Solid S-Code: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 390 S-Code

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For a person who is looking for a Mustang project car, life can become quite demoralizing. It is easy to see dozens of cars with floors like Swiss cheese, frame rails with all the strength of wet spaghetti, and prices that would make your head spin. This 1969 Mustang Mach 1 is like hitting the jackpot for those people, as it is a structurally sound Californian car with only a few minor surface corrosion spots to worry about. The Mustang is located in Anaheim, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $28,000 for the Mustang, but the option is available to make an offer.

The owner provides a pretty decent array of photos of the Mustang, and having a good look around underneath the car, things look really good. There is some surface corrosion visible, but there is no rot. This is the first tick on the list of things that you really want with a Mustang. The original Indian Fire Red paint is looking extremely tired, and a previous owner has hit the doors with a coat of primer, but apart from what may be a very small spot of rust just in front of the rear wheel arch on the passenger side, things look good here on the top side as well. It also looks like all of the trim and chrome is present and in remarkably good condition.

You look around the interior of the Mustang, and once again the news is mainly good. The dash pad looks like it has avoided cracking, while the seats and carpet also look good. It looks like there might be an aftermarket stereo fitted into the dash, while you can see obvious signs that there have been speakers fitted into the door trims. There will be a few other trim items that will need to be given a bit of a tidy up, but it doesn’t look like the new owner is going to be faced with a wholesale interior restoration job.

While the owner doesn’t say it in so many words, I believe that this Mach 1 is a numbers-matching car. Under the hood is the 390ci S-Code engine, backed by a C6 automatic transmission, a 9″ rear end, and power steering is also part of the package. Don’t be fooled by the decal on the air cleaner, as the original air cleaner was stolen some time ago. Likewise, the original valve covers have been removed, but these are sitting safely in the trunk. The 390ci S-Code was for many years the unsung hero of the Mustang line. While it is quite a heavy unit compared to engines like the venerable 289 (by 165lbs), it still produced a rather healthy 325hp. The owner states that the car runs and drives, but doesn’t indicate how well it performs either task.

As Mustang project cars go, this 1969 Mach 1 would rate pretty highly. The fact that it has no rust means that the first battle that is often facing a new owner is not a factor. The fact that the rest of the car seems to be in pretty decent condition is another plus. If I was on the hunt for a Mustang project car, this would be a tempting proposition. However, given the fact that both my bank balance and my wife are saying no to the idea means that this will be going to someone else. Will that be you?

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  1. Capriest

    Sweet mach 1, but I’d take that gold 69 cougar posted earlier and use the leftover 20 grand to build that into a beast. You could build that 351w up to have more power than this, and it would handle better.

    As an aside what an odd place to put speakers in the door panel. Can’t imagine there is much magnet depth there? Completely ruined those door panels.

    Like 10
  2. Big_FunMember

    I did a double take on the air cleaner lid, as the ‘2V’ is slightly blocked by rust. Then wondered if they did have 390-2V option on any Mustang. Here is a link for all you curious and un-schooled in Ford engine letter codes (I was):

    Like 3
    • Tony S

      X codes were put in big Fords and Cougars. Have never seen a Mustang with an X-code. I’ve been following Mustangs since 1969/1976.

      Like 1
      • Big_FunMember

        Thanks, Tony S! I was wondering about a 390 2V in a Mustang. I didn’t know about Cougar. It does make sense for big car, seeing as Chevrolet had the 396 2bbl in their full size offering. Monster torque.
        Thanks again.

        Like 1
  3. BoatmanMember

    Where do the terms “door trims” and “door cards” come from? Is it a regional thing? Or a writer thing? I’ve been around cars for 45 years, and we’ve always called them “panels”.

    Like 9
    • Dusty Rider

      Australia, I think.

      Like 1
  4. Jay E.

    Id rather have a used 2012, 300 hp V6 Mustang with less than 60K miles, drive it reliably with performance that blows the doors off this era, and keep the additional 19K in the bank. But that is just grey hairs talking, not understanding the comparative values asked for these 50 year old cars.

    Like 5
  5. moosie moosie

    DEJA VU, Looks very familiar like its been here before ?

    Like 0
  6. mark houseman

    Here’s my bone stock ’69 “R” code Indian Fire 41k 4-speed Mach I that I bought from the widow of the owner from when it was 6 months old. The body is incredibly solid with only the driver’s floor pan having to be replaced. It had white interior from the factory with only 90 made with Indian fore and white. It’s my retirement project to be started in a few years.

    Like 0

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