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Type 65 Coupe - Design

Much better than it ever was

The Type 65 Coupe was the second chassis kit that Factory Five designed. As soon as production had begun on the roadster, we started looking for the next kit to design and engineer. Like the original race teams of the 60’s we needed a hardtop that would give us a cleaner aerodynamic edge at the track (and a more usable car on the street!). From a replica standpoint, the Coupe was the next logical car to add to our growing vintage product line. The car also fit well with our company philosophy of racing-inspired design, pure performance and real value.

In 1997 we started to work in earnest on the car. The first prototype was completed in the spring of 2000 and production of chassis kits began shipping in September of the same year.

We designed the Coupe to be similar in construction and kit content to our best selling roadster. The Coupe has an aluminum and steel chassis with a composite body shell. Although the frame is similar in design (base 4” round tube design) to the roadster, it has been modified to a longer 95” wheelbase and incorporates a central backbone and full roll cage standard.

Like the roadster kit, the Type 65 kit is available as a base kit (donor Mustang capable) or a complete kit. The innovation of using running gear from a modern donor vehicle, namely the high performance Mustang, is a solid way to keep build costs down without losing quality. The complete kit gives you the convenience of all new parts without the headache sourcing donor parts.

When you’ve looked at this kit and car up close, you might find that the Factory Five Coupe has evolved to become more than a replica… The variety and custom designs of the more than 500 Coupes we’ve sold is stunning. The car is a beautiful combination, keeping the best parts of the 1965 legend, and using technology to leave the rest behind.

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    Frame / Chassis

    Authentic Design/Modern Engineering

    The Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe frame is the heart of the kit. It is computer designed to be extremely strong yet maintain the beauty and elegance of early 1960s race car frame designs. The frame weighs about 300 lbs. and is shipped as part of an assembled chassis kit, ready to accept bolt-on components. The frame is a completely welded assembly and is delivered in bare steel or with an optional gloss black powdercoating.

    • Integrated 6-point Roll Cage with Cross-Bar.
    • Front nose, doors and rear hatch all hinge from frame, NOT fiberglass body.
    • Front X-member not as shown. Current revision is a more elegant round tubing design.
    • Convenient tow strap hook and safety skid plates
    • Each of the six original Coupes were built on vintage AC chassis. Racing rules changed at the end of the 1964 season to allow for the “modification” of the exterior body shape, while using the same frame/chassis of an existing homologated design. Just like the original, we too built our Coupe upon the strong foundation of a modified Mk3 chassis.
    • Period correct 4″ round tube with increased 0.120″ wall DOM main rails (up from 0.095″ in original cars).
    • Integrated 6-point Roll Cage with Cross-Bar.
    • Front and rear energy absorbing crumple zones help protect occupants.
    • Harness mounts to round tubing behind the shoulders and to welded-in 3/16″ plate steel mounts on the floors.
    • Tubular steel backbone structure increases rigidity, just one way we make our frame stronger and more rigid than the original.
    • NASA and SCCA Racing derived footbox protection and cockpit steel surround.
    • Pre-welded suspension, engine and transmission mount points for bolt-on components.
    • To make a better frame, you need to start with better materials. In the Coupe we use certified materials. Plate steel is laser-cut type A-36. Round tubing is DOM (drawn over mandrel). All tubing is high quality mild carbon steel.
    • In-house manufacturing controls help maintain quality and reproducibility. For example, our welders all use the same Millermatic™ 250 MIG welding machines. Standardized equipment is part of a comprehensive quality manufacturing program.

    The frame is designed right, made with the right materials, and manufactured in a way that assures quality and safety. The Factory Five Type 65 Coupe is made in the same facility and by the same people who make the roadster chassis parts. We’ve successfully built over 6,000 roadster frames and over 500 Coupe frames. Let’s take a hard look at HOW we have accomplished this.


    To make a better frame you need to start with better materials. In the Coupe, like the roadster, we use certified materials. Plate steel is type A-36. All round tubing is 1018-1020 DOM (drawn over mandrel). Higher quality steel is easier to weld, stronger, and comes in tighter tolerances.

    We’ve taken important steps to make sure that each frame is made right. We use complex computer-designed frame jigs to weld each frame and ensure consistency and fitment.

