Jeff Ford
May 1, 2004
Contributers: Jeff Ford

We've all done it-sat and looked at a car on the show field or in the salvage yard and asked the question: "what brought this car to this point?" We've all seen them-Mustangs with radio holes that were cut with snips, seat belts on one side and not another, fender flares big enough to house monster truck tires-you get the idea. But what is cool, is when divine providence steps in and steers a Mustang away from this certain doom. Such was the case with Larry and Janice Bolton's Tropical Turquoise '65 fastback.

We like Larry because he didn't just sit back and wonder about the life of this rust-free fastback; he dug down and scoped it out. He found the car was originally purchased in 1965 by an unknown buyer from Scottsdale, Arizona. This owner and the dry desert climate apparently took decent care of the fastback for the next 17 years. In 1982, the next owner, who lived in Detroit, scarfed up the fastback to replicate his first car-a GT350H that he'd traded for a Pinto (and, yes, he has regretted it every day since). The painter saw the color; realized it was rare and refused to do the deed, which consisted of changing the color to black and adding all the Shelby goodies. Some items that did get installed were the Magnum 500s and the deluxe steering wheel. Under the hood, owner No. 2 placed a '67 289 mounting a Shelby aluminum 4V intake and Holley carburetor. Under that is a solid lifter cam, which feeds Hedman headers and a full Flowmaster dual-exhaust system. Topping it all off are the Cobra valve covers and open-element air cleaner. With only these small changes, crisis No. 1 was averted, and the car sat through the Michigan winters and accumulated very few miles over the next 15 years.

From the motor city, the car moved to Traverse City, Michigan, in 1997. Luckily, nothing untoward happened during its brief stay.

During the fourth owner's time, crisis No. 2 popped up. It seems the fourth owner had a yen for a pro street Mustang, and this was to be the pony of choice. Red would be the color, and it would get tubbed and caged. That was its fate right up until the car hit the lift at the chassis shop, where an angel disguised as a chassis man stopped certain peril by telling the owner he was crazy to cut up such a rust-free car. It was decided then and there by owner No. 4 to restore the car to its original state via fresh paint, a new White standard interior, and many other resto parts that brought it to the stunning good looks you see here. This is where Larry comes in as owner No. 5. a '68 fastback was located for that desired Pro street Mustang, so the '65 had to go, and Larry was there to scoop it up.

Larry has not strayed far from the original look and feel on the outside, but he has played with the guts of the car. His changes are subtle and slight-and actually add fun and value to the fastback. For instance, the three-speed has recently given way to a Top loader four-speed, and the 8-inch rear was freshened with Currie products and updated to a 3.40:1 ratio torque-sensing diff. While all this was going on, he freshened the engine since it was leaking like a sieve. He also put better disc-brake binders on it, necessitated by a blown master cylinder on the '00 Pony Trail at the Shelby American Automobile Club Spring Fling in Nashville, Indiana.

We guess you could say since Larry didn't crack up the car in Nashville, crisis No. 3 was averted-and that somebody up there really likes this fastback.