Californian Survivor: 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Grabber Blue has to rate as one of the best colors to ever grace the flanks of a Mustang, and that is what makes this 1972 Mach 1 really stand out. Helping its cause is the fact that the Mach 1 is claimed to be a rust-free survivor, and it is being offered for sale in a No Reserve listing. The Mustang is located in Downey, California, it’s listed for sale here on eBay, and bidding has now reached $9,500.

The Mustang has spent its entire life in California, and this would certainly have been one contributing factor to the car having remained rust-free. The fact that it has never spent a night in the outdoors would also help. The owner provides plenty of photos with the listing, and they do show a car that appears to be nice and solid. The car does sport a few scratches and chips, but these all appear to be of the minor variety. The presentation of the Mustang is all very impressive, and the only thing that I would be inclined to check is the driver’s door. Its alignment looks to be a little bit odd, so it would be worth checking. Given the weight of those enormous doors, it is quite possibly nothing more than worn hinges, which is easy to fix.

Powering the Mach 1 is a 351ci Cleveland V8, while the vehicle also features a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The owner says that the car runs and drives really nicely, and at first glance, the engine bay does present quite well. However, there are a number of things that do jump out at me. The first is the fact that the battery is disconnected, which seems odd given the fact that the Mustang looks like it has recently been parked on the lawn where the photos were shot. The wing-nut is also missing off the top of the air cleaner, meaning that it would only take a decent bump for the lid to fall off. Most noticeable though is the fact that there are some areas around the engine bay that look like they have received the treatment from a black rattle-can. I might be wrong on that, but I don’t think so. I’d just like to know why this has occurred.

The Black interior of the Mustang presents quite well, with no major issues to report. There is some minor creasing of the vinyl on the door trims, but this should be able to be rectified fairly easily. There is an AM/FM radio/8-track player fitted to the car, along with some aftermarket speakers mounted in the rear parcel tray. Otherwise, the interior appears to be original, in good condition, and also features air conditioning.

Taken purely on face value, this 1972 Mustang Mach 1 appears to be a nice survivor finished in one of the most desirable colors to ever find its way onto a Mustang. There are some areas that I would be inclined to check because they raise the occasional doubt in my mind. It is most likely all legitimate and above board, but this is something that would best be confirmed by personal inspection. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. cold340t

    Ahhhh, A REAL Elanor in Blue!

    5
  2. Rick

    One of my favorites ever since Bond drove one on 2 wheels…

    Paint looks awfully thick in some of those photos, especially the data tag. Were hinges (the pins) always painted? Dunno.. that’s the problem with being across the country – have to rely on a PPI..

    4
  3. DaveK

    I think might have been repainted. Shouldn’t the fender mounting bolts be black?

    6
  4. Steve R

    I wonder about the quality of the current repaint, nobody bothered to put the rubber bumpers between the inner fenders and the hood. Forgetting an enexpensive finishing touch like that is often a sign of a rushed job or shoddy work.

    It presents well, if bidding doesn’t go to high it could make for a good driver.

    Steve R

    10
  5. Scott Lempert

    Would be interesting to see a Marti report for this. Hood has 351 Ram Air, which anyone could have added, but is a 2V Cleveland. They breath very well, but would be curious to see if it was born as shown.

    6
  6. Classic Steel

    Besides the possible issues i like this car. While i restored my 67 mustang convertible as my fave Ford year with mild shelby mods and drive on weekends… i always liked the Big stretched 72 stang fastback edition .
    The blue color Ford rocks it with eye appeal and a Cleveland engine to boot is sweet.

    A four speed would of had me calling to buy it ( maybe a blessing as i am car poor and wife would go crazy saying how many is enough) 😏
    I think a mustang, split window , 54 3100 and 64 chevelle convertible is a good start … but maybe i just need a support group like barn finds to feed or calm my addiction 😎😆🤣

    4
    • Bob McK Member

      Tell your wife that One wife is just enough. But, there is no such thing as too many cars.

      2
  7. FordGuy1972

    Beautiful car and I have to agree with Adam that Grabber Blue looks stunning on this Mach 1. Performance would be pretty anemic with the 2 barrel 351 Cleveland with only 177hp though with decent torque at 284 ft-lbs. I’d be motivated to get more hp with aluminum heads, a 4 barrel carb and a few other performance goodies. It should go as fast as it looks, right? The missing wing nut from the air cleaner lid might just be it was forgotten after a shot of quick-start. The disconnected battery could indicate an electrical issue, maybe some sort of drain on the battery when the car is shut down.

    Still, a very clean car all around that should fetch a pretty good high bid.

    6
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      I agree with what your say about the battery and the wing nut, and if you look closely at the pic the car is in a drive way. The rest of the picks show it on the lawn. This pic was taken during a start up after sitting for a while. I know that some guys like these boats but I personally think that they took a turn towards the ugly just saying. As for performance Recurving the distributor advance and a 4v carb should be enough to wake this car up a bit, that’s all I’d do to start with. Pretty nice car condition wise, and as for it having a repaint I’m ok with that I view paint the same way I view a brake job it’s just good maintenance. Paint wears out too. Nice find, I hope some 40 year old buys it and enjoys it for a couple of decades.

