Panoz built the car to be a thoroughly modern Mustang with retro style.

It’s not hard to find a buyer for a 1965 Ford Mustang. Add in a Hollywood connection and it gets easier, not to mention more expensive. Make it an epic restomod, and you have a hat trick for mega auction success. That’s exactly what we have here in this very clean first-gen ‘Stang that brought a whopping $166,000 on Bring a Trailer.

As you’ve no doubt surmised, it’s not remotely close to being stock. It was built by Panoz back in the late 2000s for Hollywood actor and accomplished race car driver Patrick Dempsey, and no expense was spared. The classic car is infused with modern components found in the then-new fifth-generation S197 Mustang, and the previous-generation SN95. The engine and transmission will be familiar to fans of the 2003-2004 “Terminator” SVT Cobra – it’s the supercharged 4.6-liter DOHC V8 connected to a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual. With a cold-air intake and a tune, the mill is said to develop 420 horsepower.

Other Cobra components are found throughout the car, including window switches, gauges, climate control dials, and underneath it rides on Cobra front suspension with upgraded Cobra brakes. The rear, however, nixes the Cobra’s independent suspension for an S197-spec solid axle. A custom interior and widebody tweaks to the exterior round out the upgrades, or rather, the upgrades you can see.

Gallery: Patrick Dempsey 1965 Ford Mustang Restomod BaT

Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

The restomod treatment also includes significant structural upgrades to make the car stronger from a safety aspect. According to the auction, Panoz utilized a computer-aided design process to incorporate front and rear crumple zones into the car, as well as better side-impact protection. Modern seatbelts are found inside, and there are even provisions for securely hooking up a child seat. This car was built to be a daily driver with classic style, and with 8,500 reportedly on the odometer since the car was completed, it was at least driven some.

The BaT auction ended on June 10. We don’t know who the buyer was for this amazing machine; Dempsey had moved on from the car a few years back, and the recent seller apparently only put 500 miles on the Mustang in the last three years. We hope it continues to see at least occasional use as it was most decidedly built for the sheer pleasure of driving.