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1965 Mustang Hardtop - Father and Sons Project for the Ages
Going the Extra Mile: Scott Horn’s 1965 Mustang hardtop is a father/sons project done right
Enthusiast. This term can mean many things to many different people. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines enthusiast as: “One who is strongly attached to a cause, object, or pursuit (a sports car enthusiast) or one who tends to become ardently absorbed in an interest.” Even Merriam-Webster knows it’s a car thing.
However in many cases, that term may not be enough to describe car builders such as Scott Horn. The dedication of countless hours towards a vision of perfection is something many people will never be able to understand, much less do themselves. When this 1965 Mustang first came into Horn’s life, he did not own it himself; it was given to his brother in trade for a different vehicle at the time. Little did he know at that point that this wild pony would soon change his life.
Having always had a soft spot for the Ford Mustang, Scott had already built not one, not two, but four Mustangs of various years, makes, and models in his life at this point. When Scott made the deal with his brother in 2011 to make this six-cylinder Mustang his next personal project, he did not fully realize at that time what he had in store for himself. Having done the restorations on his past builds, Horn had a solid grasp of the work he had ahead of himself to do. Yet, as the teardown began, bit by bit he realized that this Mustang would not just be another “quick build.”
The fact that this was a Midwest 1960s car with only light surface rust and no underlying rust issues was rare, to say the least, and was something Scott had never come across in his many years of experience. That realization sparked his idea to make this the full restoration build he could go above and beyond on, something he had always considered doing in his past looking forward.
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“What started out as a quick restoration had now turned into building a car that I was going to enjoy for years to come with my two boys,” said Scott. His sons, Caiden age 7 and Corbin age 4, may not be old enough to fully appreciate the time and work that their father would be putting into this ’65, but sometimes the innocence and pure excitement children have about something they get to share with their father is better than any appreciation one could hope for.
In the early months of 2012, the ordered parts began showing up piece by piece as the car rolled out from being mediablasted. Confirming what he had thought all along, the Mustang was very clean. The ’65 was going to be an extension of him as a person, so he ordered the parts to make that true. From a 3-inch cowl hood, a decklid spoiler, a billet grille, and a set of Ringbrothers door handles, everything about this car was being built as he envisioned it from the beginning. Being someone who likes to often drive their show car, Scott opted for a four-link suspension setup with coilovers in the front and rear so he would be able to dial in exactly where he wanted his hardtop to sit. With the addition of the tricked-out 5.8L V-8 he dropped into the once tame engine bay, he also added a full set of front and rear Wilwood brakes. What good is all that power if you can’t stop it, right? As the interior started coming together, it became evident that the build was not going to be wrapped up and ready to go nearly as soon as Scott wanted it to be. “I got to a point where I wanted the car done and just was not getting the time to finish it completely,” he said. That is when he was introduced to a shop in his home state of Missouri called RestoMod. The work he saw from them instantly impressed him as he toured their facilities, and he knew this is who would finish his Mustang the right way.
Upon completion of the Mustang, Scott and his two loyal fans went on their first drive in it and have not stopped smiling since. “Really the one thing that sticks out to me, is the first time that my boys got to ride in the car. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off of their faces. They waved to everyone we passed the entire drive,” said Scott. When the car won its first trophy at a local show, his sons proudly walked up to eagerly accept it for him; and that is what it’s all about—having your family and friends involved and keeping the passion alive for generations to come.
Scott Horn wants to give a special thank you to Timothy Horn for all the work that he helped with, saying, “He helped me install the motor/transmission, fuel tank, wiring, interior, bumpers, grille, and all the little pieces inside and out. (He was also the first one to put a scratch on the car, which is something he will never live down.) Kerri Horn for allowing me to suck my boys into this adventure and getting them into this great hobby. Terry Ellis for the work he helped me with and allowing me to use his shop at times to do the work. And Jeremy Hatfield for helping me research parts.”