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Cobra Jet Project: 1972 Mustang Mach 1

1972 Mustang Mach 1 CJ

Now before you get too excited, this Mach 1 project does have a Cobra Jet engine, but not the Cobra Jet you are probably thinking of. Prior to ’72, you could get the big block 429 Cobra Jet, but in ’72 they stopped offering big blocks in the Mach 1. To keep the CJ name going, they offered a hopped up version of the 351 Cleveland. It offered a respectable, for the time, 266 horsepower and 301 pounds of torque. This example here on eBay for $6,900 really needs to find a new home soon, before the rust gets any worse. It’s currently in Monroe Township, New Jersey, so you better act fast if you want to get it before it rusts away!

1972 Mustang Mach 1 Interior

I actually had a chance as a teenager to buy one of these Mach 1s, I was going to trade my running and driving Eagle Talon TSi for a project Mach 1, but the owner got cold feet at the last second. At the time I wasn’t too sad about it as it needed a ton of work, but now I wish I had gotten that Mustang. While they might not look as good as the ’69 or ’70, they are still great cars!

Ford 351 Cobra Jet

It would seem that the seller is flipping this Mustang and states that if it doesn’t go soon, they will start fixing it up and the price will go up as they improve it. Running, I think this would be worth their asking price. They claim the motor spins freely, but believe the starter has failed so they can’t start it. Given how readily available parts are for these, I would think it would be easy enough to go get a starter and install it. Even if it still doesn’t start, it would be great to know the engine turns over without issue. Also, be sure to check the numbers on the engine to make sure it is the original Cobra Jet.

1972 Mustang Mach 1

While I see some rust issues that worry me, for the most part this car looks solid. The underside looks solid, so as long as the shock towers are solid and the various rust spots on the roof aren’t holes yet, this could be a great project. With a little work, this could turn out to be a sweet driver! So what direction would you go with this Mustang? Would you restore it, leave it alone, or customize it a bit?


  1. grant

    Look close at this one first. That spot on the passenger side at the rear side window looks worrisome.

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  2. gkrone

    I would agree that a running car would justify the asking price, but it looks like it could be a rolling project without much trouble. The frame looks very clean in the pictures. Other than the mismatched front seats the interior work looks more cosmetic.

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  3. randy

    I’m sorry but the grill looks too much like a Mustang II grill. This was almost a “Mustang”. I’d pull the engine in this one.

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  4. Frankie Paige

    The original Eleanor was a 71, these cars will go up in value. It would be better if the seller could be positive it was the starter, a simple fix that could help sell the car faster. Also knowing for sure the engine, trans and rear end numbers match would move the sale along.

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    • randy

      Frankie, I am sure you are correct on all counts. This car “should not” be worth much though. I do not think he’ll get his money.

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  5. JW

    Well I like his statement of and I quote….

    The car is in need of typical restoration, hood,doors,fenders,quarters all have rust needing repair/patch panels…normal things

    Yes for someone with very deep pockets. The 71 to 73’s are almost as unpopular as the Mustang II’s and that’s why you don’t see many at car shows.

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    Its real unfortunate to here all the bashing of the 71 too 73 mustangs and to even compare it to a mustang 2 is really wrong. By the way JW I see these cars at car shows all the time. I bought a 73 Mach with the 351 Cleveland in 77 for my first car and had the time of my life as a teen ager and the lady’s loved it. The fold down back seat was a nice option. Most people that talk bad about them no nothing of them and the way they ran and or the way they handled. I beat my share of early 70s Camaro’s and Mopar’s of the same cubic inch. So to insult this model year car and the people that own and love them is just wrong. This car would be an easy fix and is more solid than a lot I have seen.

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    • JW

      I didn’t mean to offend anyone I’m just stating what I have found over the years . Here in Missouri and in Illinois I see very few of these cars and what ones I have unless they are the right color most people just walk by them. I didn’t say they were not fast but Ford got them wrong when they stretched them out just like they got the Mustang II wrong on a Pinto platform. Seeing how you had one how did you like backing one of those up in to a garage with the flat coffee table rear window, our 70 is bad enough but those things are near impossible to keep from hitting something. Now here is a beautiful example of the right color doing one justice.

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  7. randy

    The grill has a striking resemblance to the Mustang II, there is no arguing that fact.
    I don’t think we are bashing the owners, they have no control over the style or workmanship on the cars. As for being young and having fun in a car, any car when you are young is better than no car! The 71-73 Mustang is better than most cars of the period, but that is not much of a compliment. My comments are on the car itself, the big three went to pot when these cars and all of the cars in that time period came out. Facts are facts.

