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Rebuilt V8: 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Some classic cars lead metaphorically colorful lives, while others do so quite literally. This 1970 Mustang Mach 1 fits neatly into the second category and is begging for someone to return it to its former glory. They will start that process with a structurally sound candidate, while the rebuilt engine and transmission are a bonus. If a First Generation Mach 1 is on your Wish List, this one is listed here on eBay in Snohomish, Washington. Bidding currently sits below the reserve at $18,100.

Reading a Marti Report produced for a First Generation Mustang is always fascinating, especially when the car is a vehicle like this Mach 1. It reveals that the original owner ordered this classic in Medium Gold. However, that shade is a distant memory. The seller confirms that a previous owner applied a cheap and nasty coat of what appears to be Competition Yellow. This suffered the same fate as many such refinishes, with the Yellow peeling away across much of the vehicle. Rather than address this problem, the previous owner took the easy way out by hiding everything under a coat of matte black. That means the winning bidder faces many hours of stripping and sanding to return the exterior to a point where they will have a sound base for another repaint. They won’t need to tackle much metalwork beforehand, with the damage on the passenger side rear quarter panel the most significant problem. The remaining steel is pretty straight, and the lower extremities show no signs of rust. The story is almost as positive below the surface, with rust confined to some patchable spots on the driver’s side front floor. The other side may require partial replacement because it has suffered at the hands of a typical leaking heater core. The rails are solid, as are the torqueboxes. This Mach 1 is structurally sound, which is good news for potential buyers.

With this Mustang, we’ve reached a point where the waters become slightly muddy, particularly for those craving total originality. The Marti Report confirms this Mach 1 rolled off the line equipped with the H-Code 351ci V8, placing 250hp and 355 ft/lbs of torque at the driver’s disposal. The first owner teamed this with a three-speed automatic transmission and power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes. The listing suggests the engine might be original, but it does feature an upgraded intake, carburetor, and camshaft. This will unleash performance improvements and is a typical modification performed on these V8s. Less convincing is the seller’s claim that the engine and transmission have only clocked around 10,000 miles since receiving a rebuild. In that case, I would expect better presentation, but this is far below what many potential restorers would consider acceptable. The only answer as part of a high-end restoration would be to pull the engine to detail and paint everything properly. That is a time-consuming task, and it is disappointing the seller didn’t perform the work when the ideal opportunity presented itself. They admit the Mach 1 has seen little recent use but runs and drives quite well. They indicate it probably shouldn’t be considered genuinely roadworthy but feel it would only take a weekend of tinkering to achieve that goal.

The exterior is not the only aspect of this Mach 1 to receive attention from a previous owner. This classic rolled off the line with its interior trimmed in Ginger vinyl, but everything is now basic Black. The overall presentation is acceptable for a driver-grade vehicle, with the visible hole in the driver’s seat and one in the headliner the only significant flaws. The seller admits the sail panel trims are missing, but the door and rear trims are good, while the carpet and pad are new. The interior doesn’t require total restoration, although an investment of around $1,000 on new parts would make an enormous difference. The factory AM radio has gone, but the removed engine bay components for the air conditioning are included.

This 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will undoubtedly ignite debate as our readers state carefully considered views about its condition and the path they might pursue with any refresh. Some will be tempted to make a play for this Mustang, but they will face stiff competition. It has already received forty-four bids, and with over five days remaining on the auction, the bid total and price are guaranteed to climb. Are you tempted to join the fun, or will you sit back as an interested observer?


  1. Connecticut mark

    Less than 10k and looks like that? Had engine out and could have cleaned up and painted under hood.

    Like 5

    You lost me at ’255hp 351 and automatic transmission’. I thought these cars were called MACH 1, but a measly 255hp with an automatic transmission and over 3500lbs sounds more like a secretary’s car. Will never understand why people order a car that is supposed to be muscular but then get it with the least powerful engine. I’ve said it many times, but Mustangs have always been my first love when it comes to fast cars, but if I bought this one I’d immediately yank out the wheezy 351 and install something much more potent.

    Like 3
    • andrew moore

      these specs are for the base H code 351 Windsor 2 barrel. The pictures here shows a 4V ( barrel) sticker on the air intake. if it is indeed a 4 barrel engine original it would be rated at 290 horsepower for the windsor and 300 horsepower for the Cleveland and 385 ft lbs torque no matter Cleveland or Windsor. the 1970 mach 1 did not weigh 3500 lbs. the 1971 maybe, because the 1971-73 were bigger than the previous years. the 1970 mustang weighed no more than 3200 lbs based on my research

      Like 5
      • BigDaddyBonz

        I had a 70 Mustang fastback (not a Mach1) with a 351C, 2bbl (2bbl Clevelands were not very common in1970), 3spd manual. Anyway, the vehicle weight listed on my title was 2923 lbs. I put a holley 500cfm 2bbl on it and beat more than a few 396 chevelles and 383 roadrunners as well. Freaky fast little car. It was Grabber blue and every cop in town followed me around. Wish I still had it.

