Every now and then a car comes up for sale that just exemplifies everything I remember about the early American muscle car era and this 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is about as good as it gets. This particular car is equipped with the 351 Windsor V8, 4 speed transmission, it’s red with a black interior and it’s beautifully restored.
The cars we drove not the cars we dreamed about
There were faster cars at the time and everyone talks about the Hemi Cuda, the 454 Chevelle, even other Mustangs like the 428 Cobra Jet, but this Mustang is a much better example of those years because they were everywhere, it was an affordable car. An L88 Corvette, a Yenko Camaro or a Boss 429 Mustang would show up now and then, but Mustangs like these were far more common. A young man then may have dreamed of those ultra rare big block monsters, but oddly enough, when those same guys look back from today, they remember the cars they actually owned and raced, the cars they had when they picked up their girl for a date.
Fast cars, simple engines and cheap gas
If you were around then, you listened to the Beach Boys or Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, or maybe a Motown hit while you cruised to the rumble of that small block V8. If you opened the hood, there was an engine you could work on. No fuel injection, no electronic ignition, no computer control, it was a four barrel carburetor, points in the distributor and a tankful of leaded gasoline. If you were headed for the strip you might spend a few dollars and top up with Sunoco 260, and that few dollars bought a lot of gas.
A big change was coming
Of course, though most of us didn’t fully realize it, this car, like all of the other 1970 models, was one of the last signposts marking the end of an era. The very next year, 1971, automakers were required to add smog control systems to their engines to reduce pollution and without today’s technology they struggled to figure it out. Most of their first attempts were crude and we faced a period many of us would prefer to forget. Low compression engines brought on by unleaded gasoline, EGR systems with all of those pumps and belts, robbing horsepower when there was none to spare, brought us cars that looked the same on the outside, but under the hood, it was a maze of hoses, mysterious boxes we had never seen before and all sorts of extra hardware that left most of us longing for the old days.
Looking at this Mustang brings back simpler engines and simpler times, it’s funny how a car can do that. If you remember those days like I do and you’re looking for something to relive a few of those moments, even if it is only on the weekends, a Mach 1 like this one would be a great choice.
Many more Mach 1 Mustangs for sale here