1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 - $29,900
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It’s rated at 370 horsepower and a towering 450 pounds of torque, so you might do well to re-examine your list of fastest Mustangs from the pre-smog era, because this sucker takes no prisoners.

It’s easy to dismiss the 1971-73 Mustangs as posers and “not real Mustangs,” but a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 with a 429 under the hood is one of the fastest Mustangs to ever roll out of a Ford assembly plant. Combined with improved handling and brakes, more luxury, and an all-new look, perhaps it’s time to give these cars a closer examination.

This is a real-deal Mach 1, not a clone (denoted by the ‘05’ in the third and fourth digits of the VIN), and it was originally ordered stripped down with manual steering, manual brakes, and an automatic transmission. That suggests it was built for combat, and if you want to talk fast muscle cars, it would be a mistake to overlook this sinister-looking Mach 1. Thanks to an extensive rotisserie restoration, it’s in fantastic condition and the dark blue paint job is exactly the right choice for a car that walks softly and carries a big stick. It has the ducted hood, correct Mach 1 hockey stick stripes, and a urethane bumper from a ’73 just because the guy doing the work liked the way it looked. But what you won’t see are all the add-ons that don’t make it go any faster: no chin spoiler, no deck lid wing, no rear window slats. If you want jewelry, buy something else. If you want a weapon, this car is pure nasty. You’ll note the sheetmetal is arrow-straight and as far as we can tell, it’s original to the car, not repro stuff. The doors fit better than I remember and even the hood snugs down nice and flush. There’s obviously a lot of time invested here. Check the aggressive wheel arches, the honeycomb grille, and the sport mirrors, all of which are in excellent condition. Out back there’s a Shelby Cobra flip-up gas cap, traditional three-element taillights, and those big exhaust pipes that speak with a deep baritone whenever this car is running. It makes a statement.

The black bucket seat interior has been highlighted with custom red piping, and while it’s a bit flashy, it’s also quite professionally done. Factory-style materials and patterns certainly help, and things like the carpets, door panels, and headliner are quality reproduction pieces. As I mentioned, this car was built for speed, so you only get the basics: rim-blow steering wheel, shifter on the transmission tunnel, and basic gauges that cover speed and fuel level. In the center, the original AM radio is still doing its thing, right above the heater controls. It’s nicely done throughout, and it feels rather modern to slide behind the wheel, although there’s A LOT of hood out there in front of you. Fold-down back seats make this a practical Mustang and the trunk is outfitted with a correct mat, some black carpet for protection, and a full-sized spare tire.

Experts will have already looked at the VIN and determined that this car came with an M-code 351 Cleveland V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor, no slouch by itself, but during the restoration it was upgraded to the optional C-code 429 Cobra Jet V8. The build is very much the way the factory did it with none of the usual “upgrades” that guys slide in there when they’re changing the formula. That means a factory air cleaner with proper decals, stamped steel valve covers, a standard ignition system, and a big Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor (weird, right?) on top. The wiring is new, there’s a giant radiator up front, and even the original cast iron exhaust manifolds are in place. If you didn’t look at the VIN, you’d never know that this car has had a heart transplant. It also runs superbly, starting easily, idling like it was built by the factory, and pulling the relatively lightweight Mach 1 around with real authority. It’s rated at 370 horsepower and a towering 450 pounds of torque, so you might do well to re-examine your list of fastest Mustangs from the pre-smog era, because this sucker takes no prisoners.

The big 429 is backed by an indestructible C6 3-speed automatic that clicks through the gears unobtrusively when you’re just cruising, but mash the throttle and it drops down a gear and that 429 makes it feel like you’ve just been drop-kicked by Godzilla. Even with easy-cruising 3.00 gears in the nicely detailed 9-inch rear end (with that much torque on tap, you don’t need much gear for exciting results), it charges ahead with vigor at virtually any speed. The front suspension was fully rebuilt, there’s a new Flowmaster exhaust system that sounds spectacular, and you will note that important areas like the floor pans and torque boxes are in excellent condition. Even the original spot welds on the rocker panel seam are fully visible. Lines and hoses are new, there are fresh shocks all around (with the rears staggered as they should be), and a new gas tank hangs out back. Plain steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps and 215/70/14 BFGoodrich T/A radials complete the all-business look.

We like this car a lot more than we expected, and a lot of that is because it just doesn’t seem to be trying too hard. No flash, all business, and with this kind of serious blasting powder under the hood, it’s definitely appealing. Call today!

Vehicle: 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Price: $29,900
Stock Number: 115170
Mileage: 51,578
VIN: 1T05M152989
Engine: 429 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3
Wheelbase: 109 inches
Wheels: 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 215/70/14 BFGoodrich T/A radial
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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