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Factory M-Code! 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback 351-4V/4-Speed

The seller of this 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback calls it a survivor and boasts that nothing has been touched on the car, and most of the time when I read statements such as these it’s like music to my ears and makes me eager to dig further and find out if there’s something really special going on with the vehicle.  Unfortunately, in this case, there’s a lot of rust that has survived and not yet been dealt with, along with some body damage to the rear.  But none of that is to say that the pony car doesn’t have potential, and some good news is it’s a real M-Code, so if you’ve been looking for a Mustang project and have some good body skills this one may be worth checking out.  The car is located in Assonet, Massachusetts, and can be spotted here on eBay, where 9 bids have driven the price up to $12,700 so far.

We get a traceable history of the Mustang’s whereabouts back to 1987 when the seller says the car went into storage, where it remained until he recently acquired it as part of an estate sale.  With the amount of corrosion present, I’m speculating that the car spent at least a good portion of its life up in the New England area where it is now, a stunningly beautiful part of the country but not always a friendly climate for metal objects.  The seller states that the rot’s extent is what you see on the exterior panels, and for starters, I’m seeing it in the doors and quarters.  There’s no mention of what caused the crunched steel in the back, but hopefully, whatever it was didn’t also contact the frame.

There’s some surface rust under the hood as well, but the component in the engine bay is what’s important here, a numbers-matching M-Code, indicating a 351 Cleveland with a 4-Barrel.  The 351-4V got you 300 horsepower driving off your Ford dealer’s lot in ’70, with the seller claiming that the motor runs perfectly.  The gas tank and fuel lines have been cleaned out and a new carburetor has been installed, but the radiator has sprung a leak that will need to be dealt with.  More good drivetrain news is the transmission and rear-end, a 4-Speed and 3.25 posi respectively.

A lot of the interior appears to still be in decent condition, with the door panels and gauges still looking pretty good.  There is one spot mentioned near the driver’s front section of the floor that will need to be patched, although the seller indicates that the rest of the floors and frame rails are still solid.  But given the amount of rot and surface rust visible elsewhere, I’d for sure give it a very close and thorough inspection down under to make absolutely positive that none of the structural parts have been compromised.  If this Mustang were a 6-Cylinder or maybe even a 302 it would likely be a hard pass for me, but with the M-Code and 4-Speed, it seems way worth saving in my book.  What do you think?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    I’m with you Mike. This crusty, rusty Mustang wouldn’t be worth the effort if it had a lesser drivetrain. Check out the Marti (not “Marty”) Report, it has some other interesting options too. Kind of the same vibe as the rusty Mopars we see. There are several bidders — assuming they are legit — who conclude it is worth the effort and have bid the car into five figures.

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Stan

      What a perfect order here.
      Plain jane wrapper, w 4V351, optional close ratio 4sp, 3.25 trac-lok, extra cooling pkg, suspension upgrade. Must’ve been a delight to drive it. Best of luck to the new owner. Cool 😎 Ford.

      Like 18
      • Avatar photo BigDaddyBonz

        When I got home from Vietnam I bought one that looked identical. Mine was a 2bbl Cleveland with a 3 speed. Put a Holley 500cfm (remember those?) 2bbl on it. If I could keep it from wheel hopping, it was pretty quick. Beat a 396 chevelle & a 383 roadrunner. Sold it when the first Child came along. Besides I was piling up tickets. Cops could spot that Grabber Blue right away. Miss that one a lot. Much smarter now, heh heh.

        Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    Rustang! I posted about my poor humble Lexus RX300 with its tiny little 4″ x 4″ non-structural rust spot earlier. I almost literally got kicked out of three body shops by boot heel until I finally found a sympathetic person to fix it. I think they truthfully felt sorry for me. But this?? Yikes. Better be sure you have someone who will work on it. By my experience, most body shops won’t. They don’t see rust anymore like they did maybe 20 years ago. And they want no part of it.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      Oops accidentally hit the wrong click ! Sorry. They need to move that “report” I don’t even have to touch my screen sometimes. Anyway I agree with you on these body shops. Even a friend of mine don’t like touching rust ! Fix it man that’s where the work is. I have another body guy that is awesome with rust and puts new metal in. But he is fighting cancer now 😒 antsy you’re so right on the rust.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo srintimidator3 Member

      Most all body shops are busy doing collision repairs for insurance companies where the name of game is get em in & out asap! Rust repairs are very time consuming, only place for rust repair’s are gonna be restoration shops or a small mom & pop shop that has an old school tech that knows what he’s doing!

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo JBD

      Scary car from the NE but looks pretty solid. I had an M code 300HP 351-4v; it was a runner above 3k RPMs.
      Fairly rare performance stripper model vs mach 1 or Boss 302 trim levels.
      Even hit & rusty it is worth restoring.

      Like 5
  3. Avatar photo Rw

    Some surface rust under hood,that’s a good one…

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo teresa

      Seller touts original body panels in ad but what good is that if they are mostly rusted & dented?

