This 1965 Ford Mustang convertible is a nicely restored K-Code example with 97k miles that features its original 289ci HiPo V8 and 4-speed manual transmission. The current owner purchased the car in California in 1990 and performed a thorough restoration over a three year period that included a full rebuild of the engine and drivetrain. The car was part of the owner’s collection of Mustangs and driven sparingly, with only 2,000 miles added in the last 23 years. The cosmetics remain in nice shape with Poppy Red paint looking glossy, and the white interior and soft top appear well-preserved. The seller has been helping the owner downsize his collection over the last few years, with this K-Code example being his last hold-out. Service in preparation for sale included an inspection, new battery, oil/filter change, and fresh coolant. The car carries a clean Ohio title in the current owner’s name, and is being sold with a matching spare tire and wheel, original jack and jack handle, a new set of white seatcovers, and black rubber floor mats.
The car was repainted to match the original Poppy Red color during restoration and has held up well over time. The seller notes a few slight imperfections including a small defect on the hood. The body appears straight and is said to be solid with no filler. The original body panels remain on the car and were stripped to bare metal prior to paint. During that time the owner noticed no evidence of any accident damage or prior repair work.
The K-Code Mustangs featured a special badge on the front fenders that recognized their higher output V8 engine and performance characteristics. Air conditioning and power steering were not available, and the car was only offered with a 4-speed manual in 1965. The “K” represents the engine code found on the VIN number of these cars. Interestingly, the K-Code’s factory warranty’s were shorter than the typical Mustang at only 3 months or 4k miles.
The Magnum 500 wheels are in good condition with no curbing and wear 205/75R14 Cooper narrow whitewall tires. The tires were installed in 1991 during restoration and although they only have 2k miles on them they should be replaced before any serious driving. The four-wheel drums work well and the car is said to track straight under braking.
This car came from the factory with $1,000 worth of options on a base Mustang convertible sticker priced at $2,614. Exterior options included rocker panel molding, back-up lights, tinted and banded windshield, and a power convertible top. A new OEM windshield was added during restoration, and aftermarket chrome exhaust tips were installed.
The white power soft top works correctly and is said to have a few typical creases from top-down driving. There is some light staining reported, though the rear plastic window is clear. The soft top boot is in good shape with little wear apparent.
The white interior looks sharp with contrasting black and chrome details, and was completely refurbished during the restoration. New correct upholstery, carpeting, door panels, kick panels, gauges, instruments, door handles, and window cranks were installed. The car was optioned with padded window visors and a full length console from the factory.
The upholstery looks nice and has held up well over time. The driver’s seat has some scuffs down the piping on the outside edge, but otherwise appears clean with no rips or tears. A new set of front seat covers is included. Some light staining is said to be present on the driver’s side kick panel.
Other interior options from the factory include Rally-Pac gauges, electric wipers/washers, and push-button AM radio. A working aftermarket oil pressure gauge has been added under the dash. There is a small paint abrasion on the left corner of the instrument cluster, and a few light scratches on the ribbed chrome inserts on the console. All of the gauges and lights are said to function properly.
Underhood, the 289 Windsor V8 looks clean inside the tidy and detailed engine compartment. The K-Code cars featured the high performance version of the engine that generated 271 horsepower when new with upgraded pistons, cylinder heads, 4-bbl carburetor, hotter cam, solid lifters, better connecting rods, special exhaust manifolds, and a dual point distributor.
The engine and drivetrain were completely rebuilt during the restoration. The engine block is stamped 5F07K278671 (correct VIN, but wrong body type number) and 4H31T (8/31/64). The transmission is a Ford top-loader 4-speed manual gearbox P/N HEH T (1965 Mustang 289 Close Ratio). The rear axle is a Ford 9” P/N WCZ-H (1965 Mustang 3.89:1 High Performance).
The fuel induction has been upgraded to period Shelby GT350 specifications with a Holley LeMans 4V, 715 CFM carburetor and a high-rise cast aluminum FORD lettered intake manifold. The valve covers and oil pan have been upgraded to the finned cast aluminum “Cobra Powered by Ford” units also used on the Shelby GT350. The stock dual point distributor has been converted to a Pertronix electronic ignition. The engine is said to pull strong and run well, and the transmission shifts smoothly.
The undercarriage looks dry and solid with no corrosion visible apart from some minor surface rust on the exhaust components. The frame was stripped down for the restoration and all suspension components, lines, and the wiring harness were replaced. Some red overspray from the paintwork can be seen underneath.
The VIN plate is pictured above, and images of the other stampings can be seen in the gallery below. The car was recently serviced by the seller with a detailed inspection, new battery, lube/oil/filter, and a coolant refresh. A small leak is said to exist at the differential pinion seal and transmission output seal. Overall, this K-Code car has been nicely restored and would make a great car for local shows, and with some minor sorting could be brought to a higher level.