The genesis for the line of tuned Ford Mustangs that followed was the early production 289 High Performance (Hi-Po) Mustang. This was the car that Carroll Shelby took and rebadged as the GT350. Only 535 of these early K-Code cars were produced with many destined for Shelby's Los Angeles workshops. These early cars were produced with performance in mind with the Hi-Po 289 engine, no power steering, revised suspension and optional front discs. For only six months of production in 1965 these K-Code cars were equipped with Arvinode exhausts to enhance performance and give a distinctive note. Only one per cent of Mustangs produced in 1965 were 289 Hi-Po examples, making it a very rare car before the marketing department realised the potential of badging it as a GT.
The example offered here is a February 19th 1965 registered Ford Mustang K-code Hi-Po finished to the most exacting standards. Possibly the finest early correct example available worldwide, all tuned Mustangs, even today, can trace their DNA back to this car.
Purchased by our UK vendor three years ago in the United States, the restoration was carried out by renowned Mustang expert and MCA judge Denis Frances Resto's of Danville Virginia. It was subject to a bare metal rotisserie restoration with the brief to make it as per factory production line including factory overspray detail and crayon marks. Finished in Caspian Blue and Black interior with Carlite factory tint glass, it is faithful to the original specification and retains its original door plate.
This Mustang has its original V8 289 Hi-Po engine as fitted to the Shelby GT350. This was rebuilt at the same time as the restoration at a cost of $7,000 by a top US engine builder and has travelled just 300 miles since. The four speed ‘toploader' manual gearbox was also rebuilt at the time. The full specification includes black Decor seats, 9 inch differential, front discs with dual master cylinder, date correct seat belts and new correct steel wheels. It also sports reproduced Arvinode exhausts.
This Mustang really is as good as it gets and could easily grace the best collections in the world. The Mustang is probably the most iconic American car of all time and this is the car that spawned the famous tuned derivatives. It is simply stunning with an exhaust note that mesmerises in equal measure.