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Mach 1 Makes it Home

Mach 1 in 1986

After featuring Shaun’s TR6, which found its way back into his care after being parted for nearly 30 years, we heard from Bruno R about his own tale. Like Shaun, Bruno was parted from his beloved car because of life circumstances, but his story played out a bit different. Bruno’s car was a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 that he and his father restored when he was a teenager. He loved the car so much that after his father had to sell it as a result of hard times, he found another one to take its place. We don’t want to ruin the story, so we will let Bruno tell you the whole thing in his own words right after the break!

Class Photo with Mach 1

While no “barn” is present in my story, it does include a special car that was regrettably sold, replaced with a “twin” and eventually found its way back home. In 1986, during my early teenage years, I fell in love with the 1970 Mustang Mach 1s.  It wasn’t that hard to convince my Dad that one of these fine vehicles would make a nice father-son project.  It wasn’t long before we found a nice example wearing an extremely rare Mach 1 color called “Light Ivy Yellow”.  Over the next few years we did a very nice restoration for the time.  My grandmother, a seamstress, even helped me recover the seats. Dad and I had a lot of fun with the car going to shows and cruise nights. It was the car I took to my senior prom in 1991. A couple years after I graduated High School, my family came into some financial difficulties and we unfortunately had to let the Mach go. Needless to say it was a sad day but I vowed to either get it or one just like it back some day.

Mach 1 Twins

Fast forward 15 years.  Life had gotten much better for all of us. I had been out of the classic car game for a while but started looking around. I came across one of the rare Light Ivy Yellow Mach 1s on eBay. It wasn’t my original one but it was basically its twin. I decided why not, so I bought it. (And may I suggest NEVER buying a classic car sight unseen!) While it was a nice car, it by no means matched the condition that was described.  But regardless I had found a “like” car to my original one and I was happy!

1970 Ford Mach 1 today

Jump forward again exactly one year to the winter of 2008. There I am on eBay late one night again and come across another Light Ivy Yellow Mach 1. This one however looked eerily familiar. Looking at the pictures I noticed several unique characteristics that I remembered doing back almost 20 years prior. I then went and grabbed the original Lois Eminger provided (years before Marti Reports) factory invoice that I had kept. I compared the VINs and about had a heart attack! This was MY car! I called my Dad and he was just as excited as I was! Two days later during an ice storm, we were on our way to Detroit, Michigan!  The car had made its way there from Connecticut and was now going to be brought to Virginia which is where we now live. It was quite exciting seeing the car again after 16 years! What made it even better was that it was basically untouched from when we originally restored it down to the seats that my grandmother helped recover! There was even the massive pile of receipts from all the parts we purchased in the late 80s! This definitely was the seller’s lucky day as sentimental “value” cost me a premium that day!

Mach 1 today uncovered

For a couple years Dad and I enjoyed taking the “twins” to car shows and sharing the great back story. My Original Mach eventually developed a coolant leak and has been parked in my Dad’s garage for four years. This allowed me to focus on the other “replacement” Mach which I completely restored myself and eventually sold to a buyer in Norway, through eBay of course! Due to my own growing family, I have been unable to work on my Original one yet but I do look forward to going round two with a restoration on it someday! Dad says as long as it’s before he goes to his grave!

We want to thank Bruno for sharing his story and we are glad to hear that his Mach 1 has made it home! For some reason his story got us thinking about the cars we have worked on with our own father and the great times we had all crammed into an engine bay sharing in the hobby we all love so much. There’s nothing like wrenching on a car with your family!


  1. Jim

    That is awesome !!!

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  2. Dolphin Member

    What a terrific story. We all need a really good story with the best possible outcome every once in a while, and Bruno’s story sure is a good one. I can think of a couple of cars I owned a long time ago that I would really like to find again, but just haven’t been able to. This story shows that miracles like that can and do happen. Congrats, Bruno. I’m sure that little coolant leak will get taken care of and that she’ll be back on the road again.

    There’s even some very good advice in Bruno’s story: ‘And may I suggest NEVER buying a classic car sight unseen!’
    Well, I have to admit that I have violated that advice a couple of times and lived to be happy with the cars, but it’s still the best advice almost all the time.

    There’s also some more advice tucked into this story. While eBay takes a lot of heat from some car guys, and you can end up swimming with the sharks if you go there, it can also be a really useful way to buy, sell, and occasionally find specific cars, as Bruno’s story shows.

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  3. Mike G

    Great story and I’m digging the full Z Cavarichi party suit as well.

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  4. Gary Fogg

    The M.C. Hammer pants look. I don’t miss that part of that era !

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  5. Cameron Bater UK

    I have to say I vave loved the Mach 1s since i was about 10, there is just somthing about the bodywork that makes them so beautifull, in my opinion the only other muscle car that surpases it in beauty is the Dodge Charger Deytona, which was beautiful in a different way though.
    I aspire to own 2 when I am slightly older, one to keep in near showroom condition and another for the sheer purpose of tuning to the extreem with sequential tranny and Jag V12 engine….I um, I need to go now….

