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S-Code Project: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Some of the cars we find are desirable because of what they are, but sometimes the most desirable car is a tough sale. Condition can really keep a car from being a tempting proposition, but sometimes these cars are worth checking out just because of how cool they look. Take this 1969 Mustang Mach 1 390 we discovered here on eBay, it is a highly desirable model, but its condition keeps it from being a realistic project for us. While it might not be realistic, that doesn’t stop us from wanting it simply because of how fascinating it is to look at. We aren’t sure what exactly is going on with the paint job, but it certainly has us intrigued. If it was cheaper and we had money to spare, we would be tempted to buy it simply for curiosities sake.

1969 Ford Mustang 390 motor

Obviously this Mustang has been painted a number of times, which causes concern. We are going to assume that the current yellow and orange paint scheme was done this way intentionally and while we prefer originality over customization, it certainly grabs your attention and leaves you scratching your head. The states that the previous owner drag raced this during the ’70s when funky paint jobs like this were quite popular. Nothing makes us more nervous than racing modifications, as you don’t know what has been changed, whether the work was done properly, and how hard the car was driven. Given the previous owners history of blowing motors, we are going to guess they drove it as hard as possible.

1969 Ford Mustang interior

Old drag cars are starting to become collectable, but like any other vintage race car, value is based on event history, condition, the quality of modifications and race preparations, and the make and model. The seller doesn’t provide any history other than that the previous owner worked on Dyno Don’s pit crew. This doesn’t connect the car to any signification history of its own, but does give an idea of the kind of people that may have worked on it. If it had been dragged by Dyno Don that might have an impact on the value, but one of his pit crew doesn’t add much value. The history could turn out to help it a bit, but we think the options list is this one’s greatest strength. It was optioned as a S-Code Mach 1 with the 320 horsepower 390 cui V8 and a 4-speed manual. The seller claims that the current engine is the original, but the heads are from a Cobra Jet. We would want to check the numbers closely on this one.

1969 Ford Mustang

Sometimes it is better to just look than to buy and we think this one might be a case where this is true. If you absolutely have to have a ’69 Mustang Mach 1 S-Code, than this one might be a worthwhile purchase, just be sure to go into it knowing how much work it is going to need. We are sure someone here would love to tackle this project, but we will contain our curiosity for the time being and hope that the seller lists the other Mustang hiding behind it! So would you buy this former dragster or would you look for one that hasn’t been tampered with?


  1. Mark E

    I really miss the ’70s and ’80s when you could buy a mess like this for around $500 and didn’t have to worry about the way you fixed it up. Insanely high values have ruined it for everybody but the investor.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for restoring the car back to factory specs but when it’s all for the almighty dollar, and doing a correct job means flipping it $100k instead of ‘only’ $35k, that’s when I get sad and long for the ‘good old days’…

    Like 2
    • Brian

      The 80s truely were a great time to be into antique cars! Three to five hundred dollars would get you some mighty interesting iron back then if you really beat the bushes! Ahh! The days when selling a car to a crusher would net you 50 bucks!

      Like 2
    • Francisco Concepción

      bueno actualmente estoy restaurando mustang 1968 y personalmente hago los trabajos apegado a todo lo que tenga que ser original a fin de no alterarlo.

      Like 0
  2. RollerD

    Short on looks but long on personality. Hope someone with the ways and means puts it back on the road.

    Like 0
  3. John C Cargill

    For all the work it needs, The bid is already high.

    Like 1
  4. Don Andreina

    When the Devil went down to Georgia, he was driving this.

    Like 0
    • koolpenguin

      Especially if the Devil was way behind and willing to make a deal

      Like 0
  5. Jim

    Not really that bad with the rust and a fairly easy resto, however the wheel wells will need replacing and that’s not an easy task. The S-Code is not that rare or desirable. If this were a Q or R code, that would make it worth the time. Interesting note: I’ve never seen an S code with the shock towers wrapped like the Boss and CJ cars.

    Like 0
    • dale gt 500

      all big block cars got the shock tower reinforcements after 67, 67 had extra welding around the stock plates, from prints i have seen over the years.

