Jim Smart
December 1, 2001

Some like it hot. Some like it not. But few can argue with the adrenaline rush of a 289 High Performance engine sporting 271 thundering horses emerging from 8 bores, 16 valves, 4 throats, and a whole lot of American iron. When you get right down to it, the 289 High Performance isn't much different from the 2V or the 4V versions sporting hydraulic lifters. The garden variety 289s produce their peak power around 3,500 rpm-and they do it reliably. The 289 High Performance is different because of its aggressive mechanical lifter camshaft profile that helps this engine do its best work at 6,000 rpm. Peak torque and horsepower come alive at six grand.

The Hi-Po's sound also makes it different: 16 chattering rocker arms beating out a harmonious tempo, working the valves most aggressively. Crisp throttle response happens right off idle. Torque comes on strong at high revs. Driving one of these is termed "the ultimate Mustang experience."

Dave and Terry Ruffell call Southern California home. The upside to living in So' Cal' is being able to drive your classic Mustang year round (except on the remote chance it might rain or a freeway overpass might collapse during an earthquake).

Like the earthquake and precipitation just mentioned, driving a Mustang like this isn't the norm. There's the seismological vintage Hi-Po sound, which shakes the soul and excites the senses. There's also the thunderously cool Paxton supercharger huffing high pressure through a Holley carb. But it's also learning the ropes of a Top Loader four-speed and 3.50:1 gears; call it power management.

Power management is a whole lot of fun when you're pushing "K" iron from 1965. What makes this package even better is the Rangoon Red acrylic enamel finish applied by Coach Works. Behold the GT Equipment Group, which consists of the handling suspension, front disc brakes, dual exhausts with GT trumpets, foglamps, and the GT graphics package. The Interior Decor Group was an option separate from the GT package and consists of white with red appointments inside, complemented by a full-length console.

Those Styled Steel wheels surrounded by red lines make the ride back to 1965 a simple task. White GT stripes against the red surface make all the difference between the mundane and the mind-blowing. And that's what owning a '65 K-GT convertible is all about: being different, enjoying the experience, and taking in a GT for two.