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  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    One seldom gets the opportunity to repeat the good times of the past although most of us can always seem to remain close to things we’d rather forget. For me, I’d love to be reconnected with the ’69 Chevelle 300 I had. It was the first NEW car I owned and because of a brain spasm a couple of years later, I sold it and bought an import pickup; my rationalization being that I needed a small, economical pickup to haul things around. To this day I never hated a vehicle so bad as that pickup. I sold it a year later to a local carpenter who kept it until he passed away a few years ago. I can still see the pickup because its rusty carcass is parked in the alley behind the carpenter’s house (his widow still lives there and one of the boys has laid claim to it). I’ve tried to locate my old Chevelle but the trail went cold about five years after I sold it (somewhere around 1976). People I sold it to bought it for their kids to use for college. Their daughter ended up with it and moved away east (possibly) toward the rust belt. I shudder to think that it’s likely been recycled and is now a new washer and dryer somewhere. But I also shudder to think that it also may have been converted into a ‘Numbers-Matching’ SS 396 and sold at BJ’s a couple of years ago for $85K.

    Bruno is a lucky man. I wish him more luck and hope he has a lot of happy years with his Mustang. I have to admit that I’m a bit green with envy.

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    • Cameron Bater UK

      I’m not sure what system you use for vehicular lisencing over the pond but here in ingland there is a devision of the DVLA where if you know the number plate you can trace your car and I imagine also a few people whom have created a website to do the same thing, have you looked into this?

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        If they go out of state, the license plates have to be changed because you have to deal with an entirely different DMV. The trails usually end right there unless you’re on it from the start. The man that bought my car for his girls lived in the area for a few years then abruptly left. I didn’t know him or the family so I tried to rely on the various DMVs. However, back then, access to information (read: co-operation?) was limited to non-existent. The various car club registries have been gathering more and more bits of information so I’m going to try that route. With my car being a bone-stock 2-door (only option was an AM radio–I found out the first winter that I didn’t even have a block heater!), I have little doubt that somewhere along the line it got modified (V-8 installed for sure), possibly with the VIN changed. The bottom line: I’m not giving up–yet. I was 16 when I bought it and I’ll be 61 this year, young enough to remember what it was like but still not too old to enjoy it.

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  7. off2hcky

    Thanks Barn Finds for posting my story! I love this site and its an honor to actually be a small part of it now! Even if I did embarrass myself a bit with the Miami Vice duds! My wife always laughs at that picture. (oddly enough, like the real car, also went missing and was returned to me 5 years later.) I hope that by sharing, others can hold on to that chance of getting their special ride back or even get the motivation to start that father/son (or daughter!) project they always talk about. I know for me, building and enjoying that car with Dad are some of my best memories! Thanks Dad!

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    • scot

      ~ Best part of the story, Bruno. Very lucky in more ways than one.

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    • Cameron Bater UK

      My father owns a Triumph TR6 and I think its Old English White (but its hard to tell) it needs a complete workover and he wants to mod it slightly, he was going to put a Rover V8 (you may know it as the Buick Small Block) but his friend and I convinced him to at least keep with the Straight 6 principle, even if it isn’t the same block, he also wants to bolt the Famous Volvo M46 gearbox (4 & OD) onto the back, apart from this though it will probably be mostly the same (some suspension shanges might be in order to give a better ride) but thats about it.

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    • Thomas Bean

      This is a great site, and great community of car nuts….and I had to promote it at my blog…to bring more mental patients to the asylum. Cheers. Mach I’s are so cool…the Swedes are willing to outrageous sums…to be seen on the streets of their beautiful cities as American car culture continues to reach into the most unlikely and magnificently progressive country’s zeitgeist. Too bad…more Americans don’t realize how cool SAAB is, was, and will be…when you drop an LS6 corvette engine in that huge front forward hood?

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  8. Larry

    I bought a 1973 Pantera in 1976 and sold the car after owning it over 20 years. Everyone except my wife cried to see it go. Approximately 13 years later I saw an ad on craigslist and bought my car back. Everyone was happy except my wife. To her it was like going back to an old girlfriend

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    • Thomas Bean

      Too true…..women know……an old sports car curves remained permanently hard never fattening out like an old bias ply losing it’s air over time. If you were a woman, would you want to compete with a Pantera or C3 corvette’s curves? Older women make more nagging demands as they lose their powerful curves………….old cars just keep on being fetishes of power and lust.

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  9. Barry

    Great story thanks for sharing. I think for many of us there is this dream of finding the one that got away.

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  10. BrentF

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen a ’70 Mach 1 in this colour, let alone two. Very nice! Hope you get it on the road again soon.

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