The Mustang of many

 The story of this 1965 Mustang pretty much started around March 20, 1965 in Omaha, Nebraska for $2715.00. My mom still has the original invoice from when she ordered it new at age 19. It is kind of fun to look at as you can tell that someone had to type it out on a typewriter as some of the letters don't line up with the rest of the line typed. This is something that most young people will never see unless looking at old documents. 

This Mustang would be my mom's first car. My mom took after my grandfather on taking care of their cars. People would tell her that she was going to wash the paint off the car because she washed it so much. She said it was one of the first ones that she had seen around Omaha. 

Come 1968 and she sold it to my aunt when my mom bought a 1968 Torino. This Mustang was then my aunt's first car. My aunt would go on to keep the car for the next 18 years. During this 18 years it would travel around the US from Omaha, to Orlando, California, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and even made the trip on a boat to Germany for a year or so, since my uncle was in the Air Force and was stationed there. 

Dallas 1985 my aunt had given it to my cousin. This Mustang was then my cousin's first car. She had driven it most of her junior or senior year of high school, but had decided to get a different car since it did not have air conditioning. 

1986 my grandparents had bought it from my aunt and uncle and flew down to Dallas and drove it back up to Omaha. They drove it around Omaha for the next 4 years. In fact my grandfather had driven me out to Lake Manawa in Iowa and let me drive it around a parking lot when I was 11 or 12. 

1990 Harry, my parents and I drove up to Nebraska for our summer trip. My grandparents then gave Harry the Mustang to drive when he was 17 before his senior year. The Mustang was now Harry's first car. The Mustang then made the drive back down to Houston. My freshman year, Harry's senior year, Harry would drive us to school. Harry would go on to drive it until he graduated high school. After high school, since he was going to go to school up in Huntsville to Sam Houston for college, my parents let him drive my dad's truck to school. The truck wasn't even a year old yet, and they didn't want him driving the "old" car back and forth each weekend. 

My dad drove the Mustang for maybe a year or so. 1992-93 I was taking body shop in high school and brought the car up to the school and did a little bit of work on it. There was a little bit of rust coming through from the years from being up in Nebraska and the salt that gets put on the roads in the winters. 

In 1993 it was then my turn to drive it. The Mustang was then my first car. I would go on to drive it for the next two years. Working on it as I was driving it. In fact it has been half primer gray for almost as long as it was only Honey Gold. 

After I graduated in 1995, my job out of high school had me driving around Houston quite a bit, so until I got a new car that summer, I drove Harry's truck and Harry drove the Mustang while back from school. 

1998ish I decided to pull the engine out and rebuild it. The car still took leaded gas, and so until rebuilding it, we had to put lead additive in since leaded gas was no longer available. After rebuilding it, we took it to a mechanic to get the timing done on it. Well it sat there until at least 2000-2001. My dad drove it home and backed it into their garage. 

With absolutely no work done to it, or even the engine started in twenty years, I finally put new tires on it and had it pulled out of my parents garage and brought up to my house to start from where I left off.  I had talked about it being my son's first car, but he never really seemed to have any interest in it. 

This Mustang is a connection to my mom, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandfather, grandmother, brother and my dad. It has given me a distraction from Harry not being around. Though there are plenty of memories of him in it, I am able to sort of separate in a way since he had no interest in working on it. Everything else that I have, there are constant reminders of Harry, and I needed something else that I could spend time doing. 


  1. They sure built cars to last in those days! Good thing you can work on it yourself. I'm sure that, fully restored, it would be worth a pretty penny to a collector, if you could bear to part with it.

  2. Great story and hopefully it will stay in the family. Restored to original would add to the value. It's sad to see classics pimped out.

    1. Yeah, people ask me all the time what color I am going to paint it and if I am going to put another engine in it. Plan is to leave it original, it won't be show quality but that's ok, it's more just for me anyways. I'm sure one day it may be sold off, not sure my son has any interest in it or not. I guess we'll have to see. Maybe one day if he has a kid, maybe that one will have some sort of interest in it :)

  3. Cool car story. In our family, it was the red Torino with a black vinyl top my dad bought new in 1970. It had a 351 Cleveland in it and as such, my older brother liked it a lot, but he already had cars, being a biker and a professional mechanic, so I got it in 1980 for my 20th birthday.
    That was after my sister and I learned to drive in it and it had taken mom and dad to Oklahoma and back twice and Canada once. I drove it to the Bay Area to see concerts a few times, which is how I knew that I couldn't really afford to drive it in Oakland when Briana and I moved there in 1984.
    So I gave it to my brother to settle a minor debt, and we drove off in Briana's Datsun B-210.
    Four years later a woman ran a red light and totaled the Datsun, and my brother offered to give me the Torino again, as he was driving the 1974 F-150 four wheel drive that my dad had given him when the cab started to rust a little.
    So we rode a Greyhound to Eureka and picked it up. My dad had put new tires on it, and my brother had taken the vinyl off of the top and painted it to match the rest of the car. He was really good at that.
    I fucked that car off by letting my license lapse and getting pulled over in Berkeley by the UC cops for having my high beams on in town. The indicator light was dead, so I was unaware of my transgression.
    They impounded it and I had no money to retrieve it so I lost it.
    I saw it a year or so later parked on 25th st. under the freeway. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still out there driving around.
    That Torino was the only car I ever owned that I got to drive. I've owned two cars since, both of which were after my stroke and the loss of my license.
    I did the driving evaluation at the stroke rehab place, and did OK, so I could probably get my license again if I really wanted to, and I have actually driven Briana's car a few times when she couldn't and we needed to go places, but I'm 60 years old and don't miss driving enough to jump through the hoops at the DMV.
    That car was a thread that wound through parts of my family like your Mustang, and as of right now, I am the only one in the story still alive. Wait, that's not true, my sister is still alive, but she never actually owned the Torino, she just learned to drive in it.

    -Doug in Sugar Pine

    1. It's cool that you have a story like that also! My mom had bought a 68 Torino, which is why she had sold the Mustang to my aunt then. All the men in my family that had worked on the car other than my dad and myself are not around anymore, so some questions I have, I can't ask anymore. Like I had pulled the carpet out 20 or so years ago, and didn't save any of it, now I am trying to figure what color the carpet was as the color wasn't one of the most popular colors, and with how they did things then, not all the interior colors are the same.
      Harry just drove it though, he had no interest in working on it. In fact, after the 900 mile from Omaha to Houston, my dad jacked up the front end and one of the tie rods just fell apart. Harry came out and got mad at my dad saying why didn't he just leave it alone.


  4. Replies
    1. Yup, he turned 17 in May.
      Harry had a few suggested names to name him before he was born. He always liked names, I was never good at naming things. My stuffed animal names were pretty basic as a kid, the little bear I had was Beary, the big bear was named Big Bear, the clown was Clowny. Harry had a frog named Hopkins, I cant remember any other at the moment.

  5. Mustang is always a classic! Love it!

  6. Props for feeling the respect due. S'more than just a snazzy machine.
    Live Large,
    bj in TN

  7. Thanks for sharing this story about Harry's car. I hope your son changes his mind--if my dad had told me he was restoring a Mustang for me, I would have been thrilled beyond belief!


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