Eric English
November 1, 2010

'65 Fastback Believe it or not, you can still find Hi-Po 289 Mustangs for sale in the strangest places-at least you could in 2003. That's when Dan DeYoung of Grants Pass, Oregon, found this K-code '65 fastback at a local garage sale. To be truthful, Dan had examined the car some days before and had been mulling over a possible purchase. Yet it was pure surprise when he passed by the owner's house on a Saturday morn and saw the car for sale in the midst of a slew of household items. It was all the urging Dan needed. He immediately stopped, got a second look, and came to an agreement with the owner right then and there.

Backing up a bit, we should offer that Dan had been a Chevy guy and wasn't particularly well-versed in Mustangs when a buddy called him to suggest he look at a neighbor's '65 fastback. Turns out, it had been owned by Byron Tyra, who sadly had passed away in the midst of a major restoration. Understandably, Byron's wife Ann couldn't immediately sell her husband's pride and joy, but eventually came to the realization that it was time.

That's when neighbor Doug McBee told Dan about the car. As Dan describes it, "The first time I saw the car, it was on jackstands with the tires, doors, interior, and bumpers off the car. The left quarter-panel was held on by three pairs of Vice-grips. I was mildly interested, but really needed to talk to someone with more Mustang knowledge than I had at the time. I called my friend Steve Whitlock, and he walked me through the process of identifying the car. I soon learned that it was a K-code, but the real surprise came when I removed the cardboard laying over the engine to expose a three two-barrel setup. Ann and I discussed what she wanted for the car. She said it would take a few weeks to round up all the parts, I said I'd mull it over, and we left it at that. A week later, I bought it during Ann's garage sale."

Forty-five years and numerous owners leaves the tale of this pony a bit sketchy, but we do know from the door tag that it was scheduled to be built in San Jose on December 18, 1964. That makes it too early to be a factory GT, though when Dan bought the fastback, it had already been dressed as such so he decided to continue the theme. Likewise, the timeframe for when the tri-power was added is uncertain, but Dan has made contact with two owners prior to Tyra, and both confirmed the presence of the multi-carb induction when they held the pink slip. Let's just say the setup has been with the car for a very long time. Small-block 6V (six venturi) induction was a Ford dealer parts counter affair only, and this kit specifically for the 289 flows a healthy 775 cfm. Vintage headers were also on the fastback when Dan purchased it, and though he isn't certain of the manufacturer, they surely complement the upgraded induction.

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Upon bringing the '65 to his well-equipped shop, Dan took stock of what he had and what needed to be done. Typical restoration items included rebuilding the 271-horse Hi-Po and drivetrain, new interior, suspension, detailing, etc.-some done by Dan and some parceled out to experts. The body was one of the items requiring real expertise, so that portion of the job went to Ron's Rods and Rides in Rogue River, Oregon. There, Ron VanderMeulen thoroughly worked over the unibody on a rotisserie, finishing the tacked on quarter-panel, replacing framerails, and eventually laying down a fantastic Martin Senour two-stage topcoat in the original Silversmoke Gray. It's a color that isn't often seen, and combined with the black GT stripes and interior, makes for a striking mix.