Clean Up and Ride! 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

The 1973 model year would be the last for the first-generation of the Ford Mustang. Nearly a decade after its original launch, the car was much different than the original: longer, wider, heavier, and more expensive. Sales had dwindled in the process, so Ford would reinvent the car as the Mustang II in 1974, based on the sub-compact Pinto. This 1973 Mach 1 edition of the Mustang looks like a well-used pony car that’s been off the road for 10 years. Located in Rye, New York, it’s available here on eBay where the no reserve auction has reached $5,855.

Ford’s Mustang Mach 1 was a performance option package that began with 1969 models. The moniker would continue through 1978 on the Mustang II and then returned briefly for 2003-04. The auto’s name was derived from a concept car called the “Levacar Mach I” which used a cushion of air as propulsion. Initially, you had several engines to choose from, but by 1973 there were only three: a 302 cubic inch V-8 at 140 hp or two 351 Cleveland V-8s, with either two or four barrel carburetion (177 and 266 hp, respectively). The tamer of the two 351’s is said to be in the seller’s car.

This Mach 1 was in limbo for about 10 years until having recently been resuscitated. The car has been treated to several mechanical repairs, including the gas tank, brakes, and tires. The engine compartment doesn’t have the look of being serviced, so we assume the motor wasn’t hugely difficult to get running again. The odometer reads under 30,000 miles, but the seller doesn’t verify that to be accurate. Mustang production was down to 135,000 copies in 1973, including 35,000 Mach 1’s like the seller’s car. See Maine Mustang for production stuff.

We’re told this Mustang needs bodywork, although from the photos provided, it doesn’t look extensive. Rust doesn’t seem to be an issue, so it’s more fading, dents and dings. Other than the dash pad, the interior looks decent. According to online pricing guides, a “regular” Mustang from 1973 could go for $20,000 on the high end, and the Mach 1 twice that. So, if it runs well, I’d be more inclined to detail it from head to toe and drive it as a survivor. You could always do a restoration later.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    This could be a nice car if brought back to life. If nothing else the silver/black scheme would fit right in today.

    But ads like this are real frustrating. There is a decent amount of pictures, but essentially no description. To me even notes like “I haven’t tried to turn the engine over” are better than not knowing anything. And the seller didn’t even bother to vacuum or clean off the leaves.

    Do I spy a necker knob on the ***spoke*** of the steering wheel ?? ??

    Thanks Russ. Today, I’m thankful for all the fine Barn Finds writers and the enjoyment it brings me reading their excellent write-ups.

    Like 6
    • BBish

      The button on the steering wheel looks to be a horn switch that bypasses the original coveted, but non-functional rim blow horn. >$150 for the pad kit and another $150 for the switch.

      Like 3
  2. jokacz

    These things were big, fat, pigs. Best allowed to rust into oblivion.

    Like 3
  3. Troy s

    Matter of taste, it’s a fine machine with solid color and a 351 Cleveland for power. That gives it potential, with some upgrades of course. I like these ’71-73 flat back Mach 1’s and of course the evil Boss 351, despite their mail box visibility and so-so sporty interiors, but Ford may have missed the mark by not continuing with the best looking Mustang ever, the ’69-70. I really dont know if sales would have been any better or worse, but I’ve always envisioned a ’70 Boss 351 with the 330 horsepower 351 HO. Got side tracked again, sorry.

    Like 4
  4. Tom71mustangs

    An interesting ride (for those of us who can appreciate the Clydesdales of the Mustang world). Wrong stripes for a ‘73 Mach 1- the stripes on it are for a ‘71. I didn’t bother myself to research the color code from the data tag (EBay listing) but perhaps it was a less-desirable color originally (Doo-Doo Brown, perhaps?) and the incorrect stripes were added after the color change? At lease the body code confirms it was born a factory Mach 1. IMO the ‘73 Mach 1 stripes should have been reapplied, and they are much easier to install vs the ‘71 hockey stick stripes (less pieces). I am also pretty sure I’ve seen that posting before- I recognize the (penguin?) logo on the work van in the background.

    Like 1
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $7,600.

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