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We have acquired a ’65 convertible that has sat outside in New England for the last 15+ years, generally uncovered. The floor is gone, quarters rotted, interior shot, and has the wrong engine, but we have decided it needs to be brought back to life. We have talked to a couple people in the area that do vintage restorations and they have confirmed it is not a lost cause. Overall, estimated cost are consistent, we also have a good idea as to what we can and can’t do ourselves, so from that point we know what we are getting into. We want to keep it as original as possible, trying to retain its value and desirability, but we also want to create a solid driver that has some updated features and options of the time. We plan to use a mix of original, reproduction, and after market parts, depending on cost, availability, and quality.

So with a “restoration” of this magnitude, how do the following changes affect the overall value to someone other than us?

Adding power disk brakes (probably after market), currently has drum.
Adding duel, GT like, exhaust and headers.
Adding GT fog lights.
Changing the original paint color to another that was available in ’65.
Changing the interior from standard to deluxe, and also the color. The car was built several months before deluxe was available and has the elongated speedometer, which we wish to keep.
Adding reproduction air conditioning, luggage rack, and passenger mirror.
We do plan to locate, rebuild, and mildly modify a correct date coded 289 4V.

It may be worth noting that we have less than $500 into the vehicle and it was also shipped with many desirable options.
 

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If such a restored non-original car were on the market today, it might fetch on the order of $20,000. By the time your restoration is finished (say 2 years if everything goes fairly well) the market may have gone up some.

I hope you are doing this because you love the car and really have an interest in doing this. If your motive is profit...well....you'd be better off selling now.

To answer your questions though, I don't think any of the changes you contemplate would HURT the value of the vehicle, nor do I think any of them would increase the value of the vehicle by the cost it will take to make the change. The value of the vehicle will be affected to a much greater extent by the quality and thoroughness of the restoration.

Since you are not restoring the car to it's orignial specs, I don't think finding a date code correct 289 would be worth the effort.

Phil
 

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Your car would be worth 20,000.00 or more with the right person. My friends 68 coupe brought 20,000.00 and it had a lot of the same modifications. If your going to keep the car (I hope you do, but at least your bringing her back to life) I would make her how you want it. That's what I am doing.
 

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To rebuild your car to original shape brings you to about $20k value this is an avg but the extra options can add more to it.
Factory A/C add about 20% If you can find one
after mkt A/C add 15%
taking it from a 76a stand inter convert to a 76B Deluxe inter you add an avg of 10%
you said it has other options they too can add more to the value of the car. The long speedo is some thing they had used in the Falcons alot have been changed over, that I have seen to the five guage style, not something I like but to each their own. The brks add personal safety the rest of it is all up to you and your views of what you want
 

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Skip the correct date coded 289 4V, just build a good engine. Dated engines add value only to a concourse type car.

Just build what you want, its value will be about the same because most people now-a-days don't want a concourse car, and they also want many of the items you mention.

Also there is *no* way to tell exactly what a 65/66 Mustang came from the factory with unless you've got a build sheet. You can do detective work and either figure out a lot of things, or a least have a good guess, but there are no records for these cars. So generally unless it is a very rare and desireable model - with a buildsheet to prove it! - you are generally ahead just to build the car the way you want it to be.

A final note since your build date is relatively early anyone who knows much about these cars will know most of the options have been added and were not factory - so just add the ones you want.

Have fun.

John Harvey
 

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Skip the date coded 289

I would remove and replace the "elongated" dash. The GT type options you are listing meant it had a 5 gage "66" style instrument panel, and ditto with the deluxe interior. By leaving in the 65 "Falcon" style, it will severly detract from from the interior, not to mention, the dash does not come in woodgrain style.

Instead of a 289, I would go with a 5.0 engine and respective trans.
 

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ditto on the 5.0 and trans, preferrably a 5 speed and count on spending at least 20k
 

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You are taking the same route that I did on my 66 vert.
None of the modifications you propose will, IMO, adversely affect its value. You will spend a good deal of time and money on the structural items as well as the paint and body work. The other items you mentioned (interior, air, disc brakes and appearance items etc.) are easily obtained and installed.
Even though you have a small amount currently invested in this car, the restoration $$$ will add up quickly. The more that you are willing/able to take on yourself, the better you will be at containing costs.

Scott
 

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I do not mean to flame you, I am just trying to help. It would be foolish to spend a dime on a car like that IMHO. You will have a ton if money invested in time and materials just to get that body solid, and it will never be as good as a car that never had rust. Do yourself a favor and dump that rustbucket and have one shipped from the southwest. You will be at least a year and several thousand dollars ahead. Folks on this site will go look a car over for you in another state if you pay a little gas money. A few months of searching for the right car will go a long way. Here in Texas those are parts cars.

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I do not mean to flame you, I am just trying to help. It would be foolish to spend a dime on a car like that IMHO. You will have a ton if money invested in time and materials just to get that body solid, and it will never be as good as a car that never had rust. Do yourself a favor and dump that rustbucket and have one shipped from the southwest. You will be at least a year and several thousand dollars ahead. Folks on this site will go look a car over for you in another state if you pay a little gas money. A few months of searching for the right car will go a long way. Here in Texas those are parts cars.

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What he said. There's a reason you got the car so cheaply - it's because of the prohibitive restoration costs.

The body and paint will be expensive but it is just the tip of the iceberg. It sounds like you need everything - inside and out, top and bottom. To get a feel for what just the parts are going to cost you, get a Mustangs Unlimited catalog. Go through it page by page and write down the price of every part that your car needs. Use the price of the cheapest repro pieces. Add it up. If it is less than $20K I'll be shocked. And that doesn't include ANY labor or the engine and tranny.

The other problem with starting with a totally rusted basket case is the amount of effort it takes just to get the car where it is solid. A lot of people burn themselves out during this phase because the car just keeps on eating up money and time and it is still an unpainted hulk.

Get a better starting point. You'll be glad you did.
 
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