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    Well Randy I don’t know if you were alive back then, but first of all you make know sense In what you say. First of all the mustang II grill looks like the 72 remember they were first and there is no arguing that fact huh. The owners of these cars had total control over there choice to own one. They bought them because they liked them and what do you know about workmanship did you ever own one? The workmanship on my mustang was of good quality. I put a 100 k on that car and only ever did the water pump alt and starter nothing else other than ware items. As far as having fun it was still one of the best cars I ever owned. I worked my butt off in a restaurant washing dishes to buy that car so it wasn’t given to me like the spoiled kids these days get. So from your remarks I would guess you are just a kid making up comments.

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    • randy

      You gonna argue using Semantics? The word assume: ass-u-me. So where is your mustang now? You should buy this one if it’s such a great deal. Put your money where your mouth is. Too many emotional folks here, dang. All of the US cars from the early 70’s on through the eighties were turds. You can find many others here that have made the same statement and observations. The best nag in the glue factory is still a nag. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I could understand if you had done any of the research and development on the 71-73 mustang. I’d also bet that you and I are very close to the same age by the age you were when you got your first car. Your friend, randy

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    Believe me Randy you did not hurt my feelings but it just irritates me when somebody’s talking out there ass. I have been in the car business for 30 years and have forgot more than your dumb ass has ever learned about cars. Not bragging but I have five classic muscle cars in my garage probably worth more than your house so I have already put my money were my mouth is. And you know what I just might put an offer on that car. I have restored more than one of them.Take it as you like.

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    • randy

      From your replies, I surely did hurt your feelings. “Not bragging but” The “but” negates the previous statement, obviously, as you start bragging and making personal insults. When a person does not have a good argument, they (you) start making personal insults. I got in the car business in ’78 sir. I do not believe a word out of your mouth. Go have fun with your “bubble cars”. Pull my finger little man.

      And what’s with the all caps name? Compensate much?

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  10. A.J.

    The 71-73 Mustang is not my favorite muscle car but they are cool. A boyfriend of a friend of my girlfriends had a 72 with a 302 and Cragars with a lift kit in back. It was a GREAT HS car. In my early 20s I owned a 73 with the Q code 4 speed for about 6 months. A 71 J code 4 speed car would be the nads.

    It is easy to piss all over somebody else’s car but I wonder what you guys own that gives you the right to call out everything else as a POS? Prius drivers?

    And honestly, comparing the 71-73 to the II is the stupidest thing I have every heard.

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    • JW

      A.J. I wasn’t trying to rain on anyone’s parade but just stating facts from my experiences with the Mustangs of the years 71 to 78. My wife has had many Mustangs over the years and her first was a 78 Cobra she bought brand new which I detested at first but after driving it a few times it made a better impression on me, now I have been with a couple car cruise friends in their 71 to 73’s and their biggest complaints is the rear visibility which is horrible and I myself don’t like the NASA hood but that’s just me. I’m actually a GTO guy and I’ve owned 4 and I don’t like the 70 model I owned and was bashed for it but it is my opinion and I have a right to it just as the ones who bash me for being a modifier of cars but I’m not thinned skinned enough to let it bother me. Good luck in life you will need it if you can’t accept a little criticism.

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      • A.J.

        JW, I wasn’t calling anyone in particular out and to be honest your post wasn’t the one I had in my mind.

        As a GTO guy too I was never a huge fan of the 70. 66 being my favorite and 69 being the one I was able to find in HS. I also liked the nose on the 72. Would take any of the years (including 73) if you wanted to give one to me.

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  11. Russ Myers

    Ford did not get it wrong with the Mustang II. They got it spot on. Out of 50 years of selling Mustangs, the 1974 Mustang II sales figures were the 6th best. THAT is what counts to Ford. Not the performance numbers, but the SALES numbers.


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  12. JW

    Cool AJ, I appreciate anyone and everyone’s opinion and choice of vehicles even though some dislike mine. As my father always said you can’t have a decent discussion without someone who disagrees with you. I had a 65 / 2 67’s and a 70 GTO and I just lost interest after the 68 model year. I got the 70 on a swapping deal or I wouldn’t have had it. Take care … Jim

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  13. piper62j

    IMHO.. All the early Mustangs up to 73 are great cars and in demand.. The 71-73 is coming into it’s own now.. I’m in the process of restoring a 73 Q-Code fastback and loving every minute of it..

    I used to repair cars for a living until burning out with it, but now, in retirement, I’m having a blast with restorations. .When I get tired or fed up, I just put the tools down and walk away. It’s great..

    I’ve attached pic of my current project…

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  14. piper62j

    EBay is showing “over 110 watching”.. It’l be interesting to see how it sells.

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  15. Wabbit

    LOL, I had so many of these old cool classic’s growing up but they weren’t all that cool back then. I had a 69 mach 1 and a 70 mach 1 at the same time along with a bunch of other cars, that I sure wish I had back today.

    Like 1

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