Storage Unit Find: 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Until recently, this 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 was a one-owner classic that had spent thirty-four years in this storage unit. When the seller dragged it from hiding, what was revealed was an original and highly-optioned classic that looks like a promising restoration project. The seller hasn’t attempted to coax it back to life so that rewarding task will fall to its next owner. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, you will find the Mustang listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has already rocketed past the reserve and currently sits at $9,100.

This Mach 1 is a striking-looking car that is finished in its original shade of Bright Red. Its panels appear pretty straight, but the buyer will have some rust issues to tackle before the car is ready for a cosmetic refresh. However, those rust issues are surprisingly limited, suggesting that not only was the storage environment close to ideal, but that the car has not been unduly exposed to snow, salt, or any of the other nasties that can exact a high toll on classic steel. It has gotten its teeth into both rear quarter panels, and while it may be possible to address those problems with patches, I would be willing to bet that the buyer will probably replace the quarters entirely. The rockers look clean, and the only other visible exterior rust is in the lower door corners. Delving below the surface, the seller says that the floors and frame rails are solid, with no significant problems. The only other drama that he identifies is some rust in the front inner fenders, which is a common problem that should be easy to fix. The trim seems to be in good order, as is the tinted glass.

It seems that the original owner was determined to protect his investment, so the front seats wore sheepskin covers from Day One. When the seller removed these, the buckets proved to be in as-new condition. The remaining upholstered surfaces look tidy, with only a few obvious flaws, There is a crack in the dash pad, what appears to be a seam separation in the headliner, and some damage to the driver’s armrest. That appears to be the extent of the problems. People who like their touches of luxury will appreciate that the original owner had a ball when he ordered this classic. He chose to equip the car with air conditioning, power windows, a rimblow wheel, a rear defroster, an AM radio, an 8-track player, a console, and a Sport Deck rear seat. That made this a fairly loaded Mach 1.

By 1971, Ford’s decision to increase the size and weight of the Mustang resulted in its performance feeling slightly blunt when compared to its predecessors. If a buyer was canny, they could order their Mach 1 with a combination that still offered some respectable figures if they pointed their car at a ¼ mile. This owner chose to equip his shiny new toy with the 351-4V V8 that delivered 285hp. In keeping with the theme so far, the original owner kept ticking boxes to add the Ram Air option, a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. That journey that I mentioned should have taken around 15.3 seconds, which wasn’t a bad figure for the era. This is one of those typical “ran when parked” propositions, but it is worth noting that we’re talking about a hibernation of more than three decades. The seller has made no attempt to revive the car, so that rewarding task will fall to the next owner. There’s no doubt that getting that 351 roaring again will only be the first piece of the puzzle because the rest of the car will require a detailed inspection before it could be considered roadworthy.

This 1971 Mustang Mach 1 has spent decades in isolation, which is not what its creators intended. This is a car that was designed to prowl our roads. While it might not pack quite the performance potential of its predecessors, the drivetrain combination and abundance of optional extras would have made it a competent and comfortable long-distance tourer. If the right person takes it under their wings, there is no reason that it couldn’t be that type of vehicle once again. It seems to represent a relatively straightforward project car that will be heading to a new home in only a few days. Are you tempted to make that home yours?


WANTED 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe ORIGINAL Steel Body Style .The body should have a rusty texture rather than a clean state. Contact

WANTED 1970-1972 Honda N600 or Z600 Rough cars that need restoring or for parts Contact

WANTED 1968-1972 Buick Sklyark, etc. Looking for a grandma/grandpa 1968-1972 2 door Buick Skylark/Special/LeSabre, V8, original. (No GS) Contact

WANTED 1994/95 Dodge Dakota 4X4 Looking for a nice ’94/’95 Dakota 4WD in nice shape.Want a V8. Contact

WANTED 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Looking for a nice 1981 Monte Carlo in fair to good condition in the southeastern United States Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Unlike the 2 model years before this one, someone has the opportunity to possibly pick up an original Mach 1 at a decent price.

    Like 11
  2. Gary

    What does 34 years of storage cost? I can not believe that to sell this rusty car is going to be a good investment after all of that expense. Perhaps he was dropped on his head as a child. Am I in a grumpy mood tonight? I believe I am!

    Like 25
    • MH

      even at only 150 a month.. it would cost over 60 grand to store it for 34 years.. that guy is NUTS

      Like 8
      • Chris Wright

        …maybe he owned the storage unit…

        Like 2
  3. Terrry

    Those are getting hard to find. And this example has a lot of rust in the back. Still, it’s a basis for a good restoration..

