - $33,998 (link)

Description: Red over Black Pony Int, 289, Auto.

Notes: Why isn't this car listed first. It is $1,000 less than the Green Fastback above and it has the Pony Interior with the faux wood pieces I love so much. In actuality, I had saved the link to this car on Hemmings, and only went to their site to put a proper link in this column. The lead photo just was not inspiring. And the Green car looks closer to a Bullitt Mustang (I know, wrong year and the gray stripes, I said closer... than this red car).

Having looked at this car on their web site I am getting serious about this car. I am likely going to open a dialog with the dealer, which happens to be located in Illinois. So this car will likely be a sight unseen car purchase if we get that far.

1965 Mustang Fastback - $34,995 (link)

Description: Red over Red, 289, 4 Speed, A/C.

Notes: Here we have another fastback. Very plain... including hub caps. But it does have a 4 speed and A/C. So this should be ready to drive out of the box. Anything we add is because we want to add it, not because we have to add it. Located in California, another car I won't be able to see in person. However, when I put this list together and visited their web site (not just using Hemmings) I saw lots and lots of high resolution photos showing everything.

I think this dealer, Dusty Cars, just became one of my favorites. Go visit them.

I have never seen so many well taken and detailed photos. They really don't leave any questions unanswered. I have almost talked myself into buying this car already. I am going to send the link to a friend that both... owns a Mustang Fastback and owns an auto restoration shop, Renown Auto. I want his opinion on this car. I think he is going to agree... buy it!!!

I did have a couple of things that bugged me. There is some crazy red overspray in the rear wheel wells. I will ask my friend if that is normal. And then there is that white stripe. Ugh! 

UPDATE: I showed the pictures to my friend. He responded, "This looks to be a really good example of an original undisturbed car plus it's a Fastback. The overspray is exactly the way they came from Ford back in the day. I prefer these over "restored" cars because often times fixing shade tree repairs often cost more! The challenges with these is that although there has been some freshening up of some of the cosmetics the mechanicals are still 50 plus years old. It would make a good weekend driver."

Since I would like to drive a car more than just on weekends, these comments give me pause. With shipping, this car is right at the very top of my budget. I might want to real that in a bit to allow for updating some mechanicals. Ideally I want a car that could be daily driven (even though I will only drive it on nice weather days). It has to handle going to work on a 30 mile commute. I have always expected to install 4 wheel disc brakes on any car I get. With this car we will likely need to rebuild the suspension (even without upgrades). Plus wheels (to fit over those disc brakes) and tires. Just to make this car safer to drive. I had thought I found the perfect benchmark Mustang. Maybe I did, but I have to be a little more realistic. Of course, these comment would also apply to the two fastbacks above as well.

1966 Mustang Fastback - $32,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Blue, 289, Auto w/ Console, Rally Pak, A/C.

Notes: Here is our most affordable fastback. I probably should get more info on it due to the price... and that it already has A/C. The dash pad is warped, but it has a console and the Rally Pak gauges. It just seem plain to me. In a way that is hard to pin down. Call it a hunch.

1966 Mustang GT- $31,995 (link)

For Sale: 1966 Ford Mustang

Description: Green over Parchment, 289 #'s Match, Auto w/ console, A/C, Pony Int, Rally Pak.

Notes: This is the car that started me down the path of looking at nicely optioned Mustang GTs. This is what I want if not getting a Fastback. Here we have a real GT with A/C, Pony Interior, Console, Rally Pak gauges, faux wood accents. It's all here. When I first saw this car it was listed at $33,995. I saw it drop $1,000 a month later, and another $1,000 a month after that. My only gripe with this car is that the front fenders appear lighter than the doors. This was confirmed when I contacted the dealer and they took the car out into the sun and said they noticed a color variation. This car is far more attractive (to me) and better optioned that the Wimbledon White car above, at a significant discount.

This car is located in Fort Worth and I plan take a trip up there on Feb 17th. Hopefully I will see this car in person and see for myself if the color is an issue.

1966 Mustang GT - $27,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 289, 4 Speed, Rally Pac, Bench, A/C.

Notes: This car is here in direct response to the two cars from A&E Classic Cars above. This is priced the same as their Burgundy Coupe, but this is a real GT and includes A/C and the Rally Pak gauges. It also compares to their Wimbledon White GT at $11,000 less.

This is likely my #1 choice for a Mustang under $30K. Almost every car below this one will be judged against this.

1966 Mustang - $24,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black Pony Int, 289, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: This car came up very recently, as part of planning my trip to Dallas on Feb 17th. It compares very favorably to the Mustang GT directly above. Above is a GT, this is not. And this car is $3,000 lower. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

I really, really like this price point. It is high enough that I will likely stop thinking about buying a second car, yet low enough that I won't have to be precious with it. I would be able to start "tweaking" it to make it my own right away. Those pesky things like 4 wheel disc brakes, and maybe fuel injection and overdrive transmission. All the things that would make this a better daily driver.

I will be looking at this car with that in mind. How nice is it right now, and how much would I like to modify it when I get it home. I should be seeing this car on the same day I see the Green Mustang GT below.

