Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 11, 2011

When James Jeter’s daughter, Becky, married Bill Ganey, James didn’t just gain a son-in-law--he also gained a family member who would help rekindle his interest in vintage Mustangs. Years ago, James owned a ’66 hardtop but regretfully traded it away for more family-oriented transportation. When Bill joined the family, his interest in cars was infectious and James found himself in search of a ’65-’66 Mustang to replace the one that got away.

We had been looking for a while with no luck, James says. Then Bill and Becky spotted a red ’65 Mustang fastback in a yard as they were driving by. They stopped to talk to the owner and he agreed to sell.

Interestingly, the Mustang was visible that afternoon because the owner was cleaning his garage. It was mere coincidence that Bill and Becky drove by while the car was sitting outside. He had owned the car since 1980, James adds. His daughter drove it to college and then it was parked.

The Mustang was drivable and in fairly good condition, with only a few areas of minor rust in the typical areas. In fact, James drove the car for a short time before deciding to rebuild the 289 drivetrain and repaint the body, with his son-in-law offering to perform the work. As so often happens, one thing led to another.

We decided to bead-blast the engine compartment while the engine was out, James explains. Then we decided to bead-blast the entire car, which revealed some body filler and rust, so we ended up repairing the floorpan, cowl, and rear quarters. There was a point when we decided we should go all the way.

Bill took charge of the project, working mostly in his home shop with James serving mainly as the helper. Bill also painted the Mustang using a neighbor’s paint booth. As the build evolved, the car took on more of a restomod character with rack-and-pinion steering, Wilwood brakes, Ididit tilt steering column, and Custom Auto Sound stereo.

It wasn’t a short-term project. It took nine years, James says. I work shift work and Bill has his own business, so we could only devote one weekend a month to the Mustang. Plus, I was sent to Iraq for a year as part of my service in the National Guard.

When we first spotted James’ Mustang in 2010 at the Mustang Club of America national show in Pensacola, Florida, we thought it was a professional build. James was quick to point out that it was all done by his son-in-law.

I had no idea the car was going to turn out so nice, James says. Everybody needs a son-in-law like Bill.

Technical Specifications

Engine

  • Overbore 289 block
  • 351 Windsor heads
  • TRW pistons, 10.5:1
  • Comp Cams’ Xtreme Energy 268H camshaft
  • Crane roller rocker arms
  • Edelbrock intake and carburetor
  • MSD distributor and ignition
  • JAB headers, ceramic coated
  • Flowmaster mufflers
  • BeCool radiator with electric fan
  • Edelbrock electric fuel pump
  • Billet Accessories’ True Trac engine accessory system
  • Optima battery
  • Filled firewall and shock towers

Drivetrain

  • C4 automatic with shift improvement kit
  • West Coast stall converter
  • Denny’s aluminum driveshaft
  • Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.73 limited-slip

Suspension

  • Unibody connectors and cage
  • Total Control Products’ X-brace system
  • 1-inch front and 78-inch rear sway bars
  • Lowering springs, front and rear
  • Total Control Products’ power rack- and-pinion
  • Total Control Products’ strut rods

Brakes

  • Wilwood 4-wheel discs with polished calipers and cross-drilled rotors
  • Stainless steel brake lines and flex hoses
  • JMC dual master cylinder

Exterior

  • PPG DBC basecoat with PPG 2002 clear
  • Legendary Motor Car Shelby-style
  • Lizard skin undercoating
  • Budnik Gasser billet wheels, 17x7 front and 17x8 rear
  • Goodyear tires, 235/40ZR17 front and 245/40ZR17 rear

Interior

  • Leather-covered seats
  • Lokar shifter and emergency brake
  • Ididit billet steering column
  • Budnik steering wheel
  • AutoMeter gauges in billet dash insert
  • Wire Works’ wiring harness
  • Custom Auto Sound stereo with Memphis speakers
  • Vintage Air A/C system
  • Billet window cranks and door handles

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