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A Trio Of Big ’70S Mustangs

1972 Mustang Mach I

Let’s assume for a moment you are a fan of the largest Mustangs Ford ever built, the 1971-1973 versions. Today, if you’re in North Carolina like I am, you have a plethora of choices with three finds available right now. We’ll begin with this 1972 Mach 1 located in Raleigh, North Carolina and advertised here on Craigslist for $4,700.

1972 Mustang Engine

The seller tells us this is a pretty solid car, although it needs some metal work, doesn’t run, and the hood is “gone,” although I’m not sure if that means it’s too rusty to save or it’s disappeared since these pictures. There do seem to be good bones here if you are interested in a restoration, and the car is relatively complete, although the price is higher than I would expect for this large ponycar, especially with the amount of work necessary.

1971 Mustang Boss 351

But what if you want something a little more exotic and don’t mind a challenge? Ford followed up the successful Boss 302 program in 1971 with a Boss 351 in the now larger platform. Only 1806 of these rare cars were produced, with only just over 500 accounted for now. Thanks to Ricky M for calling our attention to this one, offered here on eBay at no reserve and located in Wilmington, North Carolina.

1971 Boss 351

In storage for 26 years, the seller doesn’t know if this car has the original engine and transmission, and admits it’s rusty (Wilmington is at the North Carolina coast, so I suspect salt was involved). At no reserve, though, and a price currently below the ’72 Mach I above, I’d have to be looking at this one as well. I think it’s interesting that both cars are riding on similar, if not identical, period aftermarket chrome wheels. It got me wondering if these cars had a particularly ugly standard wheel? As it turns out, both cars could have been outfitted with anything from dog dish hubcaps to “Magnum” style wheels, which brings us to our third North Carolina option today!

1972 Mach I

As was discussed in the recent Opel GT post, sometimes it makes more sense to have someone else do the work for you. This 1972 Mach I appears to be in great shape and even sports those Magnum wheels! It’s available in Wake Forest, North Carolina here on Craigslist for $14,500.

Clean Mustang Mach I

While the photography in this third ad leaves something to be desired, it’s obvious this car is in much better shape than the other two. Originally sporting a three speed manual transmission, an automatic C6 has been fitted now. Said to be restored and with only 74k original miles, this may be the most economical way to get a good one of these big cars in the long run. Certainly the ability to enjoy driving the car right away counts for something, but some of us enjoy working on them as much or more than driving them. I think in my younger days I would have pursued the Boss 351, but now I’d give serious consideration to figuring out a way to get the already completed car. Are any of these three ponycars the right one for you?


  1. james g

    get the 2nd one running keep the body the same shape its in and drive it. it looks to cool to restore and take it to some shows

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  2. james g

    what other proof does the owner have besides the stickers and engine theres no picture of the vin tag on the car it could be fake like how there are more registered 427 stingray corvettes than ever made

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Looks like he added a pic of the VIN ~ shows the “R” code. Looks like it still has the rev limiter, hurst shifter & 4-speed trans, staggered rear shocks (which should indicate a factory 4-speed car for ’71, IIRC), looks like correct seats, rear spoiler still in place, still has the ram air aircleaner base and hood setup.

      If you are looking for a project, at least this one has the potential to recoup some of your investment.

      Like 1
  3. Neil McElhannon

    The third is much more the Mustang for me. Love the color and the rims can always be changed it. I want to drive my car instead of wreching on it. Daily drive for me.

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  4. Rick

    If you have the money, the burgundy one is the way to go because it’s done (wish the 3 speed manual was still in it, though). If you have limited up front funds and/or want to do the work yourself, I’d avoid that rusty Boss and get the blue ’72. Now if you want to spend lots of $$$ and take on a long term project, then the Boss is for you.

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  5. FRED

    not being much of a mustang fan i would have to pass on all. i am looking for a 68 mustang conertible with the 302 auto like i had in high skool.. nothing fancy just a good running car that i modified a little to wake it up.

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  6. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    @James G–I’d be very careful before paying a premium for what may just be decals.
    @Neil–if I were buying, that’s what I’d do. And I actually like the rims on the burgundy one.
    @Rick, I think you summed it up very well.

    Me, I’ll stick with my 2013 Boss 302. :-)

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  7. J.W.

    We have owned 4 Mustangs 1 67 coupe 6 banger automatic, 1 78 Cobra 302 V8, 1 95 GT and now a restored 70 Mach1. I rode with a car show buddy in his 73 Mach1 and even he admitted if you can’t back up with mirrors stay away from the 71 to 73 Mustangs as they are horrible to see out the back window. Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      I remember my next door neighbors that was jacked up in the rear. He couldn’t see out the back window at all!

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  8. jim s

    if it had a manual i too would take the 3rd one as it is ready to drive. nice finds

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  9. JW454

    A friend of mine still has the ’72 Mach 1 he drove to high school in the early 80s, delivered pizzas with in the mid 80s and parked in his barn in ’92. It’s been sitting there ever since. Knowing him as I do, it will never see the light of day anytime soon.

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  10. redavanti

    I would go for the third one.

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  11. Rancho Bella

    The B2 has a following…….it isn’t me. But, if it retained it’s original engine………..they very quick………

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  12. RickyM

    Think it would be no. 3 for me – funky colour !

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  13. JSIEAO

    Having owned and worked on numerous big body mustangs, all three have different considerations. When someone calls a car “restored”, I expect to find original equipment, appearance, etc. That’s just me. The burgundy one is obviously the nicer of the three, at least from the pictures that are shown. With these cars, if someone didn’t take care of all problems, even looking that good, it could be as bad as the Boss. The blue one is not a Mach 1, but could be a decent fastback when complete. It appears to be a mixture of ideas. The Boss, while being a very large project could yield more return. I’d be willing to bet, both the Blue one and Boss need all the same undercarriage work. Depending on what the Boss sold for, that’s where I would lean. If it is too bad to fix and the price was right, just the Boss specific parts could recoup the money spent to buy it.
    The wheels on the Burgundy car are the later “Magnum” style wheels with the trim rings. A great alternative to the real Magnums if needed. But Magnum 500 wheels are the way to go with these cars! IMHO….

    Like 1

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