Ford reintroduces the 1965 Mustang

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A pricey, but cool, offering for Mustang aficionados.

Ford Motor Co. will soon sell brand-new 1965 Ford Mustangs for just $15,000 each. The only hitch: There's some assembly required.

As part of its Ford Reproduction business, Ford revealed today it had approved a new stamping of the steel bodies for first-generation Mustang that buyers could then build into their own 1964 1/2 through 1966 Mustang, using whatever engine, axles, interior and other parts they can find on their own.

I wonder why Ford doesn't also offer the 1965 Mustang, fully-made? Surely they'd sell a bunch at any reasonable price.

Ford reintroduces the 1965 Mustang (Thanks, Dan!)

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  1. J Boyd’s got the right of it; those 65 Mustangs are atrocious safety hazards, and Ford wouldn’t knowlingly sell consumers (of this day and age) vehicles that lack side-crash protection, airbags, emmissions standards, and shoulder seat belts.  That would would bring in lawyers like vultures on roadkill.

  2. “I wonder why Ford doesn’t also offer the 1965 Mustang, fully-made? Surely they’d sell a bunch at any reasonable price.”

    Not enough crumple zones?  The steering wheel with the airbag in it would totally ruin the aesthetic of the dash?  Because if they offered this, nobody would buy a Taurus?

    1. It probably has to do with road-readiness. If I sell you components to a hard-wired solar kit and you electrocute yourself installing it, I don’t see how I could be legally responsible. But if I install it for you and it burns your house down, I would be.

    2. They aren’t liable if they sell just the parts – this is common with many manufacturers, you can buy a brand-new, factory floor OM-617 diesel engine from the W123 era of Mercedes Benz – the venerable 300D series. There are enough of them still on the road that people do in fact purchase these new engines, for around $6000, to keep their old Benz’s on the road. The engine could never be put into a new vehicle, but as a “replacement part” it is fine.

    3. Does selling just the shell make them not liable?

      Isn’t it the doctrine of for entertainment purposes only?

    4. Nope. At that point it’s essentially a kit car. Actually, it’s even less than a kit car. Anyway, the rules are different for cars you build yourself.

    5. I’m thinking that it’s in the same category, roughly, as this; the responsibility lies with the person putting it together. 

  3. Just selling parts is fine, selling the whole vehicle would be very illegal. Doesn’t meet anything resembling modern safety standards. And before you poo-poo the modern standards, watch this video of a 2009 Chevy Malibu crash tested in the very-dangerous frontal offset crash, with a 1959 Chevy Malibu. The occupants of the ’59 would have died, while the ’09 occupants would have walked away with bruises. There is a persistant myth that being inside a bunch of heavy steel is safer – it is actually far more dangerous. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g

    All that said, classic cars are still cool, and I love working on some of the 60’s VWs my family owns. I’m just cautious about making statements like “they don’t make them like they used to”. I’m glad they don’t – I know at least 5 people who would be dead right now if the cars they had been riding in during an accident hadn’t been a car with modern safety features.

    Also interesting – until relatively recently (last 5 or 6 years, I think), the ’73 Super Beetle was being manufactured in Mexico, in exactly the same way it had been since ’73. They were horribly illegal to import to the US, since they were technically “new cars”, but were popular there. The one odd thing? All the light and HVAC switches were from modern VWs, since it wasn’t practical to keep the manufacturing lines open for the old switches and knobs – they just used the same ones normally put on Jettas and whatnot.

    1. And even more interesting is the fact up until near the end of the production of the old beetle in Mexico you could import one here from a company in New Mexico.  I believe with A/C they were a little under 14k.  To my knowledge they did not have air bags or ABS. 

    2. “…I know at least 5 people who would be dead right now if the cars they had been riding in during an accident…”
      There is no such thing as an “accident”. Whay you are refering to are infact “collisions” and they are are all preventable. That process starts with driver training and skill. Apparently your  friends are lacking in those things.  
      Remember, cars whether they be old or new and regardless of their installed features and equipment do not cause collisions, drivers do.
      Stop blaming cars for the mayhem on the roads these days. Blame those responsible.
      Stupid and  lousy drivers

      1. There is no such thing as an “accident”. 

        Oh, for f*ck’s sake.  Look up ‘accident’ in a decent dictionary.  

