Miles Cook
May 1, 2002
Photos By: Jeff Ford

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P123211_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Hardtop Rear_Passenger_SideP138450_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Hardtop Hot_Wheels_Logo
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P138451_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Hardtop Front_Driver_SideP138452_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Hardtop EngineP138453_large 1965_Ford_Mustang_Hardtop Interior

In a unique twist among those who have had their cars featured in Mustang Monthly, Jeff Gibbs is an avid Hot Wheels collector as well as a 20-year fan of all things Mustang. To help amortize some of the funds needed to build this clean '65 hardtop, Jeff sold some of the more valuable cars in his Hot Wheels garage--some of which can be worth upwards of $800-$900.

"To pay for the motor, wheels, and tires on this big Hot Wheel, I sold some of my small ones on the Internet, including older, more valuable models as well as some that I customized," Jeff told us. And as is the case for the nicer mildly modified vintage Ponies out there, the engine, wheels, and tires have a great deal to do with how the finished car turns out.

The freshened-up 289 uses the car's original block, which has been bored .060-inch over for a displacement of just under 300 cubes. Improved breathing for the higher altitudes of Jeff's hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado, comes by way of a Crane cam, Hooker headers, a Weiand intake manifold, an Edelbrock 500cfm four-barrel carb, and a K&N air filter. Better spark is courtesy of a Petronix electronic ignition. Putting the power to the pavement is a rebuilt C4 automatic trans and the car's original 8-inch axle and 3.00:1 gears.

Setting the car apart from the crowd on the outside is its PPG acrylic urethane Viper Yellow hue and Eagle 17x8-inch Series 211 wheels wrapped in Toyo tires--215/45ZR17s up front and 245/45ZR17s out back. As a tribute to Jeff's interest in Hot Wheels collecting, the trunk lid sports a painted-on logo that many think is a decal.

Finally, inside the black interior--augmented with deluxe trim seats--a Kenwood stereo with an 80-watt Alpine amp and Boston Acoustic speakers provides the tunes in the coolest full-scale Hot Wheels car we've ever seen.