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At 16, He's the Proud Owner of a 1965 Ford Mustang

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There are those who feel that the future of classic cars is in jeopardy in the long run; to them, today’s younger generations are just not as interested in cars in general – and that includes the classics of yesteryear.

Others – and I’ll include myself in this category – are more confident that the interest will always be there. It will be different and people will be interested in other types of vehicles, but the love of the automobile is not about to go away entirely. And some young people like older cars, that's a given, whether in Canada, the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.

Former TV host and rabid car enthusiast Jay Leno doesn't think young people aren't interested in cars either. The latest episode of his Jay Leno's Garage show tells the story of 16-year-old Jack Mintz, whose personal car is a 1965 Ford Mustang.

Jay Leno met Jack Mintz at a local meet, after the ‘65 Mustang caught his eye. The story behind it was even better: the teenager bought the car when he was only 14 years old, fulfilling a long-time dream of owning a classic car. That dream came courtesy his grandparents, who owned a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera and a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.

His own Mustang is powered by a 200-cc inline 6-cylinder and a 3-speed automatic transmission. It was equipped with a "sport" steering wheel and air conditioning, which is pretty useful when using a car every day in California.

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La Ford Mustang 1965 sur la route
La Ford Mustang 1965 sur la route
The 1965 Ford Mustang, nameplate
The 1965 Ford Mustang, nameplate

The car was drivable when Jack Mintz acquired it, but it needed a lot of care. The youngster rebuilt the ignition system, but he had help from his parents with other repairs and he took some of the work to professionals.

Jack Mintz explained the body was in good shape when bought the car, but there were some rust issues that had to be dealt with, though he was adamant about keeping the original paint. He added that the interior didn't need too much work, although the speedometer and radio were replaced. A total of $12,000 went into bringing the old car up to snuff.

The beauty of this for this young man is that he will be able to enjoy his car for a long time and maintain it at a low cost. Then, when he chooses to replace it, he should be able to recover a good part of his investment, if not all of it. He can then buy another old car.

And who knows, maybe he'll still own his Ford Mustang when he retires in 50 years or so. We tend to fall in love with these little old cars.

The 1965 Ford Mustang, three-quarters front
The 1965 Ford Mustang, three-quarters front
Jack Mintz
Jack Mintz