Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 24, 2012

As car enthusiasts, very few of us have things always go our way. Being in the car hobby requires patience, perseverance, and money to say the least. In this story, persistence also played a crucial part in this Mustang enthusiast's reclamation of a dream ride.

In May 1973, a then 17-year-old David Doré had found just the right deal on a '65 Mustang fastback. David had learned to drive his father's old '50s Ford in their pasture, and this would be his very first car.

"I'm the youngest of seven," recalls David Doré of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. "Our father raised us responsibly, told us not to buy anything unless we had the money, and when it came to cars, we had to wait to buy one until we were of age to sign for it ourselves. He didn't want the liability under his name. He had his reasons: teenager, long hair, heavy foot, and so on," David notes.

Unfortunately for David, the deal he found came just four months before his 18th birthday, and he wasn't willing to pass it up. While David had the money to buy the car, a mere $400, it took one of his brothers stepping up to co-sign for him to make the purchase complete.

"I had three older brothers that had to wait until they were 18 and could sign for themselves," says David. "Those brothers watched over me." It wasn't long before David turned the big 18 and had the title in his name alone.

The Mustang was originally a 289ci fastback with a Top Loader four-speed, power steering, and air conditioning. David thoroughly enjoyed the Mustang for five years until he sold it in 1978 for $1,200. Marriage followed in 1979 and when the new Mustangs came out for 1984, David and his wife, Brickey, purchased a new Mustang GT.

"It brought back memories of my '65 fastback, so I set out to find my old car," David recalls. "For some odd reason, I still had a copy of my old insurance papers which had the vehicle identification number on it." David's older sister happened to work for the police department and ran it through the computer only to find that it was less than 100 miles away.

At that time, the present owner had just purchased the car for his son who was looking for a hot rod, and didn't want to sell it. David handed him his contact information and told him if he ever wanted to sell it to call him first.

Months went buy, though, so David continued his search. He would have another fastback one way or another. One day, while searching the newspaper want ads from the larger city next to him, he came across an ad for a '65 Mustang fastback for sale, $3,500.

David checked the number in the ad against the number he had for his original car in his little black book and sure enough, it was the same. As it turned out, the guy simply lost David's phone number, and hoped that he would see it for sale in the paper. His son really wanted a 4x4 truck, and so the Mustang was put up for sale.

"I was very, very lucky to find it," notes David, "a dream come true." As David went to pick the car up, he hoped that it was still in good shape, but upon seeing it, the car wasn't nearly in the same condition as it was when David owned it.

The originally white interior was dyed black, the four-speed was swapped out for an automatic, the power steering was gone, and the dashboard was cut up for a late-model radio.

"It wasn't what I wanted to see," say David, "but sentimental value kicked in and I bought it for $3,200." With his old car in his possession now, David was ready to pull the trigger on a full restoration, but not a year later, David found out that his wife was pregnant with their first child. A new lifestyle change and money direction was put into effect, and the fastback would remain dormant for more than 20 years before the promised restoration began. The couple traded the '84 GT for an Aerostar mini-van, and it would be some time before David heard the familiar rumble of a V-8.

Once underway in 2004, the Mustang's restoration took just over a year. The slick, black beauty was repainted, the interior was restored to its original bright white tone, and the drivetrain was upgraded with a modern powerplant with a healthy 405 flywheel horsepower. David did most of the work himself, aside from farming out the body- and paintwork, and getting some help from Josh LeBlanc in assembling the Keith Craft stroker small-block. Backing the stout mill is an overdrive five-speed transmission that allows for highway cruising to his Ford-Mustang club of Acadiana meetings, or various car shows where David's Mustang has garnered its fair share of trophies. All it took was a chance call to make it happen, and some patience, perseverance, money, and persistence.

The slick, black beauty was repainted, the interior was restored to its original bright white tone, and the drivetrain was upgraded with a modern powerplant with a healthy 405 flywheel horsepower

The Details

David Dore's '65 Mustang Fastback

Engine

  • Ford 5.0L block, 331ci short-block built by Keith Craft Performance Engines (Arkadelphia, Arkansas)
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 3.250-inch stroke
  • Eagle forged steel crankshaft, Scat forged I-beam connecting rods, SRP forged aluminum pistons
  • Keith Craft custom hydraulic roller camshaft
  • 0.513-inch lift, 224/230-degree duration at 0.050-inch lift
  • Airflow Research 185cc aluminum cylinder heads
  • 2.02-inch intake, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap intake manifold
  • Holley 650-cfm carburetor
  • Pertronix III ignition
  • 10:1 compression ratio
  • 405 hp, 411 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel

Transmission

  • Ford Racing Performance Parts T-5 five-speed manual
  • Ram clutch and flywheel

Rearend

  • Ford 8-inch housing
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 3.50 gears

Exhaust

  • Doug's Headers long-tube headers, 1 5/8-inch primaries
  • National Parts Depot exhaust with H-pipe and turbo mufflers, Jet-Hot coated

Suspension

  • Front: Mustangs Plus Grab-A-Trak front coils and shocks, manual steering
  • Rear: Mustangs Plus Grab-A-Trak leaf springs and shocks, Grab-A-Trak Under Rider traction bars

Brakes

  • Front: 11-inch disc, single-piston calipers
  • Rear: Factory drum

Wheels

  • Front: Custom Wheels Market Bullitt Style, 17x8, 4.25-inch backspacing
  • Rear: Custom Wheels Market Bullitt Style, 17x8, 4.25-inch backspacing

Tires

  • Front: Hankook Ventus HRII, P235/45R17
  • Rear: Hankook Ventus HRII, P235/45R17

Interior

  • TMI White Deluxe Pony interior, Custom Auto Sound head unit, center console, Rally-Pac

Exterior

  • Dupont Black basecoat/clearcoat, bodywork by Mace Maniscalco, paint by Lance Thibodeaux