        Here, I’ll help.  From  Merriam-Webster:

        […]
        2a : an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance
        […]

        Most accidents are preventable – the word doen’t mean what you seem to think it means.  ‘Accidental’ is the antonym of ‘intentional’, not the antonym of ‘preventable.’

         they are are all preventable. That process starts with driver training and skill. Apparently your  friends are lacking in those things.

        Preventable or not, it’s possible his friends were the victims of someone else’s lack of training or skill.  

        No matter how skilled a driver I may be, I can’t prevent someone from rear-ending me at a stoplight, or having a defective tie rod snap and make the car not respond to steering input – both of which have happened to me.

        Both of those things were accidents, and nether of them could have been prevented by better driver training or skill. (The guy who rear-ended me had a massive stroke while driving, so that one wasn’t even ‘preventable.’ )

        If you can’t bother to dispel your ignorance by looking up a word, at least try not to be a jerk about it.

      2. Glen’s already said it better than I will, but I’ve had a similar experience with steering problems.

        The power steering decided to give out just as I was turning a bend doing about 80km/h on a freeway. Driving a car that is supposed to have power steering that has given out is not the same as driving a car that does not have power steering. The car swung across the lane next to me into one of the oncoming lanes. At this point with both arms pulling violently on the wheel I managed to get the car back to where it was supposed to be. I turned on the hazard lights, slowed right down and managed to take the next exit and find a park. By the time it was done I was covered in sweat from the effort of trying to steer the bloody thing. Unless I had received some very specific training I can’t see how being a better driver would have helped much. The only this whole thing didn’t cause any accidents was thankfully a lack of traffic.

        There was also this incidence in Melbourne in 2009.

        1. When I was in high school, one of my art teachers had a very similar experience. He was driving in his newly restored car (a mustang, in fact) on the highway, when the power steering failed. Unfortunately, this resulted in the car veering directly into a very nearby concrete retaining wall. He very nearly died, and the steering wheel shattered his jaw and knocked out the vast majority of the teeth attached to it. He was in the hospital for a very long time, and didn’t return to work for months. When he finally did, he had a piece of steel where his teeth used to be.

          Sadly, sometimes something just breaks, and you don’t have a chance to avert what happens next.

      3. Your statement is absurd. The only way to absolutely prevent a car accident is to not only never drive or ride in a car, but to stay away from roads entirely. There are any number of accidents and deaths every year that involve one car only, under conditions that are completely unforeseeable.  Feel free to stay out of this or any conversation if you’re unable to bring anything more to it than blaming the victim. 

    3. The Mexican Beetle was actually based on the 1968 model, swing axle rear suspension. The Super wasn’t made in Mexico. You could import them if you had your Beetle re-manufactured as one (Use you VIN).

  4. I suspect the main customers of these new bodies will actually be using them as replacement parts. Prior to the common use of galvanized bodies, a well-kept classic car’s biggest enemy is rust. The engine can be perfectly rebuilt, new tranny, carefully repaired suspension, etc. – but if the body is rusty, there ain’t nothing you can do about it. A “replacement chassis” might be just the ticket for people who’ve put a lot of work into their Mustangs, but are plagued with a rust problem.

  5. Selling just the shell means they’re selling car parts, which don’t have to meet any NHTSA standards.

    Selling the entire vehicle means it has to meet all applicable NHTSA and EPA regulations for the model year in which it’s produced, and the model year cannot be earlier than the current year (you can play games with model years, but IIRC the most you can do is January 1 of the your model year minus 1, to December 31 of your model year.)

    Theoretically, those parts may be able to be assembled into a self-assembled vehicle legally depending on your state’s laws (and then it may not need to meet any NHTSA regulations other than seatbelts, lighting, and having a windshield, and it only needs to meet EPA regulations for the ENGINE’S model year), but that’s not what this is meant for, at least I don’t think. I believe it’s intended for replacing the bodies on existing cars, and applying the existing car’s VIN to it. Alternately, although a convertible body doesn’t make sense for this, classic motorsports are a common application for reproduction body shells like this.

  6. Also: why sell a whole car when you can charge $15,000 for just the body? The profit margin is likely a percentage in the thousands.

    1. “I have no idea why anyone would want to own one….”
      If you have to ask the question after seeing one, you’ll never understand the answer mate.

