Wayne Cook
November 29, 2006
Photos By: Mark Houlahan

Carlos Caraza of Coral Springs, Florida, is the proud owner of this '65 Mustang. Way back in 1986, Carlos and his father were looking for a project they could work on together [Sound familiar?-Ed.], and after a search of the local newspapers, this car was located. It was a good runner with only a little rust. A deal was struck, and $2,000 was paid for the classic Ford. Once home in the driveway, work began and small restoration projects were undertaken.

When Carlos turned 15 and the prospect of getting a driver's license loomed closer, the pressure to light a fire under the Mustang project grew. He finally convinced his parents to begin the resurrection of the ponycar in earnest. The Mustang went to a local body and repair shop for a one-year stay and was returned with a freshened 289 V-8, new paint, and a reupholstered Deluxe interior. In this incarnation, the car served Carlos all through his high school years and beyond. It's no surprise the coupe is full of special memories. This is the car that carried Carlos and his future wife on their first date [Now that really sounds familiar!-Ed.].

Time marched on, and the little coupe sat in the driveway as Carlos went off to college, got married, and began a family. The Mustang remained untouched for eight years. Seeing its deterioration was too much for Carlos, however, and he decided another life was in store for the car. This time, the Pony went to The Three Craftsmen in Pompano Beach, Florida, for a more comprehensive refurbishment.

What began as a project to return the car to basic driving condition soon became much more. A Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II front suspension and custom body features were planned. Safety upgrades like disc brakes and shoulder belts were added. Two years later the car was still in the shop, and a final push was necessary to get it over the top and finished.

Carlos says it was all worthwhile and that his project turned out better than he ever could have imagined. A member of South Florida Stangs, he enjoys showing his coupe whenever he can.

We certainly see why he's so pleased.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

The Details
'65 Mustang Coupe
Carlos Caraza, Coral Springs, FL

Ford V-8
10.2:1 compression ratio
AFR aluminum cylinder heads
SRP pistons
Crane 1.6-ratio roller rockers
Trick Flow Hydraulic roller camshaft
Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold
Holley Street Avenger 670-cfm four-barrel carb
Built by Luis Mazo, The Three Craftsman,
Pompano Beach, FL
Machine work by Ronnie Wilson

T5 five-speed
Promotion Powertrain shifte

9-inch axle
Detroit Locker
3.50 gears
28-spline axles

Hedman Hedders 151/48-inch primaries
211/42-inch stainless steel dual-exhaust system
MagnaFlow mufflers

Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II coilover front suspension, power rack-and-pinion steering, Flaming River steering column
Rear: 411/42 leaf springs, KYB Gas-a-just shocks

Front: Wilwood Dynalite, four-piston caliper, 12.19-inch disc
Rear: Ford Mustang Cobra, single-piston caliper, 11.65-inch disc

Billet Specialties Fast Lane, 17x8, 511/42-inch backspacing
Rear: Billet Specialties Fast Lane, 17x8, 511/42-inch backspacing

BFGoodrich G-Force Sport, P245/45ZR17
Rear: BFGoodrich G-Force Sport, P245/45ZR17

Infiniti G20 power seats, black leather upholstery, black carpeting by Auto Custom Carpets, Billet Specialties Fast Lane steering wheel, Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges. JME dash cluster and matching glovebox door, Sony Tuner XM satellite radio and CD in glovebox, Boston Acoustic 5-inch speakers in kick panels, Infinity 6X9 speakers on package tray, leather dash, Electric Life power windows, three-point seatbelts, power door locks, Lokar tunnel-mount parking brake, leather custom door panels with Billet Specialties door pulls and Lokar door handles. Interior by The Three Craftsman, Pompano Beach, FL

Shaved drip rails, Mazda Miata door handles, Chevrolet cowl scoop welded onto stock hood, special front apron, '03 Nissan Altima side skirts, Porsche Seal Grey Paint by Rick and Luis Mazo, The Three Craftsmen of Pompano Beach

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Web Exclusive Content

Here is some extra images from Carlo's Custom Coupe. There was too much good stuff to put into the magazine, and you can see it exclusively here on the Mustang & Fords website.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery