Wayne Cook
September 1, 2007
Photos By: Wayne Jeffries

We think it's safe to say that J.R. Shelby of Aiken, South Carolina, has a serious passion for classic Mustangs. It's an affliction we've heard of many times before, and J.R. seems to have a particularly acute case with eight cars and counting. In addition to this beautiful '65 Mustang GT} convertible, his collection includes three '65 fastbacks and two '65 Mustang coupes. There's also a '66 coupe and a '67 coupe on his Blue Oval list. The only convertible in the fold seems to have been lavished with special attention, mostly in the paint and body department. This comes as no surprise, as J.R. specializes in this kind of restoration work and is a professional automobile painter by trade.

To get the car looking this good, his meticulous workmanship skills were combined with excellent choices. The restoration project began right after the car was purchased, and it was a seven-month process. During this time, the entire car-including the powertrain-was completely refreshed. This Mustang exudes class with its GT embellishments, Honey Gold paint, and two-tone Parchment and Ivy Gold deluxe interior. The GT status and convertible configuration make this a highly desirable car, but the list of enhancements goes on. When the South Carolina summer gets too hot or when long distances at high speed are planned, the top goes up and the air conditioning comes on. Having an air-conditioned convertible has always been regarded as the epitome of extravagance.

J.R. is active in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) Mustang club, and his refined GT convertible is no trailer queen spending its time under a cover and shut in a garage. J.R. uses his car for both driving and shows. We're willing to bet he's the center of attention wherever he goes.

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The Details
'65 Mustang GT convertible

Owner: J.R. Shelby, Aiken, SC

When it comes to stance, it's plain to see that J.R. has his GT ragtop dialed-in nicely. The slight lowering combined with the short sidewall works out just right. The GT rocker stripes look great, and the absence of the standard molding we're so used to seeing really smoothes out the side of the car.

Engine

  • 302 block
  • 4.030-inch bore, 3.00-inch stroke
  • Stock reciprocating assembly
  • Forged aluminum pistons
  • 9.5:1 compression ratio
  • {{{Ford}}} cast-iron cylinder heads
  • Hydraulic camshaft
  • Edelbrock aluminum-intake manifold
  • Edelbrock 600-cfm four-barrel car

    Transmission

  • C4 three-speed automatic

    Rearend

  • 8-inch axle
  • 3:00 gears

    Exhaust

  • Patriot Tri-Y full-length headers, 1 3/4-inch primary tubes, 3-inch collectors
  • 2 1/4-inch exhaust system
  • Flowmaster mufflers

    Suspension
    Front: Stock coil spring on upper arm, 1-inch lowering coils, 1-inch antisway bar, gas shocks
    Rear: Stock leaf springs, gas shocks

    Brakes
    Front: Stock GT package disc
    Rear: Stock drum

    These Coy's C-5 wheels are a good fit to the '65 body style. While plenty wide, the wheel offset has the wheel and tire assembly neatly tucked away inside the wheelhouse. The tire doesn't protrude from the side of the car at all.

    Wheels
    Front: Coy's C-5, chrome finish, 17x7-inch
    Rear: Coy's C-5, chrome finish, 17x8-inch

    Tires
    Front: Riken Raptor ZR, P205/50ZR17
    Rear: Riken Raptor ZR, P235/45ZR17

    Interior
    Deluxe two-tone interior, Ivy Gold carpeting, LeCarra wood steering wheel, standard instrumentation with white-face gauges, AM radio

    Exterior
    Honey Gold PPG basecoat/clearcoat paint by owner, GT rocker-panel stripes, chrome exhaust trumpets extending through the lower valance panel, GT emblems, grille-mounted foglamps, Wimbledon White Shelby-style center stripes

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