We think it's safe to say that J.R. Shelby of Aiken, South Carolina, has a serious passion for classic Mustangs. It's an affliction we've heard of many times before, and J.R. seems to have a particularly acute case with eight cars and counting. In addition to this beautiful '65 Mustang GT} convertible, his collection includes three '65 fastbacks and two '65 Mustang coupes. There's also a '66 coupe and a '67 coupe on his Blue Oval list. The only convertible in the fold seems to have been lavished with special attention, mostly in the paint and body department. This comes as no surprise, as J.R. specializes in this kind of restoration work and is a professional automobile painter by trade.
To get the car looking this good, his meticulous workmanship skills were combined with excellent choices. The restoration project began right after the car was purchased, and it was a seven-month process. During this time, the entire car-including the powertrain-was completely refreshed. This Mustang exudes class with its GT embellishments, Honey Gold paint, and two-tone Parchment and Ivy Gold deluxe interior. The GT status and convertible configuration make this a highly desirable car, but the list of enhancements goes on. When the South Carolina summer gets too hot or when long distances at high speed are planned, the top goes up and the air conditioning comes on. Having an air-conditioned convertible has always been regarded as the epitome of extravagance.
J.R. is active in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) Mustang club, and his refined GT convertible is no trailer queen spending its time under a cover and shut in a garage. J.R. uses his car for both driving and shows. We're willing to bet he's the center of attention wherever he goes.
'65 Mustang GT convertible
Owner: J.R. Shelby, Aiken, SC
When it comes to stance, it's...
When it comes to stance, it's plain to see that J.R. has his GT ragtop dialed-in nicely. The slight lowering combined with the short sidewall works out just right. The GT rocker stripes look great, and the absence of the standard molding we're so used to seeing really smoothes out the side of the car.
Engine302 block4.030-inch bore, 3.00-inch strokeStock reciprocating assemblyForged aluminum pistons9.5:1 compression ratioFord cast-iron cylinder headsHydraulic camshaftEdelbrock aluminum-intake manifoldEdelbrock 600-cfm four-barrel car
TransmissionC4 three-speed automatic
Rearend8-inch axle3:00 gears
ExhaustPatriot Tri-Y full-length headers, 1 3/4-inch primary tubes, 3-inch collectors2 1/4-inch exhaust systemFlowmaster mufflers
Front: Stock coil spring on upper arm, 1-inch lowering coils, 1-inch antisway bar, gas shocks
Rear: Stock leaf springs, gas shocks
Front: Stock GT package disc
Rear: Stock drum
These Coy's C-5 wheels are...
These Coy's C-5 wheels are a good fit to the '65 body style. While plenty wide, the wheel offset has the wheel and tire assembly neatly tucked away inside the wheelhouse. The tire doesn't protrude from the side of the car at all.
Front: Coy's C-5, chrome finish, 17x7-inch
Rear: Coy's C-5, chrome finish, 17x8-inch
Front: Riken Raptor ZR, P205/50ZR17
Rear: Riken Raptor ZR, P235/45ZR17
Deluxe two-tone interior, Ivy Gold carpeting, LeCarra wood steering wheel, standard instrumentation with white-face gauges, AM radio
Honey Gold PPG basecoat/clearcoat paint by owner, GT rocker-panel stripes, chrome exhaust trumpets extending through the lower valance panel, GT emblems, grille-mounted foglamps, Wimbledon White Shelby-style center stripes
The open top offers a good...
The open top offers a good look at this factory color combination. The off-white upholstery was called Parchment, and the metal portions of the interior were painted at the factory to match. The Ivy Gold carpeting provides an interesting color combination and was keyed to the Honey Gold exterior color.
Underneath the bonnet, J.R....
Underneath the bonnet, J.R. kept it simple using Ford Racing logo chrome valve covers and a cool, triangular-shaped air-cleaner assembly. The export brace and Monte Carlo bar add rigidity to the front end, and any chassis bolstering is always desirable on a convertible body. The compact Sanden air-conditioning compressor looks good in place of the enormous original-equipment unit. Also note the body-color engine compartment treatment-nice indeed.
There's nothing like a LeCarra...
There's nothing like a LeCarra wood wheel to dress up a Mustang interior. Nicer than the factory faux-wood wheel, this version is similar to the original-equipment steering wheel provided on Shelby Mustangs and Cobras. The white-face gauges look good in this situation and are set off nicely by the woodgrain instrument bezel and white dashboard.
As an interesting custom touch,...
As an interesting custom touch, J.R. carried the Shelby-stripe theme over to the trunk interior. It looks cool, and we're willing to bet the carpeted trunk cuts down on road noise as well.