    Like 5
  4. Jim in FL

    When I was young it was common to jack these up with air shocks for larger cragars and big meats on the back. The back window on these is tiny to begin with, but the increased rake would make it impossible to see out the back.

    A friend bought one in that jacked up condition when I was in high school, then put it back on reasonable wheels and tires. Once that was complete, he pulled the way oversized Holley carb off, cleaned up the rest of the car and had a nice, low budget head turner. Seems like you could do that with this one. Always liked the look of these, even though they aren’t super popular compared to early mustangs.

    Like 13
    • Raymond

      This car hasnt been jacked up dummy

      • Dusty Rider

        I’m wondering who the real dummy is…

        Like 43
      • JB

        You yaa-hoos realize that the storage units items were sold because the owner of the storage unit either died, or just stopped paying the rental fees. The guy is hoping to recoup a fraction of that money. Good grief common sense is questionable at best with you and grumpy gary!

        Like 1
    • Alan_in_Tn

      Had I was my second car. This drivetrain is no slouch. If you jack them up, they wheel hop worse than anything else I’ve ever driven. N50 series tires took a little to get under the fenders!

      Like 2
  5. Tom71Mustangs Member

    Really nice find, thanks for posting! I believe ‘71 was the first year for power windows in the Mustang, those are unusual and a cool find. Gary- it seems very possible that the storage may have been at ones’ home, or that of a friend where they may not have been paying storage every month for that long? True points, Jim in FL- my Brother did the same mods (Hi-Jacker shocks, shackles) to raise the rear end but also had the factory rear spoiler and louvers to help cover the window up a bit more. We loved the look then, but it made the rear window nearly useless! 🤣

    Like 3
  6. Timothy Phaff Member

    It’s an ugly Mustang but the interior plus all the factory options will add to a nice ride after it’s restored. I think it will be worth a lump sum many years from now.

    Like 2
  7. JoeNYWF64

    I would think that tire/wheel cover combo is quite rare – especially with snow tires on the back on a ’71-3 fastback.
    I see 1 of the phony lug nuts is missing – & i can guess why. lol
    I would think power windows were also rare on a ’71-73.
    Not sure why they were not even available on ’65-70 & ’74-?? models.

    Like 2
    • Moparman Member

      I would take these wheel covers over the pancake flat ones any day; of course, Magnums would be first choice, but these look good! This one has good potential, in spite of the rust.
      GLWTA!! :-)

      Like 4
  8. Rick A. Loera

    I remember seeing a 71/73 Grande in the wrecking yard back in the early 80’s. It was being used as a junkyard mule to fetch parts with. I rode in it when we had to go deep into the yard to get a part for one of my cars. This car had every option available from the factory and the car was not in bad condition. Had no idea why it was there in the first place. It is the one and only time I had seen that generation Mustang with power windows.

    Like 2
  9. Frank

    One of my all time favorite comments when looking at cars or motorcycles. “The car ran when parked but has not been started since being stored”. If you been around cars we all know they ran out there with a battery, can of gas and starter fluid in an attempted to crank it over. It either didn’t rollover or didn’t start up.

    Like 3
  10. Kevin Kendall

    There’s two 71 Mach 1s in our neighborhood that are all original only much nicer,a black one & a red one, great looking cars

  11. Mark P

    In the first photo, it looks scared and lonely.

    Like 2
    • bone

      Looks like a cornered possum with a flashlight reflecting in his eyes

      Like 1
  12. beignet atthe beach

    Ford saw a huge leap in sales after a similar Mach 1 appeared in the James Bond film,” Diamonds are Forever”. With Bond driving, the Mach 1 got up on 2 wheels to get through an alley, somehow changed its axis in the middle and came out the other side after this Joey Chitwood maneuver.

    Like 1
  13. JB

    You yaa-hoos realize that the storage units items were sold because the owner of the storage unit either died, or just stopped paying the rental fees. The guy is hoping to recoup a fraction of that money. Good grief common sense is questionable at best with you and grumpy gary!

    Like 2
  14. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    “Honey does this color make my ass look large in 3/4 angle?”

    Like 3
  15. Chris

    Yuuupppp….storage unit trying to recoup some of there lost . No one stores a car that long & decide to sell it @ a lost .

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.