Car: Ford Mustang Mach-1 SportsRoof
What makes it special: Mach 1 was a performance-oriented option package of Ford’s 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 continued, the Mustang’s platform and engine bay were progressively redesigned to accommodate larger engine blocks. Late in the 1968 model year, Ford introduced the 428 cu in Cobra Jet FE engine in a small group of Mustang GTs and into the 1968 Shelby GT500KR. However, “GT” wasn’t a name that would initiate images of street screeching performance, hence the introduction of the Mach 1 title. The 1970 body included dual-beam headlights with the previous inner headlights becoming sport lamps and recessed taillights on a black honeycomb rear panel, side scoops behind both doors removed, revised bucket seats, deep dish sports wheel covers, as well as new side and rear badging and striping were the main visual differences.
What made it famous: The Mach 1 package was only available in the ‘SportsRoof’ body style, previously known as the ‘Fastback’, but never on the hardtop or convertible. The Mach 1 added numerous visual and performance enhancing items such as matte black hood treatment with hood pins, hood scoop, including an optional Shaker scoop, competition suspension, chrome pop-open gas cap, revised wheels with Goodyear Polyglas tires, chrome exhaust tips, deluxe interior, livery and dealer optional chin spoiler, rear deck spoiler, and rear window louvers known as ‘SportSlats.’ 1970 saw the previous 351W V8 engine options replaced with a new 351 cu in Cleveland V8 in either 2V for use with 2-venturi carbs, or 4V for use with 4-venturi carbs versions. The 351 ci in 4V M-code engine featured 11.0:1 compression and produced 300 bhp at 5400 rpm. This new performance engine incorporated elements learned from the Ford 385 series engine and the Boss 302, particularly the poly-angle combustion chambers with canted valves and the thin-wall casting technology. In 1970, the 3.91 ratio was a “traction-lok”, while the 4.30 ratio was a Detroit Locker.
Why I would want one: These Mach-1’s aren’t as common as other variants of the Mustang, and are a fun performance car.
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.