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Old Ford Mustang bodies are new again (copyright image)

Matt Patrias and Ed Orzechowski adjust the driver’s door on the new Ford-licenced 1965 Mustang convertible body shell. The new shell is made from high-quality, automotive-grade steel that is better than the original and features modern welding techniques. It made its debut on 1st November at the SEMA show in Las Vegas (USA).

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9th November, 2011

It’s a classic car enthusiast’s dream come true: Now it is possible to build a '64˝, '65 or '66 Mustang convertible from the wheels up using the all-new Ford-approved and officially licenced body shell.

The body shell for the original Mustang convertible, now in production and available in USA for restorers as a Ford-licenced 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 licencing manager. “Most of the original Mustangs left in scrap-yards are rusted or wrecked beyond repair. The new body shell is made of virgin metal and uses modern welding techniques. It comes rust-proofed, 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 in USA from Ford-approved classic parts suppliers.

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.

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“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 boot lid and all the sheet metal from the radiator support to the taillight panel except the bonnet and front mudguards. Those items are available separately. The ’65 Mustang body shell starts at approximately $15,000 (USD).

America’s enthusiasm with the original Ford 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 post-war era.

The new body shell can be made into a 1964˝, 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 displayed a new 1965 Mustang body shell, last week, at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA). It was alongside a restored 1965 convertible to demonstrate the high quality of the assembly.


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