        Like 0
    • Harry

      Joe, your viewpoint is a bit ignorant in that not every single model built during the grand performance era was built with a fire breathing v8. Just because it was ordered with a Mach 1 package doesn’t mean every buyer wanted a 428 CJ under the hood. Chevy built SS models with the 283/327 in years prior. For some the looks of performance was enough.

      Like 6
      • Fred

        Harry good 👉 points just one more thing. The cost of insurances where punitive then for high performance cars !!!!!

        Like 2
      • 19sixty5 Member

        Many of the early Chevrolet SS trimmed models (Impala, Chevelle, and Nova) came with a 6 cylinder as the base engine.

        Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      You must love the ’60s Chevy Super Sports with the base straight 6 motor.

      Like 0
  3. Memphis

    What’s wrong with a 351 Cleveland. I had a 72 Colorado model. That engine was great. Enough to tip the 14 inch tires off it. I put 15″ magnum 500 on it. Got all 4 wheels 150 bucks. Divorce sale. Wife had em. She wanted 2 for em . I told her at 200 the ex was gonna be irate so she lowered it 50. Lol. Love

    Like 2
  4. Ashtray

    I will be an observer!
    Just my oponion!

    Like 0
  5. Ford guy 1969

    The Marti report shows that this car was originally equipped with a 351 Windsor. However, 1970 Mustangs received the 351 Cleveland. 1969 Mustangs received the 351 Windsor. That is clearly a Cleveland engine that is in the car, as shown in the picture. So there is a discrepancy.

    Like 0
    • Rjonec

      In 70 the early 2V cars were 351W powered and later the 2V Cleveland became standard. This was only during the ’70 model year. ’71 – ’73 2V cars were Cleveland powered.

      Like 1
  6. Ford guy 1969

    And yes there have been many many discussions about some early production 1970 Mustangs receiving the 351 Windsor. I personally have never seen one, and of course anything is possible. The Cleveland production was running a bit behind at that time. But with the Marti report showing it as being built with a Windsor, then that is what should be in the car. Not a 351 Cleveland.

    To be continued, I’m sure…..

    Like 1
    • Rjonec

      I have seen a 351 2V Windsor Mach 1 and had a Shaker to boot. Marti verified. Car was very original.

      Like 1
    • FBD

      Most 1970 H-codes were the Windsor. All 4V 351’s in 1970 were Clevelands. The 2V version of the Cleveland engine did not make it into the 1970 models until late in the production year. By 1971 all Windsors were gone from the Mustang engine lineup.

      Like 0
  7. Rickirick

    I love my Mustangs, 70 being my fave. I’ve said that be4 on BF. And I love Adam’s write ups on any Ford products tho he seems to excel on Stangs. Having said that,I’ve owned 65, 73 among others. My retirement gift to myself in my driveway is a 2020. But what I don’t love is a half-assed outright lazy effort at a restoration. When paint, engine & interior are mentioned as just that well……Can only hope new owner gets it right on this classic Mach. Like Ashtray, I’ll be on the sideline watching.

    Like 2
  8. FBD

    Not bad for a resto project. Unmolested fold-down kit is rare. Also the H-code 2V Cleveland is not common. Most 1970 H-codes were the Windsor, probably 19 out of every 20. You can make plenty of power with the 2V heads. Not a fan of the stock ginger that this one originally came with, but to each his own.

    Like 2
  9. Mort DeMott

    More interesting if it had three pedals on the floor!

    Like 0
  10. Ford guy 1969

    Yes 1969-1970 were jumbled up a bit for both the Mustang and the Camaro. But I was just saying that the seller states that it was “nicely optioned” with a 351 Cleveland, but the Marti report shows that it was equipped with a Windsor engine. We all know that it’s a Cleveland in the car now, but a potential buyer may not see the discrepancy. Perhaps Kevin or someone on his staff made a mistake on the report(possible but doubtful), or the seller has just reported it the way it sits today, not realizing the difference.

    Either way, it really doesn’t matter for a nice weekend driver, but someone may continue bidding to get an original drivetrain vehicle, when they may not be getting that.

    Like 1

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