    2. You do realize that Pinto ‘deathtrap’ thing was really just an early version of the media-driven scare story, right?  They weren’t all that more dangerous than, say, a VW.  The amount of people who died in fires caused by rear end collision were somewhere around 30 (http://www.pointoflaw.com/articles/The_Myth_of_the_Ford_Pinto_Case.pdf ).  Out of 2 million cars built.  I mean, every death is a tragedy, but COME ON – that kind of ratio is a pretty low bar to set.

  7. This is not even remotely new – Dynacorn (read the article) has been selling these (slightly modified) shells for _years_ now, and the Mustang isn’t the only car they’re doing it for – also old Camaros and an old truck. I haven’t checked for a few years which ones they’re offering, but if they ever sell a 65/66 Mustang _Fastback_ design (not 67/68), and I have the money at the time to do it, I’m getting one. DO WANT.

  8. Hybrid?  Abomination!  If I had the money and the engineering knowledge, and I’d get the body and then put a W16 from a Bugatti Veyron in it.

  9. Seems to me like this makes Ford a latecomer to the party. For years it’s been possible to pretty much rebuild a mustang from the ground up no matter how bad the rust is – every conceivable part is already available in reproduction. It’s far easier to find a body in fair shape and replace the rusted out cowls and floorpans. In fact I did this with a 68 coupe, after discovering serious hidden frame damage (my first classic car, I got suckered by a fresh paint job) I bought another 68 coupe, put all the stuff I had already rebuilt on mine onto the new one, fixed the bit of rust it had, and it lives to this day. And I maybe spent $15 k on the entire project, not just the body.

    In fact, I would say that if Ford didn’t bother to fix up the body to correct the problem with the cowls (they were not accessible to correctly rustproof or repair once they got clogged up with leaves and began to rust out, and would then allow water directly onto the floorboards, which would also rust out) then that body is not worth $15k. Just go buy the real thing (6 cyl models are still relatively plentiful) and go from there.

  10. I am pretty sure that it is legal to sell vehicles of any safety level, including replicas of the old Mustang. It’s just that your insurance premium is going to be considerably higher without some sort of certification from an insurance organization. But there’s no Federal laws (that I know of) prohibiting selling a vechicle with modern safety features (beyond active restraints like airbag, etc).

    The main problem comes with certifying it with the EPA. I was looking in to importing a motorcycle from Mexico (they’re CHEAP down there, even new, modern korean design, etc) and the EPA is the main roadblock to importing vehicles in to the US without some sort of special waiver (the “personal use” waiver ended in 1996). The barrier of entry to the US car manufacturing market is very high; expect to spend $1 million USD to get it certified for sale by the EPA.

  11. I have kind of thing for Antique cars. Being somewhat handy, my mantra has always been that if my car needs a computer to diagnose whats wrong, then I won’t own it.

    Having restored three 1970s BMW 2002’s I would absolutely jump at the offer of having a factory remake of the shell for sale. These old gals do not like the elements and although my 1972 BMW Tii basically looks untouched from afar, the slow cancer of salted streets take its toll. Ford is not immune that reality as well, they suffer from the same rust and pitting problems that 2002’s are cursed with.

    People that are really into restoring BMWs, but I am sure this applies to Mustangs as well, will search the globe looking for a rust free “shell” to “transplant”. Often parting out the “shell car” in the process. There are only a certain amount of these automotive legends in the wild, so every time someone sacrifices one to restore another, its just one less original car. Kind of sad, but finding a perfect shell is one of the major considerations when restoring a car of that era.

    BMW has recently started to remake NLA parts for the 2002 in an effort to preserve their early saloon cars, it seems that Ford is doing the same. The only problem with factory remade parts is when you are trying to pass off a car off as “%100” original, but can mask that from a buyer if you have used “new” parts. It screws with the value, but those that really love these cars often praise what the end result is, more of them out there and less of them butchered to restore a single garage queen.

    I’d love a factory kit Mustang to work on, but the cost is just astronomical when restoring these guys. A “less than Concours” spray job often approaches 10k alone, especially if you use a period correct mix. Never the less, I bet there will be a ton of blissful father-son moments in the future with this news, there is nothing more gratifying than watching something once in boxes, end up getting you thumbs ups on the highway. My hat is tipped Ford.

  12. They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn, gave them a shiny bomb-casing full of used pinball machine parts!

