Jim Smart
February 1, 2001
Photos By: Mark Houlahan, Tom Rounds

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P80062_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Convertible Rear_Driver_SideP80063_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Convertible Front_Passenger_SideP80064_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Convertible EngineP80065_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Convertible Interior

I'm fortunate. Fortunate because I've been earning a living writing about Mustangs for almost 20 years. I'm also fortunate (I prefer to call it blessed) because my passion and vocation have sent some extraordinary people my way in nearly two decades. I haven't seen Sara and Dennis Conroy of Seattle for a couple of years, but I've never forgotten the friendship I share with them and another close pal, Ted Overstreet, of the same region. Sara and Dennis own this striking '65 Mustang convertible.

The Conroys are a unique blend, because they've given much of themselves to Mustangdom without expecting much in return. In fact, the Conroys helped Ted achieve his dream of a beautifully restored Candy-apple Red '69 Mach 1.

The same kind of enthusiasm that brought us Ted's '69 Mach 1 brings us this glistening Rangoon Red convertible. Red is good, very good. This is the Mustang the steamiest of fantasies are made of. It runs neck and neck with Wimbledon White as the Mustang color of choice. Inside, the Pony is blessed with rich black vinyl from door panel to door panel. Between the buckets is a long console because the Pacific Northwest rarely calls for air conditioning.

Embracing the steering column is a Rally-Pac, sporting a 6,000-rpm tachometer and an analog clock. Addressing the driver is a 120-mph Falcon-style instrument panel, which was standard equipment in 1965.

Although most people like the perks of a Mustang GT or a screaming Hi-Po K-code, we like the beautiful simplicity of a straight-ticket, option-sheet convertible--just like the one Ford surprised us with in April 1964. No GT stripes. Forget the Styled Steel wheels. Toot the trumpets later. We like the gentle music of a 289 2V hydraulic lifter small-block V-8 channeling 200 civilized ponies through a C4 dual-range Cruise-O-Matic and 2.80:1 gears. It's a combo made for quiet cruising along Puget Sound, while taking in the sweet persona of Seattle.

And when it's time to park and take a walk in the chilly mist, one can put the top up and take in the wire-style wheel covers, the whitewalls, and the silhouette that drove a population crazy some 37 years ago. For Dennis and Sara, it's a way of life they've come to cherish in a place where "Summer Breeze" means so much.