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No Reserve Project: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

I admire the honesty of some people, including the person selling this 1969 Mustang Mach 1. Although they state it is essentially solid, when it comes to the subject of its needs, they use the word “everything.” The supplied photos suggest there are rust issues, but it will be a matter of digging below the surface to discover how deep they are. The seller listed this Mach 1 here on eBay in Pompano Beach, Florida. The bidding has raced beyond the reserve to sit at $8,400. However, the seller confuses things in the listing text by stating they are asking $4,000. As you will see, the confusion doesn’t end there.

Ford introduced the Mach 1 to the Mustang range in 1969, effectively killing the First Generation Mustang GT. The sales figures told the story, with 72,458 buyers selecting a Mach 1 in that year, while only 5,396 ticked the box on the Order Form beside the GT option. The seller describes this Lime Gold classic as having a sound body and frame before admitting it needs everything. Scouring the supplied photos reveals rust issues, but how deep they go will only be revealed during an in-person inspection. It has impacted some lower extremities, the taillight panel, and the filler between the back window and trunk. The engine bay photos reveal problems below the battery, and there is enough surface corrosion to suggest the new owner will probably pursue the rotisserie route with this build. The glass looks acceptable, but some trim and chrome items deserve a trip to the platers as part of this restoration.

The winning bidder must brace themself to splash some cash if this Mach 1’s interior is to return to its former glory. It is complete, but apart from hardware items like seat frames, it all looks pretty trashed. It requires new upholstery, carpet, a headliner, a dash pad, gauge lenses, and other sundry items. It represents a total retrim, and if the buyer has any change left from $2,500 once they finish, it will probably only be enough to buy a cup of coffee! Aftermarket additions include a radio/cassette player and a Sun tach, while the buyer doesn’t receive any comfort touches like air conditioning or power anything.

The VIN confirms this Mach 1 emerged from the showroom powered by the M-Code 351ci Windsor V8 that produced 290hp. The seller claims the engine bay now houses a 351 Cleveland, but I think they are wrong. That looks like a Windsor to me, and if it is, that might mean the car is numbers-matching. If so, that could have a significant positive impact on its potential value once restored. The original owner backed its V8 with a three-speed automatic transmission, allowing the Mach 1 to cover the ¼-mile in 15.1 seconds. It is unclear when this classic last ran, but I suspect the timeframe can be measured in years rather than months. If the engine turns freely, it may revive with little effort. However, if I were the winning bidder, I would probably factor a total mechanical rebuild into my restoration budget. After all, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

While this 1969 Mustang is an unknown quantity, the desirability of the Mach 1 derivative makes the thirty-four bids submitted unsurprising. If the winning bidder confirms it is numbers-matching, there is no reason why it couldn’t command a value above $40,000 if restored to a reasonable standard. If the new owner achieves perfection, that figure could climb considerably harder. If you have been searching for a First Generation Mustang project, would you be tempted to contact the seller to negotiate an inspection? If you do, I hope you find you’ve struck automotive gold.


  1. Greg

    I’d guess if the shifter and steering wheel have significantly rusted you can bet there is a disaster waiting in the areas not pictured

    Like 9
  2. Big C

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Ford shifter as rusty as this. Not even in a boneyard. I guess salt water will do that.

    Like 3
  3. Joe Bru

    With ad saying it needs everything, I’d assume the engine is stuck or blown. Hopefully the block is not cracked.

    Like 3
  4. Howie

    What a pile of you know what, and that is being polite!!

    Like 8
  5. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Even if it was better shape, that color, for one of these? …yuk.

    Like 2
  6. Dr Ron

    It’s an M Code car with a Windsor engine. Definitely not a Cleveland… Cleveland engines have a vertical thermostat housing and a visible notch on the front of the driver’s side head… the valve covers also give it away as a Windsor.
    And mechanically the whole car is a boat anchor.
    The body IS probably salvageable as long as the torque boxes, floors and rear arches aren’t rotted.
    Once stripped and dipped it would be a candidate for a very expensive restoration but a Dynacorn body would suit me better.
    I’ve torn apart too many Rustangs over the years to get excited about this thing.
    Unless someone gave it to me.
    Then again…. I’d be thinking about whether or not my tetanus shot is up to date.

    Like 10
  7. P

    A short time ago, few would have considered this a restoration project. It would be stripped out, maybe even the VIN’s. A base Sportsroof Mustang in better condition would have become a Mach 1. These cars aren’t particularly rare, and the current market is overheated. We’d pass and wait for something better.

    Like 6
  8. Heck Dodson Member

    Without inspecting the torque boxes, rockers, floorpans, front and rear rails in person, it’s a pure gamble on what you’re getting. This is a great year Mach 1 and anyone interested should definitely go see in person. Good find

    Like 3
  9. Robert West

    That is, without a doubt, a 351W. The Cleveland has wider valve covers and the oil fill cap area sits horizontal. Considering the lack of older project cars here in Mississippi, I would consider this a pretty good starting point.

    Like 2
  10. Heck Dodson Member

    It’s a given that you’d have to rebuild the engine and trans in this Mach1. And either the 351W or 351C good engines. Dealing with Rustang headaches in the rails and sub structure is the problem. Its a non power steering or factory AC car. Thats disappointing.If that’s not overwhelming, it will be snatched up in a minute.

    Like 2
  11. Harold Sullivan

    I think the old Mach is not that bad. It just depends on how far you want to go with it. I have seen much worse in the Midwest for rust. Granted rust does live in Florida depending on where you are it can be bad rust underneath. Take your time and do work yourself. It will save you lots of money. Looks to be a Windsor engine which many of them were back then. I do see a power brake booster. Just no power steering present. When the seller says needs everything, I think they mean they are not aware of everything wrong with the car. That leaves the car open to just about anything that could be wrong. An inspection would help if you are dead serious about this car. I have seen much worse brought back to life.

    Like 0
  12. Maggy

    I think the seller needs to know how to write up a listing before posting one as well as researching what they are trying to sell before selling it.smh.Looks like a saltwater humidity FL rustbucket. Definitely needs an inspection by the buyer before bidding.

    Like 3
  13. ChasMan

    It looks a little like Christine inside; after it burned and parked itself. Lol

    Like 0
  14. Heck Dodson Member

    Bidding sits at abit above $10k. Not terrible for a 69 Mach 1 but it didn’t come with options like AC, power steering and brakes and probably drums all around. Front disc’s were available in this year, but this one probably doesn’t have them, since they checked so few options when purchased. Still not a bad start for a Mach 1 1969 project if if stays around this price.

    Like 1
  15. Jerry Long

    351 Cleveland engine arrived with the 1970 Fords.

    Like 0

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