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Good Up Top, Scary Underneath: 1969 Mustang Mach 1

The 1969 Mach 1 available here on eBay looks better than many project cars you’ll see on Barn Finds. Thus it is tempting to think it might be a good resto project, despite the fact that the price is already a tick under $20 grand and the reserve is not met. If this one is your cup of tea, get yourself a ticket to Langhorne, PA to collect it. Just don’t expect to pilot it anywhere. The seller says it starts, runs, and drives but is not roadworthy. That’s not all.

We don’t even need a “buyer beware” warning on this one. The seller is frank about this: “Selling this one as a total restoration. Assume the worse [sic].” Well, you said it, not me, so here we go. The body looks relative intact, with rust in the lower extremities of fenders and doors. That’s not good, but it’s not horrible. But look underneath and you’ll find massive and expensive needs. This is signaled by a slathering of black undercoating in the underbody area. Add that to a long gash in one of the (integral) box frame sections and the seller’s words that it looks like the rear frame rails have been replaced and you’ve got Trouble. Yes, with a capital “T.” It’s bad enough that the frame rails have had to be changed out, but there’s no indication as to how or how well this was done. Well, yes there is—that undercoating mess previously mentioned. In short, this car needs extensive rust repair in all the places where that is hardest and most costly to do. The panels may be mostly solid, as the seller says. That’s not what hurts the most to fix in a unibody ponycar.

The owner prior to the one selling the car apparently gathered a number of parts together and put them on the car, but it’s almost like that was done to make this car feel like a more hopeful project than it actually is, because there’s lots to do aside from body and under-car repair. The wheels are correct but some centers are broken. The spoiler doesn’t seem to fit right, and probably doesn’t belong there anyway. The unique pop-open gas cap is absent. The chrome accent on the rockers is missing, and somebody put an early style GT stripe on instead. The simulated brake scoops aft of the doors are new, or never painted. Where would the old ones have gone? That’s amongst many tales this Mustang could tell if it could speak.

If there’s a plus side here, it’s an odometer indicating about 75,000 miles (not guaranteed) and the fact that this is an M-code Mach 1 351-CID 4-barrel and that it has a four-speed manual transmission. In addition, the interior is tidy and looks like it has been preserved much better than the underneath or the body. This vinyl could likely be revived. In short, especially as a Mach 1, this car is worthy of rescue. But you’d better bring your own torch to save money. Just don’t light that undercoating on fire as you try to undo the mess made underneath this Mustang.



  1. Michelle Rand Staff

    Black on black originally, 351-4V. Nice specs, someone will want it.

    Like 9
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Somebody has been very busy with rattle cans. Sprayed a case of the over the counter rust cover. Someone will be surprised when the box is opened. This has some serious tin worm issues.

    Like 9
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      It could be a generous slathering of Por-15 which at least is a rust inhibitor / converter, but the outlook on this vehicle looks bleak.

      Like 2
  3. Ron R

    It amazes me that 1. the price of biddin has almost touched 20k!, and 2. that the reserve has the audacity to no be met yet!! I dont know who is more lost in mind space here..the bidders or the owner! People need to get real with the values of some of their stuff!. This heap is worth about 5k to 7500…not anywhere near 20k! A fool and his money will soon be parted….

    Like 1
  4. gaspumpchas

    Flood damage maybe?? The king of rustangs, the usual sham bidders and the and it hasnt hit reserve??? Run Forrest run…..Knoiw what your gettting yourself into, and if you havent priced relacement panels lately you will find that they have skyrocketed.

    Like 5
  5. Howie

    In that one photo you can see there is nothing connected to the exhaust manifold.

  6. Bob

    This Mustange is in PA. They salt the roads when it snows. Cars rust quicker when salted. Nothing that 120k body off restoration would not fix. In 1966 I had a 59 Fiat in PA that was so rotted the driver seat fell thru the floor board.

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