Ponying up

A pair of '65 ragtops are just enough for this loyal Mustang fan.
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Arlington, Mass., resident David Hajian has had at least one
1965 Mustang convertible for the past 30 years, including a
a Twilight Turquoise example (top) and a Caspian Blue GT.

Like most other pony car fanatics, David Hajian could probably name a myriad of reasons why is is so fond of first-generation Mustangs.

Great, sporty styling. Availability. Variety. Mystique. Cool Factor.

There’s probably as many reasons to own an early Mustang as there are cars and owners. But Hajian points to a trait that might not be so obvious. “They’re just great cars to work on,” he said. “There’s no electronics. Everything is mechanical and you can really figure things out.”
Of course, if you favor convertibles, as Hajian has for the past 30 years, there are some other obvious perks as well. “I guess there is nothing like putting the top down on a nice day and going for a drive,” added Hajian, a resident of Arlington, Mass. “Unfortunately, living in New England, you can only do that for part of the year.”

But Hajian, an architect by trade and Mustang hobbyist and married father of two, is used to waiting for sunny days so he can drop the tops on his two convertible pony cars — he’s been doing it a long time. He bought his first 1965 Mustang convertible right after college, and he’s had at least one ever since. For the past five years he’s had two droptop ’65s, and his stable grew to as many as three at one point. “I’ve only had three, and for a while I had them all, and my significant other [Mary] wasn’t too happy about that,” Hajian laughs. “I can’t have any more. Three was too many.”

But two seems to be just about the right number, and Hajian is plenty fond of both of his 44-year-old Fords. He bought his Twilight Turquoise car about 10 years ago for a seller in California. “It came from Sacramento. It was a San Jose [built] car,” he said. “I was looking for a convertible. Well, like most car guys, you might still be looking, even if you are not in the market for a car… I was just struck by the color of this one. I started to learn more about the color — it’s just not a color you see that often — and that was sort of the push that I needed.”

What Hajian got was a well-preserved “driver” that had been used frequently by previous owners but was not driven into the ground and still had plenty of potential. “I learned a little history on the car, and found out it had been in a garage adjacent to a car that had caught fire,” he said. “I’ve always noticed that the chrome had a slight coloring to it that I never could understand, but that helped explain a couple of things.

“[The previous owner] had it restored, but not fully. I’ve re-done a lot of the interior stuff and some of the engine components. I had it repainted and replaced some things, like the seat cushions, the vinyl … I’ve basically repainted the whole car.”

The “teal” car, as Hajian calls it, has the optional 289-cid, two-barrel “C-code” engine, which produces 200 horsepower.

If Hajian wants to travel in more muscular style, he can jump into his Caspian Blue ’65 Mustang GT, which he picked up about five years ago.

“I bought it with the idea that I could fix it up a little bit and sell it, but now, hopefully not,” he said. “I had always been keeping an eye out for a Caspian car, and this was an ‘A-Code’ engine, which has the four-barrel. All I need now is a ‘K-Code” [a rare hi-po model], but that might be a little out of my range!”

As was the case with his Twilight Turquoise car, the darker blue ’65 has grown on its current owner to the point that it might be around for the long haul. “It definitely is a bit of a brute in terms of power. You can really tell the difference between the two-barrel and the four-barrel,” Hajian said. “It needs more work than the other one. In fact, I’m meeting someone next week to look at the exhaust system. But it’s pretty much all original. It has been repainted at least once, but I am trying not to replace anything.”

Both of his current Mustangs are significant leaps forward from his first pony car, which he held onto for about 20 years before selling it to make room for another. “My first one I bought just out of school and the brakes were in the back seat — it was one of those,” Hajian said. “I had to tow it. My apartment mates were not happy seeing that car show up. Nobody could drive it.”

“I was sad to see that go, but it was also an automatic and a six-cylinder, and the others now are manuals and V-8s, which is what I wanted.”
Ford cranked out a total of 559,451 Mustangs for model year 1965, including 73,112 convertibles.

After a hugely successful debut in 1965, the Mustang did get a few upgrades and a few more option choices for its sophomore year. Front disc brakes were one new option. So was the GT package, with racing stripes as a standard, but deletable, feature. The standard equipment list for 1965 also included a heater and defroster; dual sun visors; Sports-type front bumpers; full wheel covers; vinyl upholstery; seat belts; padded instrument panel; automatic courtesy lights; cigarette lighter; front and rear carpets; foam-padded front bucket seats; self-adjusting brakes; Sports steering wheel; and five 6.50 x 13 four-ply tubeless black sidewall tires.

Certainly, the “Gen I” Mustangs are among the most popular of all hobby cars, and the Hajian clan has all become card-carrying members of the Mustang nation. If David’s children Isabel, 12, and Caleb, 9, get their way, he may eventually be handing over the keys to his beloved ’65s, but at least they will stay in the family. “Yeah, the issue now is I have two Mustangs and two kids, and they’ve both claimed one,” he laughed. “My son wants the blue one, and my daughter wants the green one.

“It’s really become a family thing for us. We go to quite a few car shows in the summer months… If you have young children, it’s a great way to bring them into the fold, so to speak. Both my daughter and son are interested in cars, now.

“I do get a little bit of grief in the winter months, when my wife’s car is out in the driveway in the snow. We have a deal, I have to keep [the driveway] clear, and the Mustangs get the garage.

“But, come on, that’s so worth it!”


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