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Joe

    I had 1970 m code Cleveland in the mid 80s my brother give it to me auto 3.00 gear mostly nice wish I appreciated more wish I still had it

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo Jeff

    It’s worth saving M code or not. Any 65-70 Fastback is worth the effort if it can be saved. That said, if a restoration to original spec is what you’re after, you’re going to be upside down in this car when finished given the present condition even if the owner gave it to you. Still worth saving if you love these cars though; you just won’t be able to justify it monetarily.

    Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Dragpackfastbackfactorytach8trackwithspeakersintheback

    Worth saving if a person has the skills and resources to do it. Really sweet drive train, and competition suspension make this a rare bird. A Mach 1 without the gingerbread.
    Cleveland engines respond well to modifications . One of the car magazines years ago, in the late 1970s or early 1980s, published a article that said the 351 Cleveland could produce more horsepower per cubic inch with carburetors on gas than any other American engine.

    I thought about the article when a friend of mine told me he used to have a 351 Torino GT, that nosed out a 427 Vette

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo Tim

    She’s got all the right curves just a little old and saggy. Nothing a little roll and tuck wouldn’t hurt right? I’d like to see this restored! Beautiful piece of Americana.

    Like 7
  8. Avatar photo DGMinGA

    “Survivor.. never been touched” = abused and neglected, but I still want top dollar.
    I get the “only original once” theory, but once rust starts eating away, in my view it is shameful to not stop it and fix it. There was a gent at a car show I went to a few weeks ago with a rare Hurst Olds model “all original” that he refuses to do anything to. Not even repair the rusted through HOLES in the quarter panels, because he thinks it must stay all original. Those holes and the rest of the rust is NOT ORIGINAL. Rant over.

    Like 10
  9. Avatar photo JoeBob

    I’m not a Ford guy, but this looks worthwhile saving. But unless you can do all the work yourself, as others pointed out, you’ll be underwater. However, if you want one, you won’t find many that are already done and for sale.

    Like 4
  10. Avatar photo Rickirick

    Author correctly used the word “rot” in his description. Whew, was he ever on point on that one. Plus the fishtail(?) damage on rear end makes it tough to decide & I’m a Stang guy at heart. I drive a 2018, have 140 in diecast collection & 1970 is my favorite. Still tho, idk about this one. A lot of $$$ needed here.

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo Danny

    Rust is as rust will be! Mmmm let me see we have a 53 year old specimen made of metal that has spent its life in the great New England states and is still surviving! The specimen has all the required attributes to be a really rare car and still is original! The quandary problem:is the car worth it because of rust? YES and YES AGAIN ! Go find another one somewhere in the deserts of the great SouthWest with no rust! I doubt you will find one on the market not restored because they do not exist!!! Once again people you are talking about 53 year old and counting cars that no longer are being produced! If you want no rust go to a auction and spend 6 figures, then complain about the price. These cars are never going to get cheaper rust or no rust!

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo joe bru

      a dozen of 1970 mustang fastbacks with no rust recently sold on ebay for under 50K, you jive. Also the seller saying he wouldn’t fix the smashed rear quarter (& ride around with it like that) made me laugh!

      Like 1
  12. Avatar photo S.W. Smith

    Having spent the first 50 years of my life in Taxachusetts, I personally attest to the decimateing effect of salt and calcium chloride on vehicles. That being said, the visible abuse the pony has endured is daunting enough before considering that which is not visible under and within.
    As the showman so adroitly stated: For every seat they make, there’s an ass to fit it…….careful where and how you sit

    Like 4
  13. Avatar photo Patrick Anderson

    A shop might take it on as fill in work when other jobs slow down. But it might take years for them to complete it. I’ve heard several horror stories about shops either closing, the owner dies, gets a divorce or in some other legal hassle and the vehicle owner gets embroiled in it and has huge difficulties retrieving their property. I don’t know if there is some legal equivalent of an autobody prenup, but I’d look into one.

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Sam

    For $17.500 you can get a NEW RE POP Body and build off of it …. https://dynacornclassicbodies.com/1970-ford-mustang-fastback/….. Yes only original once and this will never be original again but still could be a lot of fun. Just call it a RESTO MOD.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Brian

      The best plan for this rust bucket for sure. Add 100k and it’s done!

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Fredscuda

    My neighbor friend has the identical car except he ordered his with the 3spd. On floor and the wheels are the type with small hubcaps with trim rings. Its plain, not a mach one or? Grabber blue. We live in the rust belt of western ma.he only takes it out a couple times during summer. I’m hoping to get him to take to a car show with me this summer. It just turned to 30k. Miles. Looks like the day it rolled out the show room.

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Brian

    Totally worth it once you order a complete new body from Dynacorn, have the motor and trans rebuit, then build yourself a like new Mustang from the ground up. Should only run about 80-100k. Or you could save yourself tiime and money and buy a fully restored ’70 Mach 1 for 55-75k.

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo Joe M.

    “There’s some surface rust under the hood” some???
    understatement of the year.

    They flushed fuel lines and put a new carb, why not spend another $5 on new cable ends….

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    This is a great driveline. I drove a 70 XR7 with the same exact driveline in it. Not a missile but no slug either, a tire smoking delight. Cougars aren’t Mustangs in the car world. A big undertaking here but no doubt there are many out there that will.

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $12,700.

    Like 0

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