Fast­back Love

Se­duced by the per­fect lines of 1965-1966 fast­backs, Brian Frame con­sid­ers them to be the ul­ti­mate Mus­tang shape

Mustang Monthly - - SPOTTERÕS GUIDE - Miles Cook TEXT Peter Lin­ney PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Brian Frame is clearly one of us. And why is that? It is be­cause he has owned this 1965 fast­back for al­most 25 years, and 1965-1966 fast­backs are among his fa­vorite kind of car—if not his fa­vorite of all time. And while there are plenty of them out there, when it comes to 1965-1970 Mus­tang fast­backs these days, money is the main is­sue for many en­thu­si­asts. They might be plen­ti­ful, but they are also ex­tremely de­sir­able, so count Brian as one of the smart ones for hang­ing on to this orig­i­nal-color Vin­tage Bur­gundy gem through thick and thin.

“I was born and raised in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia,” Brian says. “I grew up in a fam­ily that was an orig­i­nal owner of a 1965 Mus­tang hard­top with a vinyl top (Honey Gold), a 1965 GT hard­top (Ran­goon Red), and sec­ond owner of a 1966 GT fast­back (Sil­ver Blue) with Shelby mod­i­fi­ca­tions by Shelby’s shop in late 1966.”

Prob­a­bly not all that unusual among all of us Mus­tang fans, Brian was bit­ten by the vin­tage Mus­tang bug at an early age. “Since a lit­tle boy

of age 8, I wrenched and per­formed re­pairs on the cars, at­tended car shows, and ac­quired a taste for an early-model fast­back.” Brian con­tin­ues, “In 1992, my fa­ther and I bought and be­gan restor­ing this 1965 GT fast­back over the course of four years. The car came home in boxes and on a tow truck. You might say Mom’s jaw dropped when she saw the car come home. It was a ma­jor un­der­tak­ing and the project was prob­a­bly un­der­es­ti­mated, but in the end, it made both my fa­ther and I pretty good me­chan­ics.”

The project be­gan in earnest af­ter com­ing to terms with the scope of it. “Be­gin­ning at the age of 15, my fa­ther and I spent count­less hours in the garage per­form­ing a ground-up restora­tion: bond­ing, break­ing knuck­les, curs­ing, day­dream­ing, and ul­ti­mately com­plet­ing the car four years later in 1996.”

Brian also re­lated that its orig­i­nal vibe wasn’t com­pro­mised and the re­ally cool stuff is well hid­den, like its 347 stro­ker en­gine and five-gear trans. “The car was restored to main­tain fac­tory spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the most part, yet it has the ben­e­fit of to­day’s mod­ern con­ve­niences, such as a roller mo­tor, five-speed trans­mis­sion, and elec­tronic ig­ni­tion,” he says. As far who ac­tu­ally built the car, we like Brian’s ex­pla­na­tion of the facts. He says, “It was all pretty much done by me, my fa­ther, the pain­ter, the up­hol­sterer, and the en­gine builder.”

That afore­men­tioned 347 is also a per­fect choice, just like the rest of the car. It uses a new block from Ford Per­for­mance. The 3.40-inch stroke crank is con­nected to Ea­gle rods and JE pis­tons. The val­ve­train is moved by a Comp hy­draulic roller cam and the top of the en­gine is mostly Edel­brock bits,

in­clud­ing a pair of Vic­tor

Jr. alu­minum heads and a Vic­tor Jr. sin­gle-plane in­take. On top is a Holley 750-cfm Dou­ble Pumper. Other en­gine pieces in­clude more clas­sic good stuff like a set of JBA 15/8-inch head­ers, a Mag­naFlow ex­haust sys­tem with an X-pipe, and 21/2-inch muf­flers. There is also an MSD dis­trib­u­tor with rev lim­iter. Co­bra valve cov­ers and an R-model Shelby 10-quart oil pan com­plete the en­gine at the top and bot­tom, re­spec­tively.

As we said ear­lier, these 1965-1966 fast­backs are near the top of the vin­tage Mus­tang col­lectabil­ity lad­der. And that’s for many rea­sons, in­clud­ing their com­pact size and light weight. And yes, it’s also be­cause they are one of the best-look­ing cars ever made. It’s no sur­prise that these at­tributes aren’t lost on en­thu­si­asts like Brian, and they likely won’t be any­time soon—if ever.

“These 1965-1966 fast­backs are near the top of the vin­tage Mus­tang col­lectabil­ity lad­der. And that’s for many rea­sons, in­clud­ing their com­pact size and light weight.”

Just a stock 289 two-bar­rel with a lit­tle dress-up kit, right? Not! It’s ac­tu­ally a stout street 347 with what Brian es­ti­mates to be around 400 hp, which makes for a fun ride for sure in a lit­tle Mus­tang—this body style of­ten weighs less than 3,000 pounds. Back it with a Hurst shifter–equipped T-5 five-speed and a Cur­rie 9-inch with a Cur­rie TSD (torque-sens­ing dif­fer­en­tial), 31-spline axles, and a 3.89:1 gear set, and the fun fac­tor is fur­ther raised.

(Left) Most Styled Steel wheels are 14 inches in di­am­e­ter. But as we’ve done with sev­eral of the 1965-1966s we’ve had, Brian did the ideal up­grade by go­ing to 15x7-inch ver­sions of this time­less wheel. These 15-inch Styled Steel wheels are avail­able from sev­eral vin­tage Mus­tang parts houses, and Brian wrapped his with BFG skins. The fronts are P205/60R15 Ra­dial T/As. Out back, we’re con­fi­dent the short-deck stro­ker eas­ily roasts the P235/60R15 drag ra­di­als.

Not the most com­mon color, Vin­tage Bur­gundy should be. We love it. Sus­pen­sion up­dates in­clude mid-eye leaf springs in back with Koni ad­justable shocks all around, Trac­tion Master trac­tion bars, and Global West sub­frame con­nec­tors. Am­ber GT fog­lights are an­other sweet lit­tle cus­tom touch.

The Pony in­te­rior has an orig­i­nal early eye­brow-style, K-code 8,000-rpm Rally-Pac, and a deluxe wood­grain steer­ing wheel. Cool for sure, but when Brian whips the 347, the Au­toMeter tach with a shift light and a rev lim­iter is a much bet­ter rev counter.

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