Mustang Member Story: A Showroom-Fresh GT

Larry Gross

April 17 marks 60 years since the Ford Mustang’s public debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The original pony car immediately became a pop-culture and automotive phenom, and it remains one of the most impactful cars in history. We’re celebrating with stories of the events surrounding the Mustang’s launch, the history of the early cars, and tales from owners. Click here to follow along with our multi-week 60 Years of Mustang coverage. -Ed.

In 1979, while living in Columbus, Montana, my wife and I purchased our first Mustang, a rust-free ’66, and spent several thousand dollars having it restored to show quality. The car spent many months in and out of various garages for extensive work—an engine and transmission rebuild, new brakes and fuel system, new interior, and a beautiful new paint job.

Five days after picking up the Mustang from the paint shop, our daughter was driving it to meet a bus at school when an oil truck turned left in front of her and she hit the truck broadside. Luckily, our daughter wasn’t seriously injured, but the accident totaled the Mustang.

I wanted another Mustang, so I started searching almost immediately. I looked at several 1965–67 models, and while many looked good from the outside, up on the lift I noted severe problems. I wanted a straight, rust-free original, and after nearly four months of looking, I found a 1965 GT—an original A-code with a 289 V-8 and automatic transmission. The car looked sharp in its original Springtime Yellow paint with black GT stripes.

Larry Gross 1965 Ford Mustang GT hood up at show
Larry Gross

Over next five years, we drove it periodically on sunny days, but in 1985 we relocated to northern Ohio, and I drove that ’65 across the country with no problems. In 1990, after another move, to southern Ohio, we put the Mustang in storage, driving it 100–200 miles a year just to keep it running. In 1998, those periodic drives stopped and the car sat unused until 2016, when we decided to give the Mustang to our 40-year-old son, who had wanted it for many years.

Over the next 13 months, we had the car completely restored, and today it is again a beautiful GT that looks like it just came off the showroom floor.


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