So-Cal Classic! 1969 Mustang Mach 1 390

Automotive enthusiasts visiting southern California or other dry climates often express amazement at how many “classic” cars serve as daily drivers for decades without having been restored, refurbished, or pampered, or even taken off the road for significant lengths of time. They simply go on and on, fulfilling their intended purpose, providing transportation. Sure, they need brakes and filters and mufflers and the occasional engine or transmission, but otherwise they just soldier on and on. This 1969 Mustang Mach 1 listed here on Los Angeles, California craigslist appears to fall into this category. The passenger door appears to have been repaired or replaced, and the Mach 1 should have dual racing mirrors and pin-latches on the hood. Otherwise there’s not much to complain about here, unless you don’t fancy the $29,000 asking price. Thanks to our own Adam C. for spotting this So-Cal classic.

Fans of recent Mustangs will recognize this tail light signature. Both bumpers look super-shiny either from being well kept or replaced. Original-style louvers would be handy to shade the interior from southern California’s intense sunlight, further amplified by the Mach 1’s nearly flat rear glass. On older re-spray may have covered the matte-black hood treatment.

This dual-pod dashboard must have looked like a rocketship cockpit in 1969. By comparison the dash of my ’66 Dodge had all the style of a valve control panel at the local refinery. The Mach 1 package could be matched with various powerplants, and included mostly cosmetic upgrades (thanks to for some details).

Few factory air cleaner housings survived a Mustang owner’s desire to add bling with a ‘$25 chrome air filter from K-Mart, but this one did! Anyone familiar with Ford’s venerable 260-289-302 will immediately recognize the bulkier 390 “FE” engine. Though not as high-strung as the Trans-Am-bred Boss 302 or as wicked as the Boss 429, the 390 cubic inch V8 provides satisfying thrust above the typical 302 or 351, and anyone with a fat wallet can build a 390 to achieve personal satisfaction. The new vacuum advance module pays tribute to the normal maintenance required to keep a car on the road for decades. There’s no OBDII port under the dashboard but you can still use YouTube to diagnose most problems with a car of this vintage. How would you finish this mid-level Mustang?


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  1. beaudog

    They better have some documentation backing up the “California car” claim, other than the fact that it’s currently in California. The plates are a much newer issue than would have been on the car when registered. It may be easily explained but definitely raises a red flag for me.

    Like 4

      The DSO (District Sales Office) code on the door data plate says that the car was originally from the St Louis area.

      Like 5
  2. J Liu

    The plates are new but should not necessarily be a warning. California is a two plate state and very often, myself included, drivers never put the front plate on or removed it for esthetic reasons. If that front plate is misplaced or lost and the car changes ownership, the owner is left with one plate and if the CHP stops you, you’ll get a “fix-it” ticket, requiring you to display two plates and that could mean a trip to the DMV for two new plates. Checking the VIN and build tag on the door will identify the assembly plant which if a California built car, usually would mean San Jose or Pico Rivera. Definitely worth an investigation. Also, one can go to a California DMV for a title and registration history. That can take some doing, but it can be done. It should be noted that California recently passed legislation requiring car dealers to permanently affix the front plate or face a fine.

    Like 2

      This is an F code car, built in Dearborn.

      Like 2
    • Miguel

      J Liu, the title will tell you if it just came from another state or if it had a previous California title.

      Like 1
  3. Jimmy

    It’s a decent car but not 29K worth. Especially when we just sold our 70 Mach1 fully restored but modified with better brakes and a AOD for 35K.

    Like 5
  4. S Baker

    Better move it fast, price crash is already happening and probably to late for this price now, bargains on the way, don’t forget, cash is king now. use it wisely.

    Like 6
    • Fiete T.

      I believe you are correct- the overheated RE markets are cooling (Palo Alto, Austin, Seattle, Denver), new car repos are up quite a bit (sub-prime loans on them along with very low loan offers)…not as bad as ’08-’09, but this and the aging demographic mean the bargains start next Fall

      Like 4
  5. Lucky strike

    I totally agree this car is only worth $15,000 going to need another 20 25,000 to get it in Tip-Top shape

    Like 4
  6. Tony S

    Not worth 29K for all that it is going to need to get it back to its former glory. I offered 20K for a car in similar shape with outstanding floors and sheet metal. Seller is still holding out…

    Like 2
  7. moosie Craig M Bryda

    New plates , old plates, BDSWWC, Marti report states car was built in Dearborn, sold new in Missouri, no mention of “MACH 1” ? The plot thickens . Sure the original owner could have moved , would the Marti report it being a MACH 1, I mean what makes it that ?

    Like 2

      Take a closer look at the Marti report. The body code from the door data plate clearly shows that the car has the Mach I option.

      Like 1
  8. Troy s

    Is that a later air cleaner? 390 2barrel regular fuel…did they advertise fuel grades on the air cleaner in ’69…lower grades? Mach 1 Mustangs are definitely cool, but the real meat was the 428 CJ or SCJ not the 390, which makes me wonder what the original owner had in mind. Had to eat on the insurance anyways, why not opt for the four-two-eight…

  9. Herbee

    Not worth near asking price.

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