So what happens when “the one” Ford Mustang you’ve always been after just continues to remain elusive? Give up? Never. Hit up custom craft car makers? Maybe. Get the shell straight from Ford, licensed, and ready to slap parts on? Yes. Wait…what?
You read right. Ford’s opened up a whole new door for the rest of us that aren’t into completely ad hoc kits or can’t find that perfect resto-mod opportunity by offering up 1964½, 1965, or 1966 Ford Mustang body shells made from high-quality automotive-quality steel, surpassing material strength found in the original production Mustangs.
So when are these awesome pieces hitting the (after)market? Quite soon–November 1st, 2011 at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Keep reading for the full scoop in the official Press Release from Ford Motor Company.
America’s Favorite Classic Mustang – the ’65 Convertible – Returns with All-New Ford-Approved Body Shell
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 28, 2011 – It’s a classic car lover’s dream come true: Now it is possible to build a ’64½, ’65 or ’66 Mustang convertible from the wheels up using the all-new Ford-approved and officially licensed body shell.
The body shell for the original Mustang convertible, now in production and available for restorers as a Ford-licensed restoration part, gives classic car enthusiasts a new option in putting their classic dream Mustang ragtop back on the road.
“The 1964-66 Mustang is the most restored vintage vehicle. But the number of original 1964-66 vintage bodies is shrinking every year,” said Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager. “Most of the original Mustangs left in scrapyards are rusted or wrecked beyond repair. The new body shell is made of virgin metal and uses modern welding techniques. It comes rustproofed, and after final adjustment and finish preparation of the body panels, it is ready for painting and final assembly.”
To build a restored Mustang using the new shell, the powertrain, suspension and brakes, the electrical systems, the interior and trim can either be bought new or transferred from an existing car to the new body. Original parts that can’t be reused from an old Mustang can be replaced with Ford-approved restoration parts. Mondrach says that nearly all the parts needed to build a complete new 1964-66 Mustang convertible, except for some minor body hardware, are now available from Ford-approved classic parts suppliers.
Ford-approved Mustang restoration parts can be found at www.fordrestorationparts.com.
For a restoration part to be approved by Ford, suppliers must meet or exceed the fit, finish and quality of the original, said Mondrach. In order to keep classic Ford-built vehicles on the road, Ford allows parts suppliers access to original technical drawings, blueprints and specifications for parts.
The new body shell not only can save restorers time and money, but enable them to build a strong, well-engineered classic.
“Instead of spending money fixing rust and welding in new panels, restorers can now simply transfer their powertrain, interior and trim parts onto the new body shell,” said Mondrach.
The ’65 Mustang body shell is constructed of higher-grade steel than the original, said Jim Christina, vice president of Dynacorn International, the Ford-approved company that is manufacturing the ’65 Mustang. “We use a modern universal automotive-grade steel that is actually stronger than the original, and modern welding techniques along with more welds to strengthen the body,” Christina said.
The ’65 body is in production now and can be delivered by freight truck to any address. The ’65 Mustang body includes the doors and trunk lid and all the sheet metal from the radiator support to the taillight panel except the hood and front fenders. Those items are available separately. The ’65 Mustang body shell starts at $15,000.
America’s love affair with the original Mustang is still going strong after nearly 50 years. Debuting in April 1964, the original Mustang sold more than 1.2 million units – including more than 174,000 convertibles – before its first redesign in 1967. The 1964-66 Mustang has long been America’s most popular classic car of the postwar era. It is frequently the No. 1 most insured car at Hagerty Insurance, the world’s No. 1 insurer of classic and collectible cars.
The new body shell can be made into a 1964½, 1965 or 1966 Mustang, based on the powertrains and trim parts added to it. It is the third classic Mustang body shell now available to restorers. The other two are the 1967-68 and the 1969-70 fastback bodies.
Ford will display a new 1965 Mustang body shell Tuesday through Thursday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. It will be parked next to a restored 1965 convertible to demonstrate the high quality of the assembly.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.