Wayne Cook
November 1, 2007
Photos By: Jim Smart
This car is an interesting combination of street and racing influence. The black-and-red color combination is nice and one we don't see often. The absence of rocker molding and the presence of a stripe makes the car look like a GT at first glance.

This '65 Mustang convertible belongs to Young Owners Club member Casey McMullen of Sunnyside, Washington. It might be fairer to say, however, that this ragtop belongs to his entire family. Their long history with this vehicle began in 1975 when Casey's mom purchased the Mustang as her first car.

Eight years later, when the McMullens moved from California to Washington state, they brought the convertible with them. Other priorities pushed the car into the background, and for the next 20 years it languished unused in their barn under a lightweight cover. Even though the classic convertible sat on a bare-soil floor, it emerged from the long storage in decent condition.

The neglected car was a perfect platform for a father-and-son effort. The two men began their project by converting part of their barn into a shop, equipping it with the needed tools.

A lot of the fun is in the planning, and Casey says he and his dad burned the midnight oil many times discussing all of the possibilities. Originally, the goals were strictly performance-oriented, and the two planned on hopping up the engine while leaving the rest of the car alone. Those having done a classic-{{{Ford}}} restoration know that one thing leads to another, and a small dent repair here raises the subject of that little rust spot over there.

Casey and his father decided that any job worth doing is worth doing well, and they elected to go the whole route, including a new stroker engine and powertrain refurbishment. A fresh paint job in a new color and design was also part of the plan.

The project was certainly worthy of their maximum effort. After all, this Mustang was Mom's car-not to mention that it's also a V-8 powered convertible. Eight months later, the now-powerful Mustang emerged with both paint and bodywork looking good. Doing their car from top to bottom was a crash course in classic-Ford repair and restoration. We say Casey and his father earned straight As.

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The Details
'65 Mustang Convertible

Owner: Casey McMullen, Sunnyside, WA

Underhood, things are squared away completely. The potent Coast High Performance 347 with all of the aluminum goodies added on makes a package long on torque and short on weight. The free-breathing air-cleaner filters at both sides and top make for little inlet resistance. The chrome tower brace, Monte Carlo bar, and Ford Racing rocker covers round out this good-looking picture. Remember, the bigger the displacement, the more radiator you'll need, and Casey has a heavy-duty aluminum unit already installed.

347ci small-block stroker V-8
Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum cylinder heads
Probe forged-aluminum pistons
10.5:1 compression ratio
Stud girdle
Cast-steel crank
Probe aluminum connecting rods
750-cfm Speed Demon carburetor
MSD Pro Billet distributor
MSD 6AL ignition system

Dynamic Transmissions C4 automatic
3,000-stall-speed torque converter
B&M shifter

Currie 9-inch
3.70 gears
Traction-Lok differential
31-spline axles

Hooker Super Competition headers with
1 5/8-inch primaries
3-inch collectors
2 1/2-inch exhaust tubing
MagnaFlow mufflers

Front: Stock coil on upper arm, 1-inch lowering springs, antisway bar, KYB Classic shocks
Rear: Lowering leaf springs, KYB Gas-a-Just shocks

Front: Factory drum
Rear: Factory drum

The first thing you notice besides the nice rake is the extra-beefy, custom-padded rollbar-no skimping on the tubing diameter here. Casey didn't mention anything about road racing, but with the addition of a three-point harness for driver and passenger, he's ready to go.

Front: American Racing Torq Thrust D with painted center, 15x7
Rear: American Racing Torq Thrust D with painted center, 15x7

Front: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P225/60R15
Rear: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P225/60R15

Owner-restored standard red vinyl, Haneline instrument bezel with Genesis white-face gauges, Auto Meter 5-inch tachometer, LeCarra steering wheel, replacement loop-pile carpeting, custom rollbar, fire extinguisher, radio-delete plate

Sherwin Williams Jet Black basecoat/clearcoat with Vermillion Red Le Mans-type stripes applied by owner

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