AJ's Car of the Day ( 1971 Ford Mustang mach 1 429 Ram-Air )

Car: Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 CJ Ram Air Fastback

Year: 1971

What makes it special: 1971 was the last year of big block high compression engines in the Mustang at Ford. Also, 1971 Mustangs introduced flush fit door handles and completely hidden windshield wipers to the automotive world.

What made it famous: Only 1,252 429 Cobra Jet Ram Air Mustangs were produced in 1971. The most famous feature is the optional hood with dual scoops. They could be made fully functional on models ordered with the Ram Air option, which included vacuum controlled 'flappers' at each scoop, and a fiberglass under-hood 'plenum' that directed cool, outside air into the carburetor.

Why I would want one: It was the first year of the "big" Mustangs. The 370 hp factory rated 429 CJ V8 engine gave it enough power to be a credible threat in competition, whether you mated it up to a 4-speed manual or C-6 Automatic transmission. Sealing the deal was the cast iron tail shaft, and 3.50 gears in its "Traction Lok" rear axle. The car also just screams "The '70s" with it's cool styling. I dig it.

Fun fact: Much "folklore" has been told since the debut of the Ford Mustang, like the man in Arlington, Texas, who slept in a ’64½ Mustang until his check cleared the next morning, fearing someone else would get the car. Another was of a truck driver in San Francisco who was said to be thrown into such a trance by the sight of the Mustang, he could not take his eyes away, and drove his truck straight through the showroom window. Nice !


( 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 Ram Air Fastback photo from barrett-jackson.com )