Jim Smart
September 5, 2012

"My first Mustang was a small bay mare my father brought home when I was a kid," Alan Morgan told us. "She was in bad shape with a long and shaggy winter coat, bones sticking out, and one split ear. After a lot of good feed, she muscled up and her coat began to shine. Turned out to be one heck of a horse!"

Sounds like a metaphor for an old Mustang automobile, like this '65 K-GT fastback that Alan rescued and nursed back to health. When he and his wife, Sharon, found the Mustang, it was in horrible condition with a long and shaggy coat, bones sticking out, and one split ear. It looked ready for the glue factory. However, the car had all the right credentials--a fastback roofline, "K" engine code, four-speed, and factory GT.

Alan and Sharon toyed with ideas about how to restore the Mustang before finally hitting on a theme. Because Alan is a retired copper miner and their home state of Arizona is recognized as the Copper State, it seemed fitting to appoint this restoration with Emberglo paint and copper anodizing. Although value concerned them to some degree, they decided it was time to build a Mustang exactly the way they wanted and forget sweating the dollar signs. This was going to be a Mustang to drive and enjoy.

What they had was a K-code shell without the K-code engine--a dilemma because what good is a Hi-Po fastback without the legendary mill? As luck would have it, Alan found a standard-bore 289 High Performance engine from another '65 Mustang and was able to talk the owner out of it. Zimmerman Racing Engines rebuilt Alan's new-found Hi-Po to factory specifications with a stock Hi-Po cam, 4.030-inch pistons, Cobra intake with Autolite 4100 four-barrel, dual-point Autolite distributor with PerTronix Ignitor, and Hi-Po exhaust manifolds. Aside from the Cobra dress-up appointments, this is a box-stock Hi-Po engine with the sweet rhythm of factory solid lifters.

Alan detailed the valve covers with "Powered By Ford" in sky blue, along with Emberglo details and copper anodizing to tie-in to the car's copper theme. Because Alan stuck with the car's factory 3.89:1 gears, this Mustang is a rocket ship under acceleration. He complimented Acclaim Transmissions in Phoenix for an exceptional job of rebuilding his wide-ratio Top Loader.

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Inside, you'll find the Interior Décor Group in Emberglo and Parchment, as professionally installed by East Valley Mustang in Mesa. On the column is a '65 eight-grand Rally-Pac. Alan and Sharon wanted the look and feel of the 1960s, so you won't find climate control or a powerful aftermarket sound system.

Becker Automotive Restoration in Tempe, Arizona, reworked the body and laid down the PPG Emberglo finish. The wheels are 17x8-inch NXT Generation 10-spokes from California Pony Cars.

Alan gratefully acknowledges Bart Park for his expertise and abundant help with parts during the nearly six-year restoration. "None of this would have been possible without help," Alan reflects.

Anyway you look at a Mustang restoration, the best ones are a team approach with assistance from friends and a supportive companion. Alan will tell you he couldn't have finished his Copper Show Stopper without them.

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