Like many Mustang owners, Charles Morgan of Tallahassee, Florida, obtained the '65 fastback you see here courtesy of his parents as high school transportation when he was just 17 years old (Charles is in his early 40s he writes). It had 75,000 miles on it and it was a very solid car.
"This car got me through high school for a couple of years and was my daily driver for two more years until the engine started smoking and it was parked—for a long time," Charles explained of the fastback's decade long hibernation.
The Mustang was in good shape when Charles got it to drive back and forth to school. The fastback was powered by a 289 and backed by a three-speed manual trans. Charles says, "I put an Edelbrock Torker intake and cam, headers, a 750-cfm Holley, and 3:55 gears in it. It was a fun car!" It ran a best of 9.30 in the eighth-mile back in 1989, and Charles proudly states he won 70 percent of his street races back in his high school days.
The fastback sat in storage for 10 years until he bought his own house with a two-car garage. Once settled in, he brought the fastback to his new home. Over the course of the next 10 years or so, Charles tinkered with the car here and there, installing a new interior and a new 302ci small-block, and he converted the drivetrain to a modern five-speed transmission—Charles actually scored the trans for free from a friend! He's still running the original headers that were on the car from high school, too. It has run a current best of 13.35 at 104 mph in the quarter-mile with this combo and 50 pounds of weight in the trunk to help the peg-leg rear hook.
Charles removed all of the trim, and bodyworked and painted sections of the car to match the original Rangoon Red for a clean, uncluttered look. The seats and headliner were in good shape, so Charles gave the dashpad a fresh look with some spray dye and then painted the metal interior sections; new carpet and new door panels finished off the two-tone look. Charles added oil and water temperature gauges (as the '65 cluster is sans oil info), and a Shelby-style wood steering wheel. The red and white color scheme of the interior is as it came from the factory.
For suspension, Charles simply cut one coil off the front springs so it would sit just a tad lower, and then he added a 1-inch antisway bar. "I have the original engine and all of the original parts stored at my parent's garage if I ever desire to return anything back to stock," Charles stated. "I only drive it 400 miles a year now and it is far from perfect, but it is a great car and I'm never getting rid of it," Charles added further.
Exterior trim/emblems shaved
Shelby fiberglass front valance
New 302 late-model roller block
Ford Racing "X303" camshaft
AFR165 aluminum heads
1.6:1 roller rockers
750-cfm vacuum secondary Holley four-barrel carburetor
Mallory Unilite distributor and Promaster coil
3.35 First gear T-5 five-speed manual transmission
Pro 5.0 shifter with stock '65 handle
2½-inch dual exhaust
16x7 Vintage Wheel Works V45 wheels, fully polished
P225/50R16 front tires
P245/50R16 rear tires
One coil cut from front springs
1-inch antisway bar
Still sporting traction bars from high school (in flat black)!
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