R-Code 428: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

We see our share of stalled project cars here at Barn Finds. This can happen for various reasons, and some owners will raise the white flag and admit defeat faster than others. The owner of this 1969 Mustang Mach 1 has wisely chosen to do this early, which means that someone has the chance to grab themselves a classic before it has the opportunity to deteriorate or before parts start to go missing. Adding to this one’s attraction is the fact that it is a genuine R-Code car, and it does come with a healthy 428 Cobra Jet engine. Located in Houston, Texas, you can find the Mustang listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $30,600, and the good news is that the reserve has been met.

The owner of the Candy Apple Red Mach 1 is one of many enthusiasts who felt the financial pinch during 2020, and he has decided to part with this project car sooner rather than later. What he is selling is a Mustang that would seem to represent a straightforward restoration. It’s a 1st Generation Mustang, so there are almost inevitably some rust issues to address. However, these don’t appear to be severe. It is no surprise that the front floors will need replacing, while there is also rust below the battery tray on the inner fender apron. This is all pretty typical and is also about the worst of the work required. We get a really good look at the frame rails and torque boxes, and these are close to perfect. There are some small spots in the bottoms of the doors and the trunk drip rail, but I can’t see the next owner needing to spend a fortune on this body. Most of the trim and chrome is in good order, while the same is true of the glass. The Mach 1 rolls on a set of Magnum 500 wheels and these appear to be free from issues.

The Mustang was complete when the owner bought it, and he began the disassembly process intending to send the body off to have the rust repaired. He began to remove the interior trim, but most of the parts are still present. The carpet is gone, so a new set will be required. The upholstery on the seats is in good order, but I believe that new covers have been fitted at some point. The dash, gauge cluster, and console are also in excellent condition. We can’t see the headliner’s state, but if a new one is required, they can be found for $160. A carpet set will add $230 to the total, and if that’s all that is needed, getting the interior into tip-top shape could be a cheap proposition.

The VIN indicates that this is a genuine R-Code Mach 1. That means that the engine bay would have featured a 428-4V Cobra Jet V8 that packed 335hp. The Marti Report for this one also indicates that it was backed by a 4-speed close-ratio manual transmission. That configuration meant that in its prime, this Mach 1 was a reasonably fast car. It should have been capable of covering the ¼ mile in 14.5 seconds before winding its way to 131mph. The news here is both good and bad. On the negative side, this is not a numbers-matching car. It does come with a Cobra Jet, and while the engine block and cylinder heads all have 1969 date codes, these fall after the car’s build date. It also features a Traction-Lok rear end, but this isn’t indicated on the Marti Report. The good news is that the engine does appear to be in good health. The video at the bottom of this article features the car just before it went into the workshop to be dismantled. That V8 sounded as sweet as a nut at that point. I get the impression that it won’t need much beyond some general detailing to make it look as good as it sounds.

There’s no denying that for some enthusiasts, 2020 was not a kind year financially for those intending to embark on a restoration project. However, with light now appearing at the end of the tunnel, this could be the perfect time for a canny buyer with some money to secure themselves an unfinished project. That would appear to be the case here, and the bidding to date seems to support this. It might be interesting to watch this listing to see where the price eventually goes. Of course, you might also decide that the time is right for you to add this one to your collection. If you do, I could fully understand it.


  1. alphasud Member

    Cool car and I hope the owner will be able to achieve his dream to have a restored Mustang in the driveway someday soon. I have been in those situations and they ain’t fun!

    Like 5
  2. Dins74 Member

    This looks like a great project car for even a novice to restore as a keeper. The price don’t seem too bad, YET, and most the stuff looks to be there. I am interested to see what the guys who have been at this while have to say.

    Yea I am one of those novices who restore one ride at a time. I end up spending way too much money and taking way too long. But I learn a lot and have a FRIGGIN BLAST. I also have a couple since cars.

    Like 12
  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    This is one car that should not have been torn apart

    Like 18
    • Grumpy

      I agree. I would love to have in running condition. Not a big fan of tearing them apart.

      Like 4
  4. John Bauer

    And to think i could have bought one for $600 back in 1974!!! Wow if i knew than what i know now.it was an automatic.no rust.and of course fast.got to drive it for a weekend.at least i have that memory.it was owned by Jan Ohmar from Petersburg Va.if anyone knows him he was a ford guy all the way.well lesson learned and if your still alive and kicking Jan let me J.

    Like 4
  5. Steve

    I owned a 69 in Massachusetts. Tasca Ford rebuilt the engine with the drag pack. They moved the battery to the trunk for balance. Added headers. Etc. 7 nhra class wins awesome car

    Like 9
  6. EPO3

    Doesn’t say if the top loader comes with it but the stang is a very nice project for sure

    Like 1
  7. Angrymike

    This is my favorite Mustang of all time, and I own a 06 GT convertible. I almost bought one back in the early 90’s, he wanted $6,000 but it only had a 351 with an auto. I wanted either a big block or a 4-speed, boy was I dumb. I ended with a 70 Camaro with a 427 and a 4-speed so I got what I wanted. I will always kick myself for not buying that red beauty.

    Like 3
  8. BRIAN

    At 30-40K that is all the money, not a car that you buy to flip, but if you always wanted one and plan on keeping it, this could be the car for you. At say $35k for the car, another 20k for paint and bodywork, and 15k misc, you own it for $70 – 75k, what are they worth now , anyone that knows mustangs ? And that with doing everything yourself minus the body shop price.

    Like 1
    • walter mcclurg

      Paint & body work 4 $20,000? I could paint this 1 4 $500 in my 2 car garage shop. Just saw on Facebook Market place a immaculate 67 SS Camaro 4 $30,000-BO, a Ca. car, 350 & 4spd.. U guys r just lookin in the wrong places, I currently have 2 many Ca. toys

      Like 1
  9. Troy s

    Liked the way it looked in the video, just what we need another spotless shiny show quality Mustang. It was a beast when new, a beast through the next decade, clear to today. It was Fords best prescription for street/strip action right off the lot at the time…the 428 cobra jet. Combined in the aggressive looking Mach 1 it was one of Fords best street machines. Love those wheels.

    Like 2
  10. E. Jason Pelletier

    What a shame to rip apart a good running survivor car with great patina. I would put it back together just the way it is and drive it and enjoy it. Not many left in this condition as most people want to go crazy on it and make it look like all the rest of the restored cars.

    Like 2
  11. Kevin Kendall

    Coming to a Barrett Jackson stage near you

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