25 Greatest Mustangs: 1965 Hi-Po 289

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Neil Jamieson

Carroll Shelby famously called the first Mustang a secretary’s car. But the introduction of the K-code Hi-Po 289 and then the fastback gave him something to work with.

Rated 271 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 312 lb-ft of torque at 3400 rpm, the solid-lifter engine had been around since 1963, featuring 10.5:1 compression, a 600-cfm four-barrel carburetor, and a dual-point distributor. A $327.92 option, it was offered in all three body styles and remained the ­Mustang’s hottest engine until 1967. With Ford’s Toploader four-speed, this was the first performance Mustang, doing the quarter-mile in 14.7 seconds at 95 mph. Just 7273 were built in ’65.

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared as part of the 25 Greatest Mustangs cover story in the July/August issue of Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. You can find the other entries here.]

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