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R-Code 428: 1969 Mustang Mach 1

1969 Mustang Mach 1 428

I bet when this Mustang was brand new, it was one impressive machine! The ’69 Mustang is without a doubt my all time favorite body styles. It’s just such an iconic design and looks fast just sitting still. Of course, this one was actually fast too. Sadly, I’m not sure it will be quite as fast today as it was in ’69 and not just because of its current condition. You see, the 428 is long gone and a 351 is trying to take its place. It’s still an R-Code Mach 1, which makes it quite valuable, but lacking the original heart is a problem. Enough of a problem to make it hard to justify the seller’s asking price.

1969 Mustang Mach 1 351 Engine

Every time I see a big block muscle car like this that has had its engine removed, I can’t help but wonder first why the engine was removed and second, where it ended up at. Now with trucks, family wagons or really any other vehicle that was fitted with a big block from the factory, it’s easy to guess what happened. Someone with a small block powered muscle car wanted a big block to go faster, so the cheap family car donated its heart in the name of speed. But when you already have a big block, why remove it? The only thing I can think is that they removed it as a result of some catastrophic failure. It would be interesting to know the full story here and what happened to that 428 Cobra Jet!

1969 Mustang Mach 1 R-Code

Without its original engine, you’re still left with a great pony car. The 351 might not have the grunt of a big block, but it’s still a good engine. Of course if you’re going to drop $30,000 on this car you probably want it to have as much power as possible. Finding a replacement 428 Cobra Jet isn’t impossible, but it is going to be expensive. Hence why I’d love to know where the engine ended up. Was it destroyed, did it end up in a different car or is sitting in someone’s garage? Hopefully this isn’t a case of the seller separating the car and engine to increase profit. I’ll let you guys do the investigating on this one! You can find the listing here on eBay in Sarasota, Florida. So do you think this Mustang is really worth this kind of money without its original engine?


  1. JW

    Whoever put the 351 in the car must have replaced shock towers as with the 428 they would be cut back with a flat plat installed. IMHO this car without the original drivetrain is not worth his asking price with all the bodywork still needed. Just getting the right engine is not going to be cheap.

  2. sunbeamdon

    I’m not sure – the VIN translates exactly as represented – however, the “tin worm” has struck again. Maybe doable at $10,000 to $15,000 – the missing CJ motor creates real value/cost issues!

  3. JW

    Correction to my first post I just looked at my StangTV Newsletter and it had the white 69 Mustang 428 Super Cobra Jet that was featured here a week or so ago which had a 428 in the engine bay with stock shock towers. How anyone could change plugs but from underneath with a extension and swivel socket is beyond me.

    • Busyditch

      That’s why the plug socket had a hex on it! Box wrench and the skills of a gynecologist!

    • Rob

      It ain’t easy. At 16, I followed Ford’s recommendation that you remove master cylinder, remove valve covers, unbolt mounts and jack engine. Now, after having been a Master Mechanic for many years, I have it down to about 1.5 hours with a few swivels, lots of extensions and some blood loss from those right on the towers. I do them all from the top. The good news is I don’t use champions anymore, so I really don’t have to replace them much. :)

    • TBall

      JW – The Boss 429 was the car that required the adjustment to the shock towers. That not withstanding, some folks seem to this a VIN makes a price. With that shape (amount of restore work required) and the small Windsor – does not a $30k car make. Too bad. Where I grew up, we had a knucklehead take his Boss 9 into Gapp & Roush Racing and GAVE them it’s 429 for a G&R prepped 351C. Could not believe it.

      • JW

        Yea after posting I did some more research to jog my memory, I remember seeing a Boss 429 Mustang at KCIR’s last Fun Ford Weekend about three years ago just before the city forced it to close to make a park for the mini-mansions that built around it. So a Boss 429 for a G&R 351C NOT a smart move IMO.

  4. redwagon

    Older friend of mine had some work done on her 427 ’69 vette. It took quite awhile longer than she expected. Eventually she got it back and drove it for several years. She then sold it to my best friend who wanted to rebuild it. He found out that 427 rings didn’t fit. Turns out someone swapped out the 427 for a 396. It happens, especially to folks who don’t know a lot about their vehicles.

  5. Heath

    They are 15-20k too high…missing the engine, but still has the big input TL. Rust is a factor, its fairly complete but needs everything redone. Some of the parts are not for this car either….including the 67/8 tail lamps on the floor.

    Unfortunately the market is soft right now on the cj cars. I own 6 mustangs, 4 are 69’s…one is a super cj and another is a cj. The scj’s were selling around 100-110k for very nice originals, now those same cars are 70-80k. Hoping they bounce back soon.

    And regarding plugs…yes, they are a bear. Especially when you have power brakes. Patience, good swivels (no HF junk), and tough knuckle skin are required.

