Home Car Stories One Family 1965 FORD Mustang Fastback- Robert Emerson
1965 FORD Mustang Fastback- Robert Emerson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 15:17

1965 FORD Mustang Fastback- Robert Emerson


Writing copyright D. S. Brown, photography copyright Robert T Emerson

65 mustang bob kentucky side

The Mustang was introduced April 17, 1964 as a 1965 model year car. The instant explosion in popularity created record sales for Ford. The Mustang could be ordered as a bare bones economy car but even in that state it was a great looking car with standard full size hubcaps, bucket seats, and 3 spoke sporty steering wheel.

On August 17, 1964 the Mustang got even better with the introduction of the 2 + 2 fastback model which looked like it was going 100 MPH even when parked. The fastback inspired even more sales, although it never approached the tsunami of sales the regular hardtop coupe posted. For the 1965 model year 409,260 coupes were built, 73,112 convertibles and 77,079 fastbacks. One of the things about the standard Mustang coupe which created such universal appeal was that it offered sporty looks without any sacrifice in initial cost or utility- for a compact car it offered decent interior space and good driver visibility.

The person who bought the fastback usually had a stronger dedication to performance and was willing to pay more for the fastback body which in bare bones form cost $2,589.00 versus $2,372.00 for a basic coupe. The fastback also weighed more at 2,515 pounds in base form versus 2,465 pounds for the coupe. The larger rear glass plus more metal in the trailing roof lines added the weight. This was perfectly acceptable to the performance buyer because all the extra weight was placed over the rear wheels which aided traction. The fastback owner also had to deal with restricted rear vision and marginal rear headroom. Rear seating was of minimal concern to the performance buyer because he was typically a young male with either no kids or very young kids.

Two brothers from a town named Liberty in Casey County. Kentucky fit the profile of the typical Mustang Fastback customer. They were both young males who loved high performance cars. The brothers each bought a 1965 Mustang fastback at the same time. Robert Emerson was a 20 year old male with a young son when he bought a Silversmoke Gray car from a dealership in Russell Springs, Kentucky. Bobby's brother Melvin Emerson bought a green car at the dealership in Liberty Kentucky. Robert and another of his brothers poses with his Mustang in the photo below.

65 mustang bob kentucky brothers and car

In the photo above note that Bobby's Mustang has now acquired some mags and larger rear tires. Bobby is on the right in the white shirt. To his left stands another of his brothers, Rick.

Although he was living in Liberty, Kentucky, Bobby ordered his Mustang from a nearby dealership in the town of Russell Springs, Kentucky. After all these years he can't remember the dealer name. He does recall that there was someone there by the name of Lewis Jones. Unfortunately that is all he remembers about the sale other than the date the car was picked up. It was easy to remember the delivery date because Bobby picked up his new Mustang on his son Robert's 3rd birthday March 10, 1965.

Bobby's Silversmoke Gray 1965 Mustang fastback was ordered with a 289 engine with 4 barrel carburetor and 4 speed manual transmission. He specified a black interior. Bobby's brother Melvin Emerson bought the same fastback model of 1965 Mustang but his car was green.

65 mustang bob kentucky warranty card

Bobby's warranty card provides a summary of his Mustang:

VIN 5F09A651323

5= 1965 Model year

F= Dearborn, Michigan final assembly plant

09= Fastback bodystyle

A= 289- 4 barrel engine

651323= Sequential number

Some of the codes below the VIN are decoded:

K= Silversmoke Gray

2= Black interior

02Q= March 2, 1965

1      5

11     65    36580   0

Bobby and Melvin went together to the races with their matched fastbacks. The 2 brothers actually lined up side by side for a race in 1965 at Beech Bend drag way in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bobby's son Robert states,

"I would give anything to have a picture of both cars side by side in 1965 at Beech Bend."

The Mustang served primarily as a daily driver with some forays over to Beech Bend on occasion. Bobby's Mustang was in daily use for 13 years before being parked. The last time it was plated during Bobby's ownership was in 1978. The Mustang sat for the next 14 years.

It seems fortuitous that Bobby took delivery of his Mustang on his son Robert's birthday because now Robert owns the car! Robert purchased the car from his Dad in 1992. He recalls,

"The car was in very bad shape. Dad had blown up the original 289. The original block was somewhere out of State. The frame rails were gone. The fenders, quarters were all rusted away. I didn't care. I still wanted the car "

The tiny image below is of Robert loading up the Mustang in Liberty, Kentucky after he bought it from his dad, Bobby. Robert's son is in the foreground.

65 mustang fastback bob kentucky 1992

Robert changed directions with the rebirth of the Mustang over a 6 year build period. Robert wanted to drag race the car. The body is original looking except for the hood. The Mustang is still street legal. Beneath the skin it's a completely new car with a 466 cubic inch Ford engine with nitrous. The old 4 speed is gone. It now has an automatic C-6 reverse shift pattern transmission and 9 inch Ford 4.56:1 axle and spool. Robert installed adjustable coil overs on all corners.

Robert has returned to Beech Bend Raceway Park with the car to the same strip where his Dad and Uncle  took their fastbacks to drag race back in 1965. Beech Bend is located at 798 Beech Bend Road and is named for the Beech trees on the property. The facility has an oval track, drag strip, camping spots and amusement park. Robert has run the Mustang at that track many times since rebuilding the car. His best time is a 10.70 second quarter mile while foot braking the car. The photo below is of Robert and his dad Bobby with the Mustang after it was refurbished.

65 mustang bob kentucky with son rob at track

Robert is very excited about his new car and would love to discover the name of the original dealership and perhaps find some memorabilia from the dealer.

If any of our readers recall the two Emerson brothers buying their matching Mustangs Robert would greatly appreciate learning about the dealership Bobby's Silversmoke Gray Mustang originated from. Readers are invited to drop a line to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 April 2015 10:01 )