428 CJ Jet Ram Air: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

This 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I is a loaded-up project car that the seller has owned for many years, but has determined he is not likely to restore any time soon. It is a genuine R-Code (428 Cobra Jet Ram Air) example that wears original Royal Maroon paint with a white interior, and in mostly solid condition. The seller does disclose a few demerits, if you will, including that the engine isn’t original but is a correct date-coded unit for the Mustang, and also that the rear quarters and taillight panel will need some bodywork in the future. The good news is that it is otherwise largely rust-free, and let’s not forget the four-speed manual transmission. You’ll find the Mustang here on eBay with bid approaching $19K and the reserve unmet.

The decision to sell a desirable project car is one that can cause some enthusiasts to question, especially if it seems like it may be challenging to find another one in that exact specification in the future. A 428-powered Mach 1 Mustang is one such car, especially when equipped with a manual transmission. However, there’s also a time in every enthusiast’s life when money in the bank and space in the garage suddenly becomes more appealing than dreaming about a car’s eventual restoration that has yet to start in the decade you’ve owned it. The Mustang certainly seems complete enough that it wouldn’t be an insurmountable task to finish, but other photos do reveal that the rear quarter panel on the passenger side is quite wrinkled.

It’s a shame that the numbers-matching engine is long gone, but it’s also not surprising for old muscle cars to lose their desirable, high-performance mills once they become cheap, used cars. Kudos to the seller for finding a correct, date-coded engine along with numerous other components. The seller lists the following parts are included with the replacement engine: the 8M6 Cobra Jet C-Scratch block; an 8M1 correct water pump; an 8M6 correct Cobra Jet intake; and correct Cobra Jet heads dated 8M17 and 8M18. The four-speed transmission is also the correct Cobra Jet RUG-AE2 unit. It doesn’t look like the engine is has been fully fitted to the Mustang, and the listing also doesn’t specify whether the Mustang even runs at the moment.

The interior is in respectable condition, and the seats front and rear look like they could come back to life with a good cleaning and thorough detailing. The door panels show some rips and other blemishes, and the headliner looks tired in places. It’s hard to get a complete photo of the dash to spot any cracks, and the center stack seems to be missing some components. The center console lid shows some signs of warpage, and it appears the carpet has been removed. With the Mach 1 package components intact and a correct date-coded 428 under the hood, it’s easy to see why bidding is active on this Mach 1, but will the lack of a true matching numbers engine scare away bidders?

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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly a better buy than the GTO rustomod. Bought right and rebuilt as needed you’d get one of the best Mustangs of the era.

  2. Cadmanls Member

    Obvious it doesn’t run, no distributor. Also leaving the hole open not a great sign, but has the making of a great muscle car again. Just hope it will dry the rear hides again some day.

  3. Bob_in_TN Member

    More than a few Mustang enthusiasts consider the 1969 (or 1970) Mach 1 their favorite model. I remember when my small town dealer got one in, it was a loaded 428 4-speed, white/red. Twelve-year-old me was smitten. I liked them then, still do. Definitely this one looks like a good restoration project.

  4. Ken Jennings

    A small block, or even a six, made so much more sense, then and now, for so many reasons. Since it is no longer a number matching car, perhaps locate a proper date coded 170 for the full blown resto and call BJ for the sale, then watch the bids come !

  5. CraigR

    Seems rather clear it’s not in running order. Whatever condition that motor is in is a mystery.

  6. Jim Simons

    Wondering if the transmission has a reverse lockout installed, concerning the 69 Mach 1 428 cobra Jet.

    • ron

      Standard trans was BorgWarner T10 and it did have a reverse lockout, I owned one….brand new !

      • z28th1s

        The standard 4 speed transmission was a Ford Toploader, not a T10.

      • Rjonec

        Try again the 428 CJ had a Ford Top load with the big spline input shaft. No reverse lock out until 1970.

  7. Timothy Phaff Member

    Any purchase like this is a huge chance unless you go to it for a proper inspection for I do not believe anything anyone saids in any auto sale script. Also: This guy is acking like it’s a once in a life time deal and do this and do that or you will not be part of this sale,,,I will not kiss anyone as. for any whatever, mind you all the rubber & plastic has to be replaced plus RT rear 1/4 panel, drivers door need serious work and a new wiring harnes….massive job for the wealthy, not the farther and son. Massive headache and thats why he is dumping it…

    • Chuck

      A good body man that knows how to paddle lead and do metal finishing would be able to repair the LR 1/4 panel with no problem, thus leaving the car much more original. This one is going to be a project of love, because, if you do the job right, by the time you’re finished, you’ll have more money in it, that you could possibly get out of it!

