One-Owner Project: 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1

The Mach 1 debuted in 1969 as a performance-oriented option package on the Ford Mustang. It would stick around through 1978, make a comeback for 2003-05, and return yet again in 2021 and going forward. The Mustang got its first major styling overhaul in 1971 but continued to use the same platform it had since 1965. This edition is a one-owner car that the seller describes as a running, driving barn find. Located in Speonk, New York, this Ford is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,000. A nod to AMXBrian for another muscle car tip!

During its first two years, the Mach 1 had a 351 cubic-inch V8 as the starting point in the power department. For 1971, you could get a Mach 1 with a 302 if you were so inclined (why?). But the car still had the usual appearance trimmings, such as color-keyed urethane front “spoiler” bumper and front fender and hood trim, honeycomb grille in black w/sport lamps, Mach 1 decals here and there, and the unique pop-open gas cap.

Mustang sales had declined every year since 1966 and the styling changes for 1971 didn’t help put on the brakes. From 190,727 units in 1970, the Mustang was down to 149,678 in 1971 or 22%. However, the Mach 1 saw only half that decline or 11% from 40,970 to 36,499. By 1970, the pony car market was fully saturated with the entrance of Dodge (Challenger), and interest in muscle-type cars, in general, had peaked. This Mach 1 has only had one owner since new and we assume that owner is the seller.

We’re told this blue Mustang runs and drives, but not well enough to be taken home under its own power. The seller says he has a video of it performing those tasks but that will have to be requested since Facebook doesn’t have a function to provide a separate link. The car has rust in the doors, rockers, and quarter panels, at least on one side. Also some below the trunk lid. We don’t see a photo of the engine compartment, so we’re unaware if a 302 or 351 is paired with the car’s automatic transmission. Considering that 1971-73 Mustangs have been less popular than the ones before them, is the seller’s asking price fair for a project?


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  1. Terrry

    Chances are, if the car has rust on one side it also has some on the other, unless it’s been stored on its side?? Being from New York, I’ve a feeling there’s an awful lot of rust on that car for its asking price. Too bad, because original rust-free Mach 1s are very nice cars.

    Like 10
  2. D Fra

    My dad had a 1971 (blue) Mach1, in CT. It died one winter, when he left it parked on snow covered grass. Bottom rusted out of it over that winter.

    That 71 Mustang was the reason I got my own blue (2014) Mustang…..

    Like 6
  3. Melton Mooney

    A buddy restored ’71 Mach1 a few years back that was a twin to this one. Beautiful car, and ran low 13’s with a 351C/auto. It got tons of attention at car shows too…never failing to trophy in one category or another.

    Like 5
    • Donnie L Sears

      If it ran low 13’s it was not stock. I had no problem out running the 351C’s with a Dodge Dart GTS with the 340. But this was in the early 70’s.

      Like 3
      • Melton Mooney

        It had 2 barrel heads, a dual plane, headers and a stall. Probably some cam; 3.89 gears if i recall. DOT tires. Not that anyone here should care, but It was a brutal bracket car.

        Like 1
  4. ERIK

    I will agree with Terrry above and add that if there is this much rust and rot through on exterior panels then what must the undercarriage look like? It’s one thing to get into cutting out rust through on body panels and welding in new metal (at a cost in itself) but when you get into having to deal with undercarriage rust and rot then one is often faced with an entire teardown and possible rotisserie restoration followed by new stock chassis components or if going resto-mod then using modern components. In short, the cash register starts ringing up pretty quickly. Given a $10k initial buy in, one would already be underwater from the outset before even diving in. But as the market has often shown, there are some with deeper pockets than the rest of us. So maybe this one will be saved someday.

    Like 1
  5. Howie Mueler

    No engine photos, and listed 9 weeks ago.

    Like 2
  6. chrlsful

    last 5 yrs of gen 1 all ways thought were the 2nd they were so different looking (Boss 302/429, Grande`) from the 1st few yrs (65/8).

    Like 1
  7. Rex B Schaefer

    Another “Rustang”!

    Like 1
  8. Gary

    I had a green ’72 Mustang Mach I. I was a junior in high school. My Dad got a good deal on it. I had an after school job. It had a 302 2 barrel carb. I have no idea why. It would blow the doors off of the modified big block cars. 0 to 70 the car was really fast. I was a kid who lucked into a really nice car. I loved it!

    Like 1

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