Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 3, 2014

We’re not talking about a plate full of ribs here; no, we’re talking about a ’65 Mustang fastback that Brian Cole of Orange Park, Florida, purchased in Chesapeake, Virginia, while finishing up his Marine Corp career back in 1997. The fastback came to Brian as a San Jose–built C-code fastback with just 46,000 miles on it. “Originally, it was the cliché ‘grandma’s car,’ as it had 14-inch skinny whitewalls and single exhaust. It was rust-free and in good shape, but needed to be freshened up,” Brian explained of his purchase. Over the next five years, he built the car up into the tasteful modified you see here.

“My wife and I did not want to have kids while I was in the Marines, so we waited until I retired and we moved back to our native Jacksonville, Florida.” With their first child on the way, Brian decided to sell the Mustang and took the fastback to the annual Turkey Run in Daytona with the hope of selling it to a fellow enthusiast at the car corral area held there each year. As luck would have it, Brian ended up selling the fastback on a handshake to a gentleman who approached him when he stopped for gas just outside the show field at Daytona Speedway. “I really did not expect to sell it at Turkey Run. I expected to bring it home,” Brian said. The purchaser, a “southern gentleman” from North Carolina, as Brian states, followed Brian back to his Jacksonville home to pick up some spare parts and then the new owner headed northbound.

“Fast forward to 2009 and I receive a call from Chicago asking me for specifics on the car and stated that he wanted to buy it from the owner in North Carolina,” Brian says. The gentleman in Chicago let Brian know the fastback was on eBay. Brian answered the gentleman’s questions and then immediately called the owner in North Carolina, stating he’d be interested in buying the car back, but had three cars to sell first. To Brian’s surprise, the owner told him he’d hold the car for him and he’d make sure it gets back to Brian.

Six months pass and Brian is still not in a financial position to buy his car back, but the owner in North Carolina insisted on bringing the car back down to Florida for Brian with nothing more than a small down payment and a handshake. “He dropped the car and title with me, I gave him a down payment, we shook hands, and he went to the big race (Daytona 500),” Brian explained of the handshake deal on getting his fastback back. Originally, Brian’s wife wasn’t on board with buying the car back due to their financial situation, but once she found out about the generous offer from the gentleman in North Carolina she told Brian to “bring his baby home” because she couldn’t argue with the amazing deal made from traditional Southern hospitality.

So the story has a happy ending, with Brian’s fastback once again in his possession and he’s not letting it go this time. He’s added new wheels to spice up the slippery fastback body line, but otherwise is happy with the car and how it drives and handles. “I would like to say one huge reason this car is in this condition is because of my mechanic, Sean Story. He has about as much blood, sweat, tears, and pride in this car as I do,” exclaimed Brian.

Quick Specs

289ci V-8

Original internals

Ported heads

Aftermarket performance camshaft

Edelbrock intake

Holley Street Avenger carburetor

MSD ignition

Ceramic coated Tri-Y headers

8-inch axle housing

2.80 gears on open differential

Scat ProCar seating

Rear seat delete with Shelby G.T. 350 panel


Simpson five-point harnesses

Poppy Red base/clear repaint in 2002

Shelby hood and front valance

GT rear valance

Shelby LED sequential taillights

17x8 Old School wheel from Discount Tire

Continental Extreme Contact tires

Total Control Products front and rear suspension

Total Control Products Subframe connectors and cross brace

Stainless Steel Brakes four-wheel disc

Fuel Safe fuel cell

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