    In addition to accurate tooling, we have developed in-house manufacturing controls to help maintain quality, reproducibility and reliability. For example, our welders all use the same MillermaticÔ 250 MIG welding machines. By keeping our equipment and settings standardized we can maintain better weld consistency.

    We perform regular cross-training on manufacturing team members and our crew has established QC procedures to make sure each frame, component or assembly is done right. Before your frame goes to chassis assembly it has already passed three separate Quality Control inspections.

    Our welded parts are made in the USA with American labor. We make each Coupe frame by hand, one at a time. The end result of all this work is a frame that is made right, with the right materials and in the right way.

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    Chassis Assembly

    Aluminum Under Glass

    The Factory Five Type 65 Coupe is built like a proper race car. Instead of using kit-car style fiberglass for the cockpit, trunk and foot boxes, we followed in the tradition of real racecar builders and used aluminum and steel.

    The aluminum chassis panels on our Coupe, like our Roadster, are one of the major design and functional differences between us and almost all of the other replicas out there today. It is a design based firmly on CAD/CAM technologies and incorporates the superior construction methods of modern auto racing and aerospace industries.

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    Composite Body

    Hand Laid Construction, Period Correct Shape

    The Coupe’s composite nose and main body sections are one-piece, hand-laid vinylester components that are a true replica of the original shape. The body shell is laminated to a thickness of 3/16” all around with a 0.015” red gel coat outer finish, and it mounts securely over the rigid steel and aluminum chassis which provides the structural support. Doors are also hand-laid parts that mount on tubular steel frames, hinged directly to the chassis.

    Coupe body shells are shipped pre-assembled to the frame. The parts are unfinished (taken right out of the mold and requiring bodywork). All Factory Five kits use rotor-trimmed panels instead of molded edges. This eliminates air voids on tight radius areas and enables us to make close fits around all hood, door and trunk panels.

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    Suspension & Brakes

    Build a Car That is Flat Out Faster Than the 1965 World Championship Racer

    The Factory Five Type 65 Coupe benefits from the same chassis and suspension technology as our Mk4 Roadster and our Challenge Series Racers. The car benefits from a longer wheel base and simply handles great.

    Front Suspension Base Kit

    • Fully independent front suspension utilizing unequal length upper and lower a-arms
    • High-end Koni mono-tube adjustable coil-over rod-end shocks
    • Uses donor Mustang front lower arms, spindles, and brakes
    • Optional tubular steel lower control arms

    Front Suspension Complete Kit

    The Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe complete kit includes the entire front suspension assembly and Ford brakes.
    Includes Ford GT brakes with 11” rotors, twin piston calipers, and stainless steel brake lines, fittings, and fasteners
    Includes brand-new spindles and tubular control arms


    Rear end and brakes can be used from a Mustang donor car. We also sell brand new 8.8” Ford rear ends with Mustang brake kits. We offer an optional Halibrand replica wheel that is affordably priced and in the correct sizes/backspaces to work with our car.

    Rear Suspension

    The Type 65 Coupe Coupe Chassis Kit is delivered ready to accept bolt-on rear suspension components in one of three (3) rear suspension configurations:

    1. Four Link Rear Suspension
      Our standard 4-link suspension comes with custom anti-squat geometry and ready to accept Ford Mustang 8.8” solid axle donor rear suspension parts. About half of FFR Coupe kits are shipped with the affordable standard 4-link rear suspension, which is a great performance street car suspension.
    2. Three Link Rear Suspension
      The upgraded 3-link rear suspension is standard in Type 65 Coupe complete kits and all FFR Challenge Series cars. It includes the frame brackets, panhard rod, control arms, coil-over shocks and springs. Recognized as a proven and worthy upgrade to the standard Mustang 4-link, this suspension eliminates any bind and provides an amazingly predictable ride at the track or on the street.
    3. Independent Rear Suspension
      Our Independent Rear Suspension upgrade is designed for those looking for the most comfort and authenticity, and can be added to either the base or the complete kit. It includes a welded-in cage, upper and lower tubular control arms, high-end Koni mono-tube rod-end coil-over shocks (matched to the fronts), and custom assembled axles and CV joints. The IRS option for the Type 65 Coupe kit requires the 8.8” center section (from a 1989-1997 Ford Thunderbird), rear spindles, and brakes.
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    Running Gear

    Tough Ford Racing Parts.

