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