Wayne Cook
September 1, 2007
Photos By: Jim Smart

For the last 10 years, Bret and Kathy Rakestraw of Eugene, Oregon, have been the happy owners of this '64 1/2 Mustang. They have used their coupe as a vehicle to express their unique personal taste, and we're happy to bring you the result of their efforts.

Rather than pursue a high-performance end, the Rakestraws decided to subtly enhance the car's original attributes with both mechanical and appearance modifications. For example, the original six-cylinder engine was retained, rebuilt, and detailedto perfection. The suspension was replaced with new equipment and the car has been lowered. Not content to stay within the confines of the factory color chart, the Black Cherry hue was selected. The color is especially striking when contrasted against the Boyd Coddington Codzilla Wheels. Paint and bodywork were expertly handled by Headcase Custom Painting of Eugene.

Effort went into the creation of a sumptuous interior. Using seats out of a late-model Mustang, Jon Lind Custom Upholstery of Eugene created the beautiful interior environment. Custom trim panels and seat upholstery were fabricated using both tweed and black leather. The owners are apparently audiophiles as evidenced by the heavy equipment on board in the stereo department. The brain is an Audiobahn stereo and DVD player. The kick panels are equipped with twin 4-inch speakers on each side, while the package tray is equipped with a pair of 6-inch drivers. In the trunk lives a pair of 10-inch subwoofers, driven by two 1,100-watt amps that are adorned with neon-lit billet-aluminum flames.

Everybody in the classic-Ford hobby sets priorities differently-that's part of the fun. In the creation of their classic Mustang restomod, the Rakestraws followed a different drummer, coming up with a cool car that serves them well for both cruising and shows with their Fabulous Ford Cruizers clubmates, who have been a constant source of support during their project build.

The Two Sixes
The 170ci six-cylinder engine stock in the Rakestraw's car carried a U-code and was rated at 101 hp. It was available only in early Mustangs built from the beginning of production until August 17, 1964. It was then replaced by the T-code 200ci six-cylinder engine. According to the factory, the bigger six was good for 120 hp. The F-code 260ci V-8 engine, rated at 164 hp, was also discontinued in the Mustang at that time.

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The Details
'65 Mustang Coupe

Owners: Bret and Kathy Rakestraw, Eugene, OR


  • 170ci inline six-cylinder engine
  • 3.530-inch bore (0.030-inch overbore)
  • 2.94-inch stroke
  • Weber two-barrel
  • Crane Cam hydraulic camshaft
  • PerTronix ignition and coil


  • C4 three-speed automatic
  • Rebuilt at Santa Clara Transmission, Santa Clara, OR


  • 7 1/4-inch Salisbury-style
  • 3.25 gears


  • Clifford six-into-one header
  • 2 1/4-inch-diameter tubing
  • Rhino muffler

    Front: Stock coil on upper arm using

  • 2-inch lowering springs
    Stock rebuilt and assisted by air-adjustable shocks

    Front: Stock drum
    Rear: Stock drum

    Front: Boyd Coddington Codzilla, 17x7
    Rear: Boyd Coddington Codzilla, 18x8

    Front: Toyo Proxes, P225/45ZR17
    Rear: Toyo Proxes, P245/40ZR18

    '99 Mustang front seats, black leather and tweed upholstery, tweed door-trim panels and dash covering, Ford Racing Performance Parts Masterpiece gauges, Boyd Coddington Codzilla steering wheel, Audiobahn CD/DVD player with eight speakers and 2,200 total watts, custom fiberglass console and trunk insert by Evolution Custom Car Audio

    Diamont Black Cherry basecoat/clearcoat paint

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