  6. Mark S

    A rustang with a common garden variety engine that doesn’t run. $5000.00 to $8000.00 car tops. What an over rated post not worth $30000.00

    • Heath

      Not for an R code Mark, especially since it has its original shaker (cj shakers are $3500 complete), its big input RUG trans (1500-2500 alone), the tach dash, and if its nodular 9″ is still there as well. Its a 10k car for sure..maybe more. depending on how bad that rust is.

      That playboy air freshener is priceless….

      • Rocco Member

        Well, it looks like it still has the 31 spline axles, so hopefully the “N”odular traction-loc is still there. It looks lke the “N” case is there, the way the ribs look.

  7. piper62j

    It “t’aint”…. (not THAT taint)… this one.. T’aint worth it.. It’s very possible there is someone out there that’s drooling over this find.. Good luck to that person and I wish them all the best..
    Great find,,, Good car,,, Not for me..

  8. grant

    30k? Not in this lifetime, in this condituon. It ought to be brought back, and I hope it is but this is a 10k car.

  9. Roseland Pete

    The 69 is also my all-time favorite Mustang. I’d be happy with a nice Sportsroof.

    • Mark 'cuda man

      Hey Pete…..I have a super nice ’69 Sportsroof that I’m going to sell soon. I’ve attached a picture. It has 60k one owner miles with a 302cid AT PB and other than one repaint in 1983 covering the original beautiful silver jade color, it is completely stock and original. Let me know if you’re interested:

      • Roselandpete

        Hi Mark,

        If I had someplace to keep it, I’d definitely consider it.


  10. Rocco Member

    A “COOL” car.

  11. steve

    Did I miss the link in the email??


      No, you did not miss it. The link was not in the email. You need to open this page and the link is at the end of the introduction.

  12. Jack

    I would not pay $30k for this. There are so many other cars at that price that would provide much more immediate enjoyment. This used to be an “R” car, now it’s just a pile of unfinished parts.

  13. Charles

    $29.9K? Are you kidding??? Parts car at most…


      Definitely not a parts car. An ambitious, and expensive, project though for sure. I agree that it is overpriced at 30K but if the seller gets reasonable with the price the car will find a new home and will be brought back to life.

      One concern that I have with this car is how clean looking the inner aprons are. No undercoating, no road grime, no rust, no paint overspray. Even the front frame rail extensions where the bumper bolts on show no rust. There is no sign that a battery tray was ever bolted in place. All the bolt on pieces are missing, no electrical parts, no wiring harness, no hood hinges, no outer shock tower covers. Either someone did a great job of cleaning them or they have been replaced. Another red flag for this area is that the seller states that the front clip is just sitting in place, it is not bolted on. So was the clip removed to clean up? Or was it removed to replace parts due to typical rust issues? Or was it wrecked? I would want answers to these questions before I laid out any money on this, or any other, car.

  14. Mark 'cuda man

    This is the 3rd time this car has been on ebay. I know this because I’ve been watching it to see where it goes. The first two times it went to around 20k, see link:
    I just purchased a ’69 Cobra Jet 4-speed with 41,071 original miles and a true “Garage Find” and have sent it to BF 3 times but it’s never been posted. What’s up with that Jesse????

  15. Mark 'cuda man

    Here’s a shot of me pulling it out for the first time in years……

    • Mark 'cuda man

      Trying to ad a picture….

    • Mark 'cuda man

      Another picture as I pulled it out of the garage. It was originally “Fire Chief” Red with white interior. Has 41k miles and was owned by the previous owner since it was 8 months old. Other than the carb, black scoop, snorkel and “S” tube it is bone stock and all matching numbers car. Tag on car is from 1986, Only 3k miles put on it since 1975. Very solid except for front driver’s floor pan.

      • Mark 'cuda man

        Obviously having problems posting pictures…….

  16. Jim Marshall

    Even if this Stang had the original 428 engine it wouldn’t be worth anywhere near 30k in it’s current state. Low retail with a 351 is $22500.00 and that’s for a running and driving car. He has 61 watchers testing the water but testing and buying are 2 different things. This car has a long road back and any amount over 10k would be to much.

  17. Miguel

    This is another example of the seller asking the price for what it could be one day and not what it is now.

  18. flmikey

    …I work 10 minutes away from where this car is….if anyone is really serious about this car, let me know…..key word “serious”….

  19. MikeW

    Until you find the correct 428, you can install any FE to look the part. Even Edsels came with the split head.

  20. Rocco Member

    I just noticed the 4-speed in the trunk is for a big block (429?)Torino, or some larger big block car. It’s too long to be a Mustang unit. The tail housing is too long. This tranny would be very incorrect for this car.

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