AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback

Car: Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback

Year: 1972

What makes it special: Mach 1 was a performance-oriented option package of the Ford Mustang, originally introduced in August 1968 as a package for the 1969 model year. The Mach 1 title adorned performance oriented Mustang offerings until the original retirement of the moniker in 1978. As the performance war between Ford & GM continued, the Mustang’s platform and engine bay were progressively redesigned to accommodate larger engine blocks. When their “GT” model wasn’t a name that would initiate images of street screeching performance, Ford introduced the Mach 1 title.

What made it famous: One of the most recognizable features of the ’71-’73 Mustangs is the optional NACA hood design with dual scoops. Though available as a visual, non-functional item, they could be made fully functional on models ordered with the Ram Air option, which included vacuum controlled ‘flaps’ inside each scoop, and a fiberglass under-hood ‘plenum’ that directed cool, outside air through a modified, rubber-ringed air filter housing and into the carburetor. The ram-air option included a two-tone hood paint treatment in either ‘matte black’ or ‘argent’, coordinated to the base color of the Mach 1 and its decals and striping. In addition, all Ram Air-equipped Mustangs of this generation came equipped with twist-style, chrome-plated hood locking pins. In 1972, the 429CJ & SCJ’s were dropped from the lineup, and horsepower dropped across the board due to the switch to new SAE net horsepower calculations. There are no major differences in the ’71 and ’72 Mustangs externally, other than the addition of a “Mustang” script on the right side of the trunk panel, other than the deletion of the pop-open gas cap, which was replaced with the standard twist-on cap found on the other Mustang models that year. The 302 Windsor remained as the base Mach 1 engine, with the 2 or 4 barrel 351 Clevelands as the only options.

Why I would want one: I think if you are a true Mustang fan, the Mach 1 of all body styles would be on your “own someday” list.

Fun fact: Ford first used the name “Mach 1” in its 1969 display of a concept called the “Levacar Mach I” at the Ford Rotunda. This concept vehicle used a cushion of air as propulsion on a circular dais.

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