      7
  8. David G

    Awesome looking car. Would love to have it, but my stable is full. Has definitely been repainted. Area above left tail light has enough orange peel to make Anita Bryant blush.

    3
  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Wow, not one single period used in the text, not even at the end.

    2
  10. JoeNYWF64

    Luxury steering wheel seems out of place in a mach 1 fastback. Too bad the mustang II sport steering wheel was not yet developed.
    I wonder if any mustangs got the quadrajet for better mpg & emissions – some cyclones & torinos did.
    Those wheels with trim rings look almost as good as magnum 500s.
    Ford i guess had a mini & full floor consoles in ’72.
    Odd how unnecessarily wide those rear seat side/armrests are.
    Tryin to picture the car with 1/2 foot chopped off of the empty space front nose. & maybe a more upright tunneled rear window & shorter sail panels.

    1
  11. Rattlehead

    That’s funny.

  12. Gaspumpchas

    Nice writeup, Adam. I agree with a good professional appraisal, don’t settle for one of ebays inspectors. I have had 2 friends get screwed big time because the cars weren’t what they were advertised to be. One was a 68 gto that wound up having a cracked front frame, noisy trans and 2 cyls with low compression, and that one had an ebay insp. Its real tough when you cant look at them yourself. Like the sarge used to tell the cops at the beginning of the shift on Hill street blues- Be careful out there. Too much fraud.
    Cheers
    GPC

    5
    • Boatman Member

      Chas, you’re the best! Always enjoy reading your comments.
      Cheers!

      1
  13. john

    Ram air hood , but missing the ram air air cleaner setup.

    1
  14. Alan Swain

    “A Californian Survivor?” No kidding, it survived a Californian??? That’s quite a fete! That’s waaaay more difficult than surviving a Nebraskan, I’ll bet!!!

    (Who writes this stuff???)

    2
    • Bob_in_TN Member

      For me the quality of the ad (grammar/ spelling/ punctuation, information provided, completeness, pictures) is an indicator of the quality of the car. Maybe that doesn’t matter to some people, but to me it does.

      • Larry McGaw

        The ad itself doesn’t seem to have grammatical errors; the BF write up has one minor one. A.S. chose to pick on the BF writer, but managed to misspell a key word in his insult.

        The quality of the car has plenty of issues all on its own.

  15. Gary

    My ’72 had a 302 2 barrel carb. From zero to 75 mph, It was a quick car. All my Chevy buds with larger motors got so mad when I would, walk their butts off the line. Loved that car! The power was amazing for a small block 302.

    1
  16. Larry McGaw

    The hood on all 1972 Mach 1’s had the NACA scoops, but it was only functional on the Ram Air models. The Ram Air models also had chrome hood fasteners (twist model). This car has the hood without the fasteners, which explains the absence of a Ram Air system under the hood. My best guess is the repaint included new decals, including the 351 Ram Air decal on the hood, and the perfectly aligned side stripe on the imperfectly aligned driver’s side door. I think this car is hiding some problems, and it is far from a survivor.

    Alan Swain … if you’re going to beat up on the author for calling the car a Californian, you should learn how to spell “feat”. Unless, of course, you were suggesting it was all some big celebration.

    4
  17. Mike

    I’ve owned a 1972 mach 1Mustang
    The dashboard was nothing like the one in the pictures the door panels were nothing like the ones in the pictures. The breather for the Ramia was nothing like what is showing there I don’t know if this is a real mark one

  18. Mike

    Definitely a repaint… There was never chrome molding on a Mach 1 between the blue and the black. Don’t think the wheels were original. I think the Ram Air lettering on the hood was added at the repaint. Interior door panels look like non Mach 1 replacement. Vinyl on rear seats looks like replacement… Just saying…

    1
  19. Troy s

    Like these Mach 1 Mustangs, always have. The complete lack of rear visibility from that flat roof line kept me from buying one in ’85, that kind of stuff just bothers me. Lots of quacks driving around in southern California.
    Despite the aggressive racy exterior appearance, that seemed lost on the interior of these a bit. I’ll never understand why these are often disregarded or looked down on so much. Always have been.

    1
  20. Bob McK Member

    So sad it has an automatic.

  21. Lc

    I used to own a 76 Chevette same color as this Mustang, and it was probably the best color for it too.

  22. bobhess Member

    Love the color. First time we saw it was on a ’70 Boss I think it was. One of our race cars has had the Grabber Blue on it since 1974. Everyone loves the color and so do we. It really looks good on this car.

    1
  23. TimM

    Nice car seems rust free!! The cleveland motor was great!! This mustang was known as the air craft carrier because of the long hood!!! Looks like a nice driver though!!

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