• Frank Oles

Adam's 1965 Mustang Fastback

Updated: Nov 28, 2019


Driving this 1965 Fastback changed my whole perspective on classic cars. With enough attention to detail they can look great AND perform. A 65 Fastback like Adam's car weighs just 2700 pounds. Add 400-ish horsepower and you have a lightweight, powerful car that can put the power down with a few careful suspension tweaks and some chassis reinforcement. I do have some history with classic Mustangs. As a kid I remember crawling into the back seat of my Mom's 1966 Mustang notchback. The dark vinyl seats were scorching hot in the summer! But I loved those low back seats, the dash layout and the chrome. Unfortunately, that car was sold on by my parents due to rust. The car was eventually restored by the next owner, only to be wrecked later. Just about anyone can see that the shape is iconic, and once you've grown up with V8 engines it's just hard to settle for anything less. I've always liked the 60s Shelby Mustangs (and Cobras and GT40s!), but they seemed out of my reach price-wise. Until I discovered the concept of "cloning" one of these rides. Shelby used a basic K-code Fastback and then added a few carefully selected speed parts.

In this illustration, you can see the parts that Shelby added to the K-code Mustang Fastback to create the GT350. It’s a simple recipe that works, but don’t leave out too many ingredients!

So what exactly is a clone? A clone is just a standard Mustang that follows Shelby's build recipe. The problems start when people add the simplest ingredient (Wimbledon White paint and the iconic Guardsman Blue stripes) and forget all the rest of the performance parts. They need the show AND the go! Lucky for me, the very first one of these Mustangs I got to drive was Adam's 65. And to date, its' still the best! Once I decided I needed to have one of these, I began scouring the Mustang forums for information. That's where I came across Adam's car, and some videos he posted on YouTube. I noticed that he lived close to me in St. Charles and I contacted him through the forum. I inquired about checking out his car and he obliged. It took Adam almost 6 years to complete his dream Mustang. It also passed through two different body shops! But Adam's attention to detail paid off, netting one of the closest Shelby Clones I have ever seen, right down to the correct date coded glass. Adam's one deviation was the engine. He did his best to keep the look of the standard 289 Ford engine, but beefed up the internals and punched it out to 360 cubic inches. Together with headers and the trademark side exhaust the thing really screams!

Adam was nice enough to let me drive his car several times. I also encouraged Cindy to go for a ride. I think (hope) she understands why I am so crazy about these cars now. It's hard not to smile after riding in this car!

Adam and my son Clay checking out the steering wheel. I don’t think he could see over the dash yet!

Apologies for the shaky nature of this video, but it's pretty hard to stay stable when this taps are open on this baby!

This is what’s making all that glorious noise - Webers! This induction setup made awesome power and pops on the overrun. Due to driveability issues, Adam has since swapped this setup out for a Holley 4 barrel.

Hopefully, one day my driveway will look just like this. For now, we’ll make due with the Beetle.

This picture was taken back in 2001, right around the time I sold my Corvette. This one was for sale! I wonder how much the seller wanted? Even back then the wheels were turning. One day...



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