      Like 0
  6. TuckerTorpedo

    This is exactly the kind of car those reality shows miraculously “find” locally, chisel the owner down on asking price, and fully “restore” in five days, then flip for a $20K profit. Right. God help this poor Muskrat from that fate!

    Like 0
  7. Jim-Bob

    From looking at the pictures, there is a fair amount of rust on this one. The floor pan seems to have a large chunk missing from it (maybe 10 inches by 6 inches), which makes you wonder just what else is rotten too. The carb on the engine is not original. It’s a factory replacement Holley emissions carb that was sold in the 70’s. I have one in my garage right now and it is a strange beast.

    I would worry a bit about the straightness of the unibody on this one. It’s not that I think it’s been in a wreck, it’s that these cars have stability issues with the front shock towers with just a six cylinder engine, let alone a heavy FE V8. (They bend and shift the upper control arms inward with high mileage or heavy use) Throw in a couple of hard launches with a decent race engine and you’ll never get it to align again without some time on a frame machine.

    So, that being said, what would I do with it? Well, I would do it as a period resto-mod. I don’t think this car was ever a serious race car but rather was a street/strip machine. It wasn’t lettered, it didn’t have drag skinny’s up front and retained most of the stock interior. So, that is the direction I will go with it. The original block is there and should be preserved, but the heads aren’t. I believe the crank from a 428 would stroke it to a 428, so I would try to find a Mercury 410 and pull the crank from it (it’s the same as a 428) for the engine build. Since weight is such an issue, I would pull the iron Ford heads and intake and put them aside. In their place would go a good set of aluminum street/strip heads and a better intake. This would alleviate the weight problem somewhat and make the front suspension mounting points less stressed. I would also put the original T-10 aside in favor of a modern 5 speed overdrive from Tremec, with a shifter that keeps the original position, as well as a Hurst T handle to keep the period look. As for the wheels and tires, I would have the wheels polished, fitted with new raised white letter tires in an appropriate size and put them back on. They are a part of the car’s history and character and I see no reason to change them. If the car has subframe connectors now then this is another thing I would keep. If it doesn’t, I would add them. This would let the car be driven hard while not jeopardizing the ability to open and close the doors. The paint job is something I feel is best left in the 1970’s. I would go back to the original color (I think it’s maroon) and an original type shaker hood (and scoop), but leave off the reflective Mach I stripes. They can always be added later if the car is returned to dead stock. The interior would also be returned to stock, but with possibly a set of vintage looking gauges under the dash, like back in the day. However, I wouldn’t use a stock steering wheel as the factory piece was just plain hideous on late 60’s Mustangs. I don’t really like the tiny wheel that is in it either, so some sort of vintage looking compromise would be in order, but in the stock diameter. Anyhow, that’s how I see this one. In the end, nothing is really cut up and everything but the subframe connectors can easily be removed to return it to stock in the future.

    Like 0
  8. Charles

    Lots of rust! Considering the prices these things are bringing these days it is probably worth the costs of restoring it.

    Every time I see a 69 Mustang I think about the two Shelby GT-350’s that I owned back in the mid-late 70’s. They were both 1970 models, however all of the 70 Shelby GT 350 and GT 500 cars were built from left-over stock from the 1969 model year. The 70 models were 69’s re-titled as 1970 models. You can tell quickly from the rear marker lights. All of the Shelby cars from 1970 have the same rear marker lights as the 69 Mustang has, where as the 70 Mustang had a larger re-designed marker light.

    Like 0
  9. MikeW

    How do you believe anything the seller says, with this statement in there?
    “This vehicle is for sale by a private party and the above information was provided by the owner. We can make no guarantee as to the accuracy of the information. All vehicles are sold “AS-IS” and “WHERE IS” with no express, written or implied warranty, representation, or guarantee”

    Like 0
  10. Alfieri

    @MikeW: good point. Another 24/7 flipper- opposite of private party seller.

    Like 0
  11. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Sold for $9k with 44 bids! I would say this one was well sold.

    Like 0

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