As a child, Stefan admires the Mustangs he has the chance to meet with his dad. He then has in mind to own one, later. And probably a 65 for two reasons: it’s the year of his birth, and it’s the “original Mustang” as he saids.
It was finally in 2017 that Stefan set out and selected a Mustang that met his various criteria: a 1965 model of course, with a budget of 18 to 22,000 euros, which limited the choice of model to the coupe. This Mustang is painted blue (silver blue) and is powered by a V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It is located in the Californian desert in Morongo Valley, a little above Palm Springs. Our friend chose to have the car appraised to limit the risks due to a remote purchase, on photos. He learns that the seller, Chris, is known to have sold healthy cars, and others that are not.
Luckily Stefan is getting good advice from Clément, Chris’s assistant in charge of the car. This carried out some repairs in the USA, including the wiring harness in poor condition, then incorporated various parts (in particular seals for the doors, the trunk and the hood) in the car. Stefan particularly appreciates the frequency of the calls with Clément; the latter telephoning very regularly to inform of the state of progress of the car. For example, when Clément notices that the windshield wipers are not working, he suggests to Stefan to go and buy some at a junkyard over there in the USA. He calls him at 9 pm one evening (noon for Clément) explaining that he did not find anything functional in this first heist and that he will go to a second one; half an hour later, Stefan receives another call: “It’s okay, your windshield wipers are bought”. The follow-up with Clément is rigorous and professional.
At the same time, our friend managed to find some nice shots of his 65 coupe on Google Street View (something I have tried for a long time myself, unfortunately in vain) in the Morongo Valley region.
The wait is long. The first contact with Chris took place on January 1st, the order was placed in February and the work in California will last until the end of March. The car is then shipped by boat to finally arrive in May on the Old Continent.
When the Mustang arrived on May 5, 2017 at his place of work (at the Grand Palais / Zenith in Lille), Stefan noted several points to be reviewed. First of all, the paint, which was redone in California, is not of good quality. The standard car interior has been replaced with a Pony interior in the US, which is fine with Stefan but no longer matches the color of the dashboard. As it is often the case with California cars, the heating and ventilation system has been removed. Suspension, front shocks, radiator, fuel pump, water pump, drum brakes and various interior parts require to be replaced. Stefan notes, however, that his car conforms to the expertise carried out in the United States. There are no big (bad) surprises there.
After all these changes, the car is reliable, Stefan can enjoy it … Until May 15, 2019 when the Mustang’s hood rises while our friend is on the highway! A lot of fear, a little bit of trouble for the Mustang. The repair work shows the poor state of preparation of the previous painting … Paint plates come off completely. The car, originally “Silver Blue” was repainted in “Highland Green” to resemble Frank Bullitt’s car in the eponymous film before being repainted in a color approaching the original blue.
The decision is then made: the whole car is torn apart for a sandblasting of the body, the application of Dinitrol protection, a light anti-gravel and a hollow body wax before the new paint, and replacement of all gaskets. If Stefan hasn’t had a bad surprise so far with his purchase, he has discovered a very nice one. The rust did not reach the car and all the original sheet metal is present with the factory references. Only the front floor is attacked by corrosion. It is therefore changed. Our friend from Lille greatly appreciates the professionalism and interest shown by the bodybuilder who takes care of his car. This one pays attention to detail and neglects nothing. Whether the crafted parts are on display to the keen eye of a collector or concealed, all receive an extremely meticulous finish.
A new 1965 grille takes place at the front as well as brand new fog-lights to complete the whole. For the record, during the restoration, Stefan realizes that his car has … a bullet hole! Yep, it might make you smile, but a bullet from a gun punctured the Mustang’s shock tower at some point in the history of this car …
Today, Stefan only has to receive the Retro Sound car radio he has just ordered (the current one does not work), fix a small coolant leak and install a booster allowing braking. assisted more effectively in slowing down his car.
Our friend is well aware of being one of the ten percent of French people who are satisfied with the importation of a Mustang from across the Atlantic. If he doesn’t regret the purchase, he says he doesn’t want to make that choice again if he had to repeat the experience of buying an old one now that he is well aware of the risks involved.
The car is now reliable and meets all Stefan’s criteria. He can take full advantage of it and intends to keep it as long as possible. In fact, his daughter, a very young driver, has already taken the wheel, the beautiful blue …