Jay Leno checks out a restored Ford Mustang K-Code

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Earlier than the Shelbys and Bosses arrived, the Ford Mustang Ok-Code was the height of pony automotive efficiency. On this episode of Jay Leno’s Storage, Mustang fanatic Scott McMullen explains the importance of the Ok-Code, and reveals off this restored first-year instance.

The Ok-Code went on sale together with the Mustang itself within the 1964 calendar 12 months, however later sufficient that the primary automobiles had been registered as 1965 fashions, which is why you’ll hear the convertible proven on this video and different first-year Mustangs known as “1964 1/2” fashions. Ford supplied the Ok-Code choice for each the coupe and convertible physique kinds, in addition to the fastback when that physique type arrived later in 1964.

1964 1/2 Ford Mustang Ok-Code convertible on Jay Leno’s Storage

Choosing the Ok-Code choice netted a sportier model of the Mustang’s elective 289-cubic-inch V-8, boasting a ten.5:1 compression ratio, a solid-lifter camshaft, four-barrel carburetor, heavy-duty valve springs, and a high-flow exhaust manifold. These elements upped output to 271 hp, which is shipped to the rear-wheels by way of a 4-speed handbook transmission with the identical ratios used within the later Mustang Shelby GT350.

Ford made some suspension adjustments as effectively, with enter from racing legend Dan Gurney. Apparently, after driving prototypes, Gurney most popular the heavier, less-rigid Mustang convertible to the coupe, in response to McMullen. That’s as a result of added bracing (sourced from the Thunderbird) gave the convertible a decrease middle of gravity. 

The Ok-Code was a real sleeper, with the primary giveaway being “Excessive Efficiency 289” badges on the entrance fenders. Ford hadn’t totally dedicated to advertising and marketing the Mustang as a efficiency automotive when it was launched. That will come later when govt Lee Iacocca introduced in Carroll Shelby to create the GT350, which might be adopted by a critical of ever extra muscular Mustangs, such because the Shelby GT500 and Boss 429, by way of the tip of the Sixties.

The automotive proven right here is among the many first manufacturing Ok-Code Mustangs. It was in-built June 1964 following a number of delays associated to elements points and different elements, McMullen says within the video. It’s been restored as near unique situation as doable. Some physique panels wanted to get replaced, however McMullen consulted with the unique proprietor on all the particulars, and even tried to not overdo the paint end past manufacturing facility high quality, so it’s the proper instructing device for an vital a part of Mustang historical past.

This text was initially printed by Motor Authority, an editorial companion of ClassicCars.com

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