  13. Full repro costs are too much for me, but the fact that they’re offering the body kits is awesome for those who can afford the project. It’ll make life a lot easier for the perfectionists who demand OEM stock.

  14. Any sort of rust can be “repaired” (that is, rust cut out and new metal welded in), but it takes a lot of skilled work. You really have to want it. $15k for an all-new, factory-approved body shell could be cheaper than paying a restoration shop to patch up your old Rustang. There are a few valiant individuals who would do the work themselves, but it takes time and dedication- and to be honest, some of us would rather just spend the money.

    Let me know when the ’71 ‘Cuda convertible body shell is available…

  15. My birthday is the same day that the Mustang was introduced.  When I turned 25, I woke up, and groggily picked the newspaper up off the doorstep, and their was a big birthday cake on the front page, with a “25” on it.  Took me a second or so to realize that it was a story about the car.   So yeah, I want this. 

  16. The big question for me is, can someone work out a partially open source business model where classics like the Mustang, updated to meet today’s regs, can be sold? Could there be some hybrid approach between original maker and open source makers? Or treat them as “experimental” the way home built aircraft are? Imagine a world where you can own a new copy of whatever industrial classic you want–Eames chair, 57 Chevy, Loewy pencil sharpener, etc.  

    1. I doubt there’s a way to update the Ford to today’s regs without it looking awful…and insanely heavy.

      However, the other thing you’re talking about?  They’re called kit cars.  Companies like Factory Five and Superformance already do that kind of stuff.  Every state deals with them differently.

  17. I don’t see the point of banning car companies from selling cars that lack safety features for the occupants (who, after all, choose to ride in such a car) while it’s still legal to sell motorcycles. And no, I don’t want to ban motorcycles either!

  18. I’m gonna get one of these and put a VW motor in the back and a Honda motor in the front.  Then I’m going to put 30 inch rims on it.  And a body kit.  And a giant carbon fiber spoiler.  And a hot tub in the back seat.

    -Xzibit

  19. “There is no such thing as an “accident”. Whay you are refering to are
    infact “collisions” and they are are all preventable. That process
    starts with driver training and skill. Apparently your  friends are
    lacking in those things.”

    You’re trolling. If someone runs a stop sign and hits your car, how is that preventable, or reflective of your skill as a driver?

  20. This makes me wonder if the car companies can pull a Disney:  Every few years, they pull some classic out and make it “available only for a limited time” – I’d buy a 66 fastback with modern seat belts and an air bags, and I don’t even like Fords.  

    It’s not inherently far off of car companies strategies of reviving old classics, but instead of modernizing them, you’re getting the old form with new internals.  That’s actually a real product.

  21. You ask “I wonder why Ford doesn’t also offer the 1965 Mustang, fully-made? Surely they’d sell a bunch at any reasonable price.

    The assembled vehicle is not even REMOTELY legal to sell as a road vehicle in the United States.  Thank your fine friends in the Federal Government for what they have done to this country.  And be sure to thank your local “Law Enforcement” as well, for it is THEY who were the enablers.

    1. The assembled vehicle is not even REMOTELY legal to sell as a road vehicle in the United States.  Thank your fine friends in the Federal Government for what they have done to this country.  And be sure to thank your local “Law Enforcement” as well, for it is THEY who were the enablers.

      It’s entirely legal to sell as a kitcar, which is exactly what this is.

      It’s not legal as a new car, because of modern safety standards.  Which is not a bad thing.  Libertarianism taken to the “You’re not letting me sell deathtraps anymore!” extreme is a bit much.

  22. Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a well-known designer of vehicles (been at at a few well-known names as head of design).  In the same forum was someone from RoSPA (Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents).

    Said designer heard to opine, only partly tongue in cheek: “Might as well have a Royal Society for  the Prevention of Rain.”

  23. author asks”I wonder why Ford doesn’t also offer the 1965 Mustang, fully-made? Surely they’d sell a bunch at any reasonable price” Look no furthur than the retro Thunderbird at a reasonable 55k.

  24. Just to clear something up, Ford is not selling or producing this body. Ford ‘approved’ the bodies being built by Dynacorn Classic Bodies, Inc.
    Dynacorn has been around for a while and this is not the first mustang body they build. The 67-70 bodies have been available for a while now  –  which is why you see more 67’s than 65’s on the road today.

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