Jim Smart
July 17, 2012

Go to your automotive reference library and chances are quite good that there's a Haynes Auto Repair Manual somewhere on your shelves. They folks at Haynes have touched nearly every automotive make and model, and we mean that literally, because they put their hands on every vehicle for every manual. Their team of publishing and automotive professionals disassembles the cars and then shows owners how to repair them inside the detailed manuals. Over the past 50 years, Haynes has sold more than 150 million automotive repair books worldwide.

While planning for the company's 50th anniversary, Haynes wanted to celebrate the event by letting everyone know that they are made up of serious automotive enthusiasts. To showcase their expertise, they decided to restore a '65 Mustang convertible that became known as Project 50.

"The reason for selecting a Mustang project car was that it is the most iconic car from the era when the company was founded," says Hayne's Mike Forsythe. "Beyond being a fun way to celebrate our 50th anniversary, Project 50 allowed us to share with the public that we are diehard gear heads who continually take cars apart. That's an essential ingredient for producing the world's finest do-it-yourself repair manuals."

Needing a restorable Mustang, Haynes spent a lot of time on eBay before they found this '65 convertible sitting in the middle of the Oklahoma prairie in the hands of its second owner, who had purchased the car in 1975. Originally sold in Texas, the convertible spent its early life dodging hailstones, tornadoes, and tumbleweeds. It also managed to dodge extreme rust, making it a restorable drop-top.

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Haynes brought the car to its Newbury Park, California, facilities where a plan was put into place and a full-scale restoration began. Haynes photo documented the entire restoration for its new manual, Haynes Restoration Guide--Mustang '64-1/2-'70. In true Haynes style, it takes you through the entire process, including planning, tear down, rebuilding, and restoration.

When Haynes purchased the car, it resembled ten miles of bad highway. But everything was there, including the original 289 engine and driveline, making it an excellent candidate for a factory original restoration. Although the car was clad in a well-worn red repaint, inspection of the warranty plate revealed that it was originally Twilight Turquoise (color code 5) with a Parchment with black appointments interior (trim code D6). Not only is this Haynes restoration a lesson in good execution, it is also a valuable guide to a factory original restoration.

At the core of the restoration effort was Jamie Sarte, Haynes' resident restoration technician. Jamie's talents, coupled with the efforts of the editorial team--Bob Henderson, Bob Wegmann, Mike Stubblefield, Jay Storer, and Rob Maddox--spawned an outstanding restoration and handbook.

With Project 50, Haynes has served its readers and celebrated its half-century legacy by restoring an American icon that everyone can relate to. It is a glistening example of what commitment to a cause can do.

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