Spare 351: 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

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Classic restoration projects offer buyers a world of choices when it comes to deciding what path to pursue. This 1970 Mustang Mach 1 is a perfect example. When the car rolled off the production line in October of 1969, it was nicely equipped. Many changes have been made in the intervening years, and the inclusion of an extra engine in this sale could see a few more taking place. It is located in Culpeper, Virginia, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $12,000 in what is a No Reserve auction.

There’s really no way of sugar-coating this; The Dark Ivy Green Mustang is going to require a lot of work before it graces our roads once again. It has been afflicted with the sort of rust that we have grown to know and “love” with these cars. The floors are said to be particularly bad, as are the torque boxes. The front and rear frame rails are good, and it seems that the trunk pan has little more than surface corrosion. The trunk lid compensates for this by having some major rust, while the lower rear quarter panels will also require work. The Mach 1 was originally built with a shaker hood, but this is long gone. The hood that the car wears now is a reproduction item, and it does sport some damage. There are numerous minor dings and dents around the vehicle, and some trim has seen better days. On the plus side of the ledger, all of the glass is present and is in good condition.

The Marti Report for this Mach 1 makes for interesting reading. The vehicle rolled out the door with an M-Coder 351ci Cleveland V8 under the hood. This was backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission, while a Traction-Lok rear end, power steering, and power front disc brakes were also on the list. That combination would have made the Mustang capable of storming the ¼ mile in 14.9 seconds. That was a long time ago, and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. The original M-Code has now gone, and a 351ci “Windsor” has been fitted in its place. That means that the Mach 1 will never-be numbers-matching. However, this car could potentially reclaim part of its lost youth with a bit of work, as you will see. The owner states that the Mustang has been sitting for a long time, but it isn’t clear when that 351 last roared into life. It isn’t even clear whether it turns freely. This might not be an issue, as you will now see.

Given the relative proximity of the known rust in this Mustang, it’s a brave person who plonks a 351ci Cleveland engine on this Mustang’s front floor. These are not a light engine by any stretch of the imagination. Considering the owner’s statement about rust in the floors and torque boxes, I probably wouldn’t have sat the engine where it is. Of course, it might also indicate that the Mustang is structurally sound, which is a good sign. This is the engine that opens a few options for the buyer. The owner has never heard the engine run, but he has been told that it is in good health. It might just be a case of a check and service, and the Cleveland could find its way into this Ford’s engine bay. That would help to recapture its past performance potential and is an option that would be worth considering.

The Mustang’s interior is complete, but it will require a full restoration. It was originally upholstered in Ivy Green Knit Vinyl, but a pair of 1969 buckets upholstered in Black have been added at some point. The rest of the interior is original, but there will still be some work to do. As well as needing new carpet and a replacement dash pad, the door trims have been cut to accommodate speakers. The headliner is in good condition, and the owner indicates that the same is true of the rear seat and the remaining trim. The Mach 1 hasn’t been loaded with heaps of comfort features. However, it does come with an AM radio, along with a Sport Deck rear seat.

I’m not going to hide from the fact that this 1970 Mustang Mach 1 will require a lot of work. There is rust to repair, and this is a common issue afflicting these cars. However, it is a long way from the worst Mustang that we have seen over the years here at Barn Finds. Parts are readily available, and replacing rusty steel is a common task undertaken by thousands of restorers over the years. The buyer will face the choice of leaving the car in its current mechanical guise or slotting in that Cleveland. I would choose the latter path, although others will have a different opinion. Bidding hasn’t been as intense as I would have expected on a Mach 1, but there is some time to go on the listing. That still leaves the potential for it to go higher. If it doesn’t, then it appears that someone will score themselves a promising Mustang project car at a very reasonable price.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Jeff

    Whoever would load a engine into the front seat of a Mustang is a complete HILLJACK. Someone please post directions to the Wizard Of Oz, maybe the man behind the curtain will provide a brain to the poor guy…

    Like 17
    • Don P.

      Well, looks like the floor is solid.

      Like 2
  2. 19sixty5Member

    Is this a right hand drive Mustang?

    Like 3

    Thank you Adam for not saying “blank canvas”. Good start on a twin engine dragster though.

    Like 4
  4. DON

    “Good condition ” glass would be the least of the buyers problems , but I’ve seen much , much worse get restored , and since everything is available for Mustangs , I’m sure it will be screaming down the highway again !

    Like 4
  5. Woody

    Well optioned car,careful you don’t crack the dash getting that out of passenger side!The wheel covers are rare if no dings or road rash.My brother has a ‘70 Cobra 429 “shaker”hood car options include wheel covers same as this ‘70 Mustang!

    Like 2
  6. gaspumpchas

    Agree with Don, “slotting ” the said 351 in would be the least of the worries if this pony is as rottten as the are saying, Who knows what damage this woodchuck did when he set the mill on the passenger side, he already said the metal work is weak, Look this roach over good and decide if you are brave enough to take it on. The ad states its in Moldova? Not sure where that is but says ships to the USA. WTF?? 12 large. Good luck, stay safe and get a tetanus shot.

    Like 2

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