  8. markp

    Look how tight the fit is between the shock towers and that is with NO exhaust manifolds on the car! The CJ exhaust manifolds are quite large and missing.

    • Grumpy

      I put a 428 in a 68 Fastback when I was a teenager. It was so tight, the top front manifold bolts would leave marks on the shock towers from the engine moving!

    • chuck

      That’s why GM F body cars are much better. Plenty of room even for a big block.

  9. JohnfromSC

    I was researching the purchase of a 69 SCJ last year and hired a Mustang expert to examine it. Discovered it was misrepresented, but if I understood correctly there is not a record of engine #s on 69’s and so the best you can do is check date codes, not true matching #s. Anyone know differently?

    I ended up buying ( almost stealing at the price I paid) a gorgeous NMN 390 4sp, AC, PS, PB car for touring, and I’m delighted with it. Put in 3.25 gears in the posi and have a great balance between acceleration and highway.

  10. Burt

    How come nearly all these barn finds are located north of the mason dixon line? Is humidity is too high in the south?

    • piston poney

      in my house we have a ruse where we don’t buy cars north of the mason dixon line unless it is 1 a rare car for a good price 2 solid enough to where your nor repalceing the whole body 3 if it is for a race car project because if it is a rusted out pice of junk who cares make it a race car and beat the crap out of it and when it falls apart take what it good off of it and take the rest to the scrap yard (there is more detales but that is the basics (my dad is strick on this)

  11. Grumpy

    I put a 428 in a 68 Fastback when I was a teenager. It was so tight, the top front manifold bolts would leave marks on the shock towers from the engine moving!

  12. Troy s

    There were plenty, I mean plenty of six cylinder Mustangs made for certain folks, actually more low powered models than …..this wonderful old screamer.
    That’s the value, the interest, in these types of cars. It’s a car guys kind of car, built by Ford, never intended to be driven by some weenie.
    The best looking Mustang body style coupled with Fords best street stomper engine,,,at least at the time. Dig the royal maroon paint, I vision it without the stripes though. The all new coming ’21 Mach E may be quicker but has little in the way of character or class compared to this old warrior. Brutal machine.

  13. TimM

    I’m sure this one will go for more than I can afford but the body looks good enough to start the project without tons of body work needed!!

  14. Chuck

    To do a tune-up in a Mustang / Fairlane with a big block, (remember that the 390, 406, 410, 427, and 428 were basically all the same block) you had to either jack up the engine, or cut holes in the fender wells to get to the sparkplugs! A real PITA!!! Put headers on it, just for further frustration, and don’t even think about changing a starter without almost pulling the engine! I’ve still got scars on my hands from working on these things!!!

  15. vintagehotrods

    This one brings back one of my best memories from high school. In 1969 and 1970 I was working at the local grocery store, Sunshine Food Markets, with my coworker and friend, Tim Burke. His dad was a big time lawyer in Sioux Falls and he bought one of these babies new and let Tim drive it to work once in a while. One afternoon on our lunch break four of us jumped in it and Tim let me drive. We headed out to Interstate 29 and I soon had that baby up to 130 MPH in less than a mile. That was the fastest car I had ever driven and I was amazed that it took us to that speed effortlessly. Those were the days!

  16. Jim Simons

    I owned a Mach 1 with same paint and interior. Got rid of it in Greensburg Pa. blew original motor up and rebuilt 68 428 police interceptor. Bored 30, shaved heads 10 and had Ford rebuild, putting all high performance parts back in. This would have been in early 70’s.

    • piston poney

      sounds like something my dad would have done we got a 65 mustang couple parts car for our other mustang 2’s (the cobras) and the guy that had it before us we making a race car and then we bought it, it has a 410 big block in it (yes the iner fenders have been heavily modified and cut a lot lol) and my i am probly gonna get the engine running then pull it out and if i can’t then rebulid and if i have to rebulid that motor will have everything i can afford have done to it lol


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