1965 Mustang GT - $32,900 (link)

Description: Red over Black Pony Int., 289, 4 Speed, A/C.

Notes: More proof that the Wimbledon White GT above is over priced. This car looks every bit as nice, maybe nicer. It has a Pony Interior and A/C. Plus this car is in Resale Red. Yet is it priced $6,000 less. I can't ignore that.

The big questions here are:

  1. Do I really want to spend this much. Re-read the comments above about getting a 50+ year old car and needing money for maintenance and mechanical upgrades.
  2. Is this car $5,000 nicer than the Red Mustang GT two cars above.

1965 Mustang - $18,500 (link)

1965 Mustang Coupe 1965 Mustang Coupe

Description: Red over Black, 289, 4 Speed.

Notes: This is my lowest priced Mustang. The lowest price I still find acceptable. I should reach out just to get more photos and see if I want to just buy a car for this much money... and have money left over to get a second car!!!

1966 Mustang Convertible - $26,000 (link)


Description: Red over Red/White, 289, Auto.

Notes: OK, I am not looking for a convertible. But I stumbled on this one located in Texas. That helps. It has a lot done to it, much of it stuff I would consider doing myself. This could be a chance to get someone else's car sorted. I should at least consider calling and seeing it in person to see if I like the idea of a convertible.

1966 Mustang GT - $37,900 (link)

1966 Ford Mustang K-Code, 289 HIPO, 4-Speed, GT Rally PAC w/Pony Int - Manchester NH 1966 Ford Mustang K-Code, 289 HIPO, 4-Speed, GT Rally PAC w/Pony Int - Manchester NH

Description: Emberglo over Ember Brown/Parchment Pony Int. 289 K-Code, 4 Speed, Console, Rally Pak.

Notes: Here is the most prominent reason why the Wimbledon White GT above seems overpriced. This is a Mustang GT with a K Code engine. That's the 271 horsepower engine that was the top engine... except the Shelby GT350, which used a modified version of the K Code engine. These command a much higher premium than the standard 2 and 4 barrel engines (200 & 225 hp, respectively). And yet this car adds a Pony Interior, console and Rally Pak gauges... and is still $1,000 less. Go figure!

I don't like the tan vinyl roof, and this is a price stretch since it does not have A/C and would need to be shipped quite far.

1965 Mustang - $28,999 (link)

Description: Maroon over Black, 5.0, Auto.

Notes: Here is a conundrum. First, I said all cars after the Red Mustang GT for $27,995 would be judged by that. This is a non-GT car and a $1,000 more. We could even consider the Burgundy from A&E for less money. So why did I put it in blue?

This car has a late model 5.0 motor with aluminum heads, upgraded stereo, 4 wheel disc brakes and 17" wheels (that look pretty damn good). These are all mods along the lines of what I would do. Are we getting someone else's project for a bargain of what it would cost to build ourselves? That is exactly what I need to know. This car is located in Houston at the same dealer as the Green Fastback above. I hope to take a trip there soon. For now we leave it in blue for serious consideration.

1966 Mustang GT - $27,999 (link)

Description: Black with White over Black/White Pony Int, 289, Auto.

Notes: Here is another real GT with a real Pony Interior for about the same as the Burgundy non-GT car in New Braunfels car. Located at the same dealer as the Marron car directly above, I should go see it.

1965 Mustang - $28,900 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 302, 6 Speed, A/C.

Notes: This seems like a nice RestoMod that I might really enjoy driving. Many of the things mentioned (engine, 6 speed manual, 4 wheel disc brakes, upgraded suspension) are things I would do. I want to inquire further.


Let's start by counting the number of cars listed in blue, the real contenders for my money.

OK, 9 cars in blue. Better, but still not good. Let's break it down a little. 3 cars are Fastbacks, and are quite expensive. Yes, Fastbacks command a premium. DO I really want to sink that much money into one, or save a lot by getting a) a more affordable coupe, or b) getting a nicely equipped GT for a little less money.

The Mustang with the 5.0 is a wild card. It is there until I see it (because it is in Texas and I can see it if I make the time). But if it looks like shabby work, then it will be eliminated easily.

The Green GT may turn me off when I see its paint.

The red coupe in teh Dallas area will easily do one of two thing. It will impress me and lower the amount I want to spend on a Mustang, which will have a lot of cars on this list drop off. Or it will do the exact opposite and tell me I want to spend closer to $30k for a nicer car. So that should help narrow this list even more.

Granted, I had 18-20 cars when I started compiling this list. Down to 9, with a couple questionable, and another that can make or break a couple more.. we might be down to 3-4 cars in another week or so.

What's next? Well, my trip to Dallas/Fort Worth. I will show you all the cars I look at after seeing them.

After that, no other single model will generate enough cars to fill a column. I think I will try as hard as possible to pair down all the others into a concise list to present here. That would include Nova, Chevelle, Grand Sport, Cutlass, Cougar, Challenger, Road Runner, and a few I can't think of off the top of my head.

Stay Tuned!