Jeff Ford
August 1, 2000
Contributers: Jeff Ford

Step By Step

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P79455_large 1965_Ford_Mustang Front_Driver_SideP79456_large 1965_Ford_Mustang Rear_Passenger_SideP79457_large 1965_Ford_Mustang EngineP79458_large 1965_Ford_Mustang Interior

It's funny--the traits we inherit from our folks. A certain laugh, a turn of phrase, or perhaps an odd bald head and poor eyesight. But even with these last things, we still love what they give us. Forrest Jackson of Harrison, Arkansas, should know. He inherited this '65 Poppy Red hardtop from his dad in 1993--though not quite in the condition that you see here.

"In 1983 my father--Forrest Jackson--who lives in Wichita, Kansas, purchased this '65 hardtop from a family member," Forrest said. "Over the next few years, Dad worked on the car until it was mechanically sound. He also did some body and paint work with the help of Stoner's Body Shop in Valley Center, Kansas. Somewhere along the way, the car had been repainted Poppy Red instead of the original Twilight Turquoise. Dad chose to leave the car the brighter color."

When the younger Forrest picked up the car, the elder Forrest wanted to know just what his son would do with the Mustang. "Without hesitation, I told him that I would be participating in car shows," Forrest told us. "He quickly pointed out that the hardtop was not in show condition. Had I known the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that was to come during the process of putting the car into show condition, I'm sure I would not have been quite so cocky!"

Restoring the car took help from his wife, Pat, and granddaughter, Candice. During the winter of '93 they tore into the interior and detailed the trunk. What this winter-detailing foray netted Forrest was a closer relationship with his granddaughter and a Mustang poised to duke it out in the Concours-Occasional Driver class in the Mustang Club of America.

During that time, Forrest got the bug to join the Mustangs Across America caravan to the 30th anniversary of the Mustang in Charlotte, North Carolina. For those of you new to the hobby, this event was part of the celebration of the Mustang. It ran from California to Charlotte--culminating in arrival at the show site.

Pat was pragmatic. "Do you think a car that old will make it that far?" Forrest was sure--sort of. This brought on another spate of detailing--this time in the engine bay. He and his father spent 250 hours on getting the 42,000-mile 289 2V just so. Now it would seem that the car was ready for Charlotte. The C4 would make the trip effortless, and the 2.80 rear gears would be sure to keep the gas mileage low--where it belongs on a trip of this magnitude. As one would hope, the trip went off without a hitch. After Charlotte, the hardtop did well at its intended chores, taking numerous top-place awards at various shows. What lies ahead for the hardtop is more of the same.

When we asked Forrest if Candice has her eye on the hardtop, he just chuckled and told us what we expected to hear. "Yeah, she does." When we asked him if she would get an early inheritance, his reply was vague. "You never know." Yeah, we do, Forrest, and when she becomes old enough to drive, you can bet she'll be behind the wheel of a Poppy Red '65.