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Great advice with some good options to think over. If this were my dad's car and being all original 65 2+2, I would keep it as original as possible. Replace the single "jelly jar" master cylinder with a dual master cylinder for safety. I would replace all the suspension with available new 6cyl parts. I would not move to V8 5 lug spindles or suspension. Drum brakes work fine as long as they are installed and adjusted correctly. My 67 289 stops fine with the four drums though it has power brakes and its a cruiser not a racer. I would rebuild the brakes on all four: shoes, wheel cylinders, springs and rubber brake lines.

Install a larger sway bar, solid export brace and maybe a monte carlo bar. All this should be within your budget. Then drive and enjoy it, go out cruising, carshows, etc.
 

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If it's all original I'd leave as is except for standard maintenance repairs. When rebuilding the stock brakes I'd go with Porterfield R4-S brake shoes which will stop the car about 20 maybe 25 percent better. Their rear brake shoes would only add 5-10 percent more.

I have a convertible 66 going on 35 years and I've kept it mostly stock. I've driven it for years and years in extremely dense Los Angeles traffic. I spend my money on keeping the car up to snuff. I even kept the single jar master cylinder with power brakes but made sure all rubber brake hoses and other brake parts are kept in perfect condition and periodically check for leaks and repair right away.
 

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1966 6cyl fastback,
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Lots of great advice. Thank you ! We will be doing the work ourselves and enjoy that part of it having owned and worked on family vehicles for decades. We will definitely be keeping it so that it can be returned to bone stock. Need to meet with my brother to decide which way to go. Don't be surprised if we ask a lot of questions!
 
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