CC Capsule: 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 – If You Can’t Take The Heat…

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Like yesterday’s, er, creatively modified Dodge Daytona, this is a car I found in an abandoned car lot in Northeast Indiana on my way home from the CC Meet-up in Auburn last October.  The story of the car lot is that its owner made a bunch of bad deals, set his garage on fire in a failed attempt to collect insurance money and eventually, skipped town.  Nevertheless, this lot (and some others), had some interesting metal on display.

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Sadly, this 1970 Mach 1 had bore testimony to the soured financial dealings of its former (or still current?) owner.  Sharper eyes will be able to tell if the matte black honeycomb fill panel is missing or if was simply never there.  If the latter is the case, this is one of many resto-mods and not an original Mach 1.

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Luckily the rest of the car is otherwise complete and appears serviceable.  We’ve covered the 1969-1970 Mach 1 before; like this example, the ’69 Paul covered was not in perfect shape.  I’ll leave it to you guys to interpret whether or not that speaks to the Mach 1’s overall reputation.  From what I’ve gathered, these cars have their fans.

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The scoops lateral to the headlights mark this as a 1970 model; the previous year saw headlights outboard of the grill with driving lights set into the grille where the headlights sit on this car.  I had a hard time figuring out which engine lies underneath this car’s expressively sculpted hood.

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The presence of an automatic transmission doesn’t help, either, as the 1970 Mustang brochure indicates that it was available with all engines but the Boss 302 and 429.  Note the original radio and large analog clock.  This was not an unattractive interior.

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A-ha, that’s better: it’s apparently a 351.  If so, 1970 marked the replacement of the Windsor with the Cleveland engine.  The brochure says a non-functional hood scoop was standard, so it doesn’t hold any clue as to whether this car was made with the optional four venturi carb.  If so equipped, sixty miles per hour was achieved in the low eight second range when equipped with a four-speed, so this wasn’t all that quick for its time and is definitely not fast by today’s standards.  Note the clear reflection of the sky in this shot; this car hasn’t been sitting out here for very long.

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Apparently Goodyear still makes the Eagle GA; it hasn’t been original equipment for a long time, but was very popular on new cars in the ’90s.  Note the smooth quarter panel; ’69s had a scoop behind the rear door.  Early Mustangs are more highly regarded, but I have to say this car’s handsome looks have worn well: the look is more burly than bloated.  1971 would see increased size along with declining compression ratios and it would be an additional eleven years before the Mustang would again be lust-worthy in the conventional sense.

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