Wayne Cook
November 1, 2009
Photos By: Jim Smart

Karl And Jan Moser’s ’65 Mustang 2+2 Fastback The origins of the story begin sometime ago when Karl Moser of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was 17 years old. At that time he became the owner of a '66 Shelby GT350, inheriting the white and blue striped car from an older brother. The GT350 was surely the genesis of many fond memories, and he tellingly says that he "lived to talk about it." He sold the Shelby in 1983 for a sum of $3,200. Since that time he has always loved Mustangs. I guess you could say that Carl sounds like a lot of us, with our taste in classic Ford cars formed early on. Also, like a lot of us, when the time came for the inevitable mid-life crisis, that predisposition toward Fords had a big influence on his course of action. He yearned for the Shelby he had owned long ago and decided to create a car to rival or exceed it. After an extensive search he finally settled on a '65 C-code fastback that he found on eBay. The two-barrel V-8 Mustang was little more than a rolling shell when he got it home from Bakersfield, California.

Having basically a blank canvas to work with, Karl began to ponder the possibilities for the development of his Mustang project. That's when he heard about the availability of a complete Mustang Cobra powertrain on a pallet available from Ford. These were the engines slated for the production of the '00 Mustang Cobra, which never took place. No '00 model Cobra was ever offered. The deal included a T45 transmission and a complete wiring harness with computer. Karl says that he tried to buy two of the 32-valve engine sets, but the engine he got was the very last one available from Ford. Of course, the installation of this equipment would require extensive modification to the chassis and so the 2 1/2-year-long project began.

Karl describes the process as "morphing the memories of his old Shelby together with the amazing 21st century technology found on the '00 Mustang Cobra." The use of SVT Cobra technology isn't limited to the engine compartment. The car is also equipped with '03 Cobra 13-inch disc brakes up front and 11.65-inch binders in the rear. In many instances, Karl was able to integrate the new technology with the old. For example, the OE knee knocker air conditioning unit is powered by modern components underhood. The same thing goes for the power steering and hydroboost power brakes. To complete the transformation, a Vortech supercharger was installed. To accommodate the larger engine, Karl installed a Heidt's Mustang II front suspension kit, which created ample room for the wide Four-Valve modular. In fact, he did all of the work on this project himself except for the paint work. Although he's had plenty of experience with painting cars in the past, the materials and techniques have changed, and Karl says he didn't want to relearn the art on this particular car. Another technology that Karl became familiar with during the course of the project was water jet cutting. He designed many components for the complex powertrain conversion, and then had them created at Water Jet Services of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Karl would like to thank T.J. Maloy of WJS for his extensive help in the fabrication of the many custom components that went into the creation of the involved powertrain installation.

When the project was finally complete, Karl and his wife Jan didn't waste any time getting the Mustang out on the road. There were only 20 miles on the refurbished Pony when they left on a road trip for Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Car show and auto cross duty were included. Later on, when Karl tried to run the car at the Chandler, Arizona, dragstrip, a spider gear in the 9-inch axle let go. The dyno jet later recorded more than 480 horsepower at the rear wheels, so there's little doubt the car would have performed well in the quarter-mile. After some serious road time, Karl and Jan report that the car is very fast, handles and brakes incredibly, and provides endless big-time enjoyment. They also report that this Mustang generates a lot of interest at car shows, and that the real exclamations come when the hood goes up. We can see why.

The Details
Karl and Jan Moser's '65 Mustang 2+2 fastback

Engine

  • 281 cubic inch 32-valve 4.6L DOHC V-8
  • Vortech E-Trim centrifugal supercharger
  • Rated for 460 hp and 408 lb-ft of torque
  • Owner-built plenum and cold air induction system
  • Owner-built bracketry and engine compartment plumbing
  • '03 Mustang GT radiator and A/C condenser

Transmission

  • Tremec T45 five-speed manual
  • Ford Cobra clutch assembly

Rearend

  • 9-inch axle
  • 3.50 gears
  • Traction-Lok differential

Exhaust

  • Factory Cobra exhaust manifolds
  • 2 1/2-inch exhaust system
  • Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Heidt's Hot Rod Shop Mustang II suspension, 2-inch drop spindles, tubular control arms, Koni shocks, 1 1/8-inch diameter antisway bar
  • Rear: Five-leaf springs, Koni shocks, owner constructed sub-frame connectors, Traction Master under rider traction bars

Brakes

  • Front: '03 Cobra 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted disc, two-piston caliper
  • Rear: '03 Cobra 11.65-inch cross-drilled and slotted disc, single-piston caliper

Wheels

  • Front: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 17x8
  • Rear: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 17x8

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, P235/45ZR17
  • Rear: BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, P245/45ZR17

Interior

  • Black vinyl standard interior, OE under dash air conditioning, '65 Cobra tachometer, fully restored and upgraded instrumentation, Ray Brown racing front seat belts, optional Ford factory metal spoke wood grained steering wheel

Exterior

  • PPG Black single-stage paint, Shelby GT 350 R fiberglass front valance panel, Shelby sidescoops, functional front brake cooling scoops, engine oil and power steering coolers, owner-fabricated fuel door and exterior trim, matte black Cobra rocker stripes