    Engine bay and deck height limit engine selection to Ford small blocks (289, 302, 351, 392 etc). It’s important when taking on this project to decide on an engine and transmission configuration that will deliver the power you need and is within your budget. The kit comes ready to accept the Ford Small block 289, 302 or 351 engines.


    The Coupe kit is ready to accept a wide number of Ford and many aftermarket transmissions. While there is plenty of room in the transmission tunnel for older set-ups, we still prefer sticking with the newer running gear for affordability and durability. The stock Mustang transmission is either a T-5, T-45 or 3650. We have run T-5’s in our race cars for years with excellent results. Most racers choose the Tremec TKO transmission and dual plate clutch.

    Rear Ends and Gearing

    The base kit requires you to use a rear end from either a 1987-1993 Ford Mustang, or source your T-bird rear-end for the optional IRS. The complete kit delivers your Coupe with the entire FFR three-link suspension.

    Headers and Exhaust Parts

    The kit exhaust parts are assembled and ready to bolt on, with all fasteners and gaskets. The base kit comes with 302 or 351 headers, gaskets, fasteners and a pair of dual side exhaust units. The side exhaust matches the look of original vintage cars.

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    All Business at the Helm

    The Coupe interior was designed to capture the essence of the original car, yet improve on things like ergonomics, cockpit space, and sound/heat management. We kept the interior period correct and functional like its forbearer, however we designed in modern comfort and controls like supportive seating, air conditioning, and improved visibility. All these things combine to enhance the driving experience rather than affect it.

    The kit comes with a complete interior and include quality items like the original style bucket seats. Vintage details abound, like our beautiful wood and aluminum steering wheel and safety items like the heart-attack serious race-cage, and five point racing harnesses for passenger and driver round out a nice package.

    • Authentic design Coupe bucket seats, black vinyl with fasteners
    • 5-point Simpson Brand harnesses
    • Steel inner door frames and door handles, hinges, latches and leather check straps
    • Emergency brake boot, black vinyl
    • High-quality fabric headliner
    • Authentic interior rear view mirror with fasteners
    • 7 piece electronic gauge assembly
    • Stainless steel shifter handle, shift knob, boot, polished ring and fasteners
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    Period Correct Details

    The Coupe is an extremely unique design and car. The need for authenticity makes the exterior components and trim even more important. When you look closely, you’ll find that our Coupe stays faithful to the original car from the main body shape all the way down to the smallest of details.

    The body shape and style was an accident … a lucky one. We started out to make an authentic 90” wheelbase Coupe, using our Roadster chassis and pick-up points for reference. That first 90” wheelbase prototype was simply too small. So we made the difficult decision to increase the vehicle dimensions. But we didn’t simply stretch the wheelbase, rather we enlarged the entire vehicle about 6% to maintain proper scale. The result was a jawdropper!

    The truth is the car simply looks right. It looks better than the original car and it’s also sleeker and more attractive than any of the three or four replicas out there that all seem to miss the mark by some distance… we nailed it.
    Authentic body style with original design nose/radiator vent, hood bulge, rear brake ducts and radical angled ear clip.

    • Hand-laid vinylester composite body complete with hinged doors and front hinged nose. Lamination thickness is approx. 3/16” all around with .015” coat of sandable black gel coat outer finish.
    • Original British style lighting package includes headlamps with small amber turn signals, front fog lamps, Lucas twin filament red tail-lamps, and license plate bracket/light.
    • Modern DOT safety glass front windshield and rear hatch.
    • Lexan sliding side windows, rear quarter windows, and metal framed and hinged rear glass hatch.
    • Original chrome “Bullet style” racing mirror and windshield mounted rear view mirror
    • Authentic and functional aero parts include set of the original style air scoops, brake ducts, mesh, and rear spoiler.
    • Externally mounted and shielded fuel tank with internal fuel pump shut-off switch.
    • High quality hood hinge with hydraulic piston supports, chromed vintage side bonnet latches and DOT approved door latches.
    • Side louvers and rear brake vent mesh.
    • Wheels/Tires: wide variety of vintage and modern wheels are available. Optional 15” pin drive FIA style wheels shown.
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    The Hard Numbers

    On September 17th, 2008, a Factory Five Type 65 Coupe broke the World Land Speed Record for Class C Blown Modified Sports at 216.9 MPH.

