Original 65 FB or Upgrade? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Original 65 FB or Upgrade?

Got a question to throw out there. I have a 1965 fastback T code, straight six 200 CID, numbers matching, 4 lug hubs, drums all the way around, etc. Prior to me purchasing it it went through a very good frame on restoration. It's a nice car the way it sits if you are a purist, which I could see me as. I am struggling with keeping it as original as possible and show it as such.

On the other hand I would not mind having a 65 FB upgraded to a V8, disc brakes, modern suspension, modern ignition, 9" rear end, 5 lug hubs, etc....

There is another option of buying an extra 6 cyl block and build it with performance parts and keeping most everything the same. (Probably would need to put some discs in the front).

Any pros and cons are welcome.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:04 PM
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The consensus here seems to be "build it to make you happy". That being said... 65 fastbacks don't grow on trees. If the car is original, I would hesitate to modify(save necessary safety upgrades!) If it were mine, I'd have fun with a less valuable car. Coupes are readily available in all states of upgrade/repair. I hope the more knowledgeable 65 concourse guys give you solid input here, but my 2 cents is: leave it, preserve it! And PICS

It's just a little rust...

1966 secretary special originally 6cyl 3 spd coupe.(Goes to work twice a week)
5.0 SEFI complete from 1988 Mustang GT, world class T-5, 9 inch with 3.50 Trac Lok and Shelby style traction bars. Old Air A/C system.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:05 PM
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I think it's totally personal preference. If it's a "nice" car now I'd be tempted to leave it and modify something else to get your speed fix.... like a Fox body, etc.

On the other hand, they made a bunch of '65 2+2's and a lot of "T" codes so.... I DO like the idea of picking up a later 3.3... they made them through '82 if I'm not mistaken and the newer ones have Duraspark and the "large log" intake manifold and, IMHO, would make a nice Novi-supercharged, EFI project...


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:28 PM
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I would love to have a built up Turbo I6. Then you get to say "ya its a T code still has an I6, wanna race"?
My opinion is that the steering and suspension upgrade of the V8 have as much to do with harder driving as the weight difference alone. Same with the rear.
Although its nice to see a 4 lug I6 from time to time I really don't see any cons unless it was some low mileage survivor.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:37 PM
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Ethically, there are lots of original cars out there, and a T code is always going to be a T code, so I don’t see any moral quandary here that should stop you from modifying it.

Financially, you’d be better off selling what you’ve got as it is and reinvesting it into a car that’s already closer to what you’re wanting.

Practically, a hot rodded six is really cool, but is more costly to build than a V8 and has limited potential. Plus, you’d still need the braking and handling upgrades of the V8 if you make it fast.

Ultimately, build/buy what you want.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 01:03 AM
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One question is how much would you drive it? Only to shows and not very far away, weekends, semi-daily, daily, over night/weekend trips out of town, short road trips or full blown road trips?

Could be a great road trip car with a mildly build up 6 for a little more power and a 5 speed, and I think you could get near 30mpg on road trips.
I'm basing that number on 2 things. I had a '66 with a stock rebuilt 6, C4, 2.83 gears and got 27mpg.
We just did a long road trip(post on that coming soon) in our stock '65 GTFB with an un-rebuilt 289 4v, T10 and 3.00 gears and got a best of 23.5mpg.

'68 J code coupe back in H.S.1st car. Now 65 GTFB
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 05:18 AM
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Original cars of any type are valuable as a learning tool, if not so much financially, so I always hate to see one heavily modified...but...the Mustang was originally designed to be optioned the way you like and after the sale was no exception. Who am I to draw lines? I've only had one I6 car, a 68, and it had a modded 250 and C4 so it wasn't "stock".
I suppose, even though it would be a lot of work either way, you can always bolt in your V8 conversion, and if you decided later you could change it back, but who'd wanna do that?!

My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories

Older son's 1st car...
'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Dealer A/C • Console
•Dual Exhaust • Power Steering

Younger son's 1st car...
'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory A/C •Console

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 07:05 AM
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Its a long expensive and arduous road from where you are to where you would want to be in a V8 car. Since you likely paid a pretty penny for someones restoration, be very easy to get significantly upside down in a conversion. Depending on how much horsepower you are looking for, the expense grows quickly above 300-350hp. The best path is to sell your car and go buy the car of your dreams unless this particular car has meaning to you, or money is no object and you want the project.

I'm not sure how much money I would put in a 6, unless the prize is greater than 60-100 hp for any significant investment. Its just not that noticeable after a few weeks of driving. Remember its not just the motor that needs to handle the extra HP...

Now if you have a manual, a T5, some wider tires and a suspension upgrade could wake that old girl right up.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 09:27 AM
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I had a similar but a little different.

I had a 68 GT fastback that still needed a lot of time, money and work to be finished. I bought it dirt cheap and it was on its way to being a cool car.

I’m a hot rodder by nature and I kept getting locked down with that car not going back original.
I really didn’t want to mod it.

I finally sold it for almost 6x what I paid for it and spent that money on a hot rod 68 coupe that was already driveable and pretty.
Saved myself about 30k and 7years.

Now while I do miss having the fastback, I absolutely know I made the right decision and have NO issue modifying this one exactly like I want it.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 11:02 AM
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Lots of good advice here, I will add my thoughts.

First off, if it is a quality restoration, I would be tempted to keep it original, or as was suggested, build a hot 6 to install and have fun with while sitting the original up on a shelf.

Building on that thought of it being a quality restoration, maybe it would be best to sell it and buy one with a good body just waiting for an engine upgrade.

Second off, it is your car, how do you want to drive it? Sounds like 6 banger performance isn't going to cut it for you. Maybe having the car perform to certain standards is more important than originality.
I went through similar anguish: my 65 Fastback is an original GT, came with A code 289 and 4 speed. Great combo for original rebuild and I was started out with that thinking. However, it needed a lot of sheet metal work, so pretty much total rebuild. I have had it many, many years so it has some sentimental value. I drove it in it's glory days, I now want to drive it with today's performance. So it is being built with modern competition level suspension, brakes, electronics, Coyote motor and 6 speed. I am forgoing all the non functional Shelby add on's, will wear original GT emblems, rocker stripes, very close to original looks but will more than hold its own with modern cars. Yeah, not for the purists but what will make me happy.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 01:44 AM
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Picture yourself getting off the entrance ramp to the highway with cars traveling 75+MPH in both a 6-cylinder, then a V8.

floovb, floovb, vwomp, vwomp (sound of a bad tire driving)
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 02:39 AM
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If you want a show car then do a show car. If you want a go car then do whatever go means to you. With mods available now the sky is pretty much the limit on what you can do. It is a lot of work though and a fair amount of money depending firstly on how much power you want to produce. There is at least one 8 second turbo 6 mustang rolling around. If you were to punch out a 6 and get it to where it would really run you are back to needing upgraded suspension, chassis, 9 inch diff, massively upgraded transmission and much better brakes at the least so its fairly modified.

65 2+2, 331, C4 presently apart for complete a restore
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 01:10 PM
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It sounds like you have a nice original Fastback. If you are going for performance and some modern upgrades, it might make more financial sense to sell and then reinvest in a car that is already on the path to your liking with a V8 and perhaps has some modern upgrades. It really comes down to how much work you want to do yourself and what type of investment you anticipate. However, another option is to keep your stock Fastback and then go purchase another project car to please your performance appetite. Who's to say you can't have two mustangs and have the best of both stock and restomod?
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