Jim Smart
August 1, 2001

If you don't own a business, you may not be able to appreciate all the hassles and trials the lifestyle can bring. You are the one who makes all the final decisions, and your decisions determine the livelihoods of others. It's not a business for the squeamish.

Oh, there are advantages, too. You meet a lot of people and get to know them. This networking, a term of the '90s, no doubt has its advantages.

Bob Hosier of Tracy, California, was sitting at his insurance business when that advantage came right at him. "Most of my clients know I like old Mustangs," he says. "I had a call from a client one day asking me ifI would be interested in a Mustangconvertible her boyfriend wanted to sell."

It turns out that he was the original owner of this special-ordered Tropical Turquoise beauty. It was ordered as a '64-1/2, but came off the line in Milpitas as a '65, built in August 1964.

"When I bought the car, it had 98,000 original miles and its share of parking-lot dings," relates Bob. "Much of the car had been repainted in lacquer, but it was still in great running condition."

The deal was struck and Hosier drove it away. He and his wife Windi leftthe car as-is and drove it for three years. There was a '65 fastback being restored, and two other fastbacks, both '66s, were vying for attention.

When the time came to improve on this '65, Bob was unstoppable. There's an SVO 302 dropped in the engine compartment in place of the original289-4V Premium Fuel V-8 ordered when gas prices were less than a quarter a gallon. This new powerplant was balanced and blueprinted with Eagle forged rods and pistons, an SVO E303 roller cam, and COMP Pro Magnum roller rockers. He used the Edelbrock catalog to order up the RPM aluminum heads and intake. A 600-series carb sits on top with ARP bolts throughout. The Canton road-race pan is the oil depository, with the fluid pumped through a Melling oil pump. Drive is provided with a World Class five-speed hooked up to a Ford 9-inch. Shifting peace of mind comes with the Centerforce clutch and pressure plate.

Front discs from Stainless Steel Brakes were an easy choice. Weld forged-billet 15-inch wheels serve as the hub for Firestone Firehawk rubber. Koni shocks hold sway with a Magna kit in place. The front is lowered an inch and a half, and rear springs are mid-eye leaves with polyurethane bushings.

Bob's Mustang history includes five cars from the '65-'70 era he had purchased new, so he was well versed in Mustang appointments. This wash is first convertible, but that's not the reason for this one being a little extra special. "I can honestly say this has been the most fun of any of the cars I have restored since I built it the way I wanted - as a restomod."

That's evident all over. Bill Miller at Golden State Autobody bead-blasted the entire car before applying a fresh two-stage PPG Tropical Turquoise. The bottom was also painted to be complete. All emblems were removed, and a Maier Racing fiberglass hood found its way to cover the 302.

The inside is luxury, with Corbeau GT seats up front with the stock rears modified to match the front. Custom gauges tell the tale of the driving as Bob holds a 15-inch leather Moto-Lita steering wheel in his hand. The car is driven several times a week in good weather and to carshows.

When the original owner saw what Bob had done, his comment was, "Wow! It didn't look that good when it was brand new."

See for yourself. Need we say more?