    The Coupe backs up its dramatic good looks with performance to match. A modestly built Factory Five Coupe powered by a 345 HP Ford Racing 302 crate engine will sprint to 60 mph in less than four seconds! It will also out-brake a Ford GT and out-handle a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera. Build a car that can win at Le Mans!

    Back in 2000, Car & Driver Magazine tested one of our first Coupes. The test car was built for just under $40,000. The car ran 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and sprinted to the ¼ mile in 11.9 seconds.

    “The phrase eye-ball sucking performance is a tired, overused metaphor, but it should have been saved for the FFR Coupe. Galloping to 60 mph takes only 3.6 seconds. Bye Bye Porsche 911 Turbo! The quarter mile passes in only 11.9 seconds at 119 mph, faster than a Viper GTS!…”

    Car and Driver Magazine

    Configuration – V-8 iron block aluminum heads
    Displacement – 302 CID / 4942 cc
    Maximum Horsepower – 345 @ 5800 rpm
    Maximum Torque – 330 @ 4500 rpm
    Redline – 6000 rpm

    Transmission – Tremec TKO 5 speed manual
    Final drive ratio – 3.27:1 limited slip

    Front Suspension Type – Independent double arm
    Rear Suspension Type – Solid Axle FFR 3-Link Rear suspension
    Shock-Springs – Koni™ mono-tube dampers
    Steering – Power assisted rack & pinion
    Brakes – Mustang GT 11″/11.65″ rear
    Wheels – 18″ and 19″ Ford GT Rims
    Tires – Michelin Pilot Sport 245/35ZR18 front, 315/35ZR19 rear

    Weight – 2400 lbs.
    Weight Distribution F/R – 43/57 (%)
    Wheelbase – 95 in.
    Overall length – 173 in.
    Track F/R – 58.5 in./60 in.
    Overall height – 46.5 in.
    Ground clearance – 4.5 in.

    Layout – Front/mid engine RWD Coupe
    Frame – Twin tube frame with cage
    Roll cage – 6 point SCCA designed competition cage with roof halo integral to frame
    Sub-structure – Aluminum panels bonded/riveted
    Restraint System – 5 Point Simpson Harness

    Acceleration, 0-60 mph – 3.6 seconds
    Quarter mile time/speed – 12 seconds @ 115 mph
    Road Holding Lateral G – 1.05G
    Braking 70-0mph – 112 feet
    Top Speed – Above 150 mph

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    We have a Crash Program for Driver Safety!

    We race cars. That means we understand that our equipment is sometimes the only thing that stands between ourselves and serious injury. Every single Factory Five Type 65 kit is built with safety in mind and the knowledge that each chassis will carry a person whom is loved by someone, and whose value exceeds all financial measure.

    There are no guarantees in racing, and there are inherent risks in building and driving your own car. We’ve done everything we can to build a safe design. Compared to the original cars, these modern kits are many times safer. Here are some features we’ve added.

    • 3” Simpson brand, full racing H-harness for driver and passenger.
    • Externally mounted and shielded fuel tank with fuel pump impact shut-off switch (from the – Mustang donor).
    • Side impact bars and beefy plate steel hinges with A-36 3/16” thick steel door hinge. – – Frame mounted doors.
    • Collapsible steering column (similar to Mustang).
    • Front and rear energy absorbing crush zones.
    • Energy absorbing tubular steel frame and aluminum chassis panels (not fiberglass).
    • Manufacturing controls that maintain high degree of consistency in welding and fabrication.
    • SCCA derived footbox steel tubing protection and cockpit steel surround structure.
    • Vintage components that are individually FMVSS compliant (ie. lighting, carpets, seating material, safety glass etc)
    • Low vehicle center of gravity and